This morning, I'll be flying down to Fort Lauderdale to attend a little bit of OCON! I've never been before and I'm very interested to see what it will be like.
Brendan is hanging back here with the critters, partly for budgetary purposes (OCON is a wee bit pricier than ATLOSCon) and partly because we are still recovering from our big road trip. They'll have a nice long weekend of doing some . . . well, I don't know exactly. Fireworks for sure. I guess I'll find out when I get back home on Tuesday night!
I decided to go to OCON for several reasons. Firstly, I've never been and have always wanted to go. And this year it's somewhat conveniently located in Florida. I'm also eager to see some old friends and meet some people from the internets I've known for a good little while! Another reason is that now that I'm the kind of person who seems to be involved in throwing conferences, I'm terribly interested to see how the professional conference peopleguys do it, to see if I can get any good ideas for our next ATLOSCon. Finally, I'm going to network with other people involved in community groups all over the country, to swap some ideas with them and hopefully generally promote our group here in Atlanta.
That's kind of a long list. Which explains why I've been viewing this trip as a business trip of sorts rather than a vacation. It only just occurred to me that I'll be staying at a fancy-schmancy resort on the beach! (Shhhhh! Don't tell the kids!)
I know I'll miss my family again, but hopefully I won't miss them as badly as I did when I went to Denver for SnowCon. There's less pressure for this trip because I'm not speaking--and I think that's part of the reason why I missed my crew last time--they're my best supporters!
So probably I'll manage to relax a bit and maybe it will even feel vacation-y! (Shhhh! Don't tell Brendan!) A friend of mine asked me to room with her at the conference and I did consider it because it would have saved me some money. But in the end I decided that a nice, clean, big room all to myself was probably just the thing I really really needed on a trip away from my family, so I declined her kind offer.
Oh! Did you want to know what I'm doing at OCON? Well I'll tell you! I'm going to the opening banquet tonight (including the newbie reception if I get ready in time) and then early EARLY tomorrow morning I have a date with LB and SB to do some CrossFit! That may sound like crazytalk, but I assure you that I'm nearly as excited about that as I am about the classes I'm taking!
I'm taking all of the general sessions and other events that are included in the price. And I'm in Tara Smith's class called "To Imagine a Heaven--and How 'Sense of Life' Can Help You to Claim It" which sounds very interesting. I've heard great things about Dr. Smith as a speaker, so I figured if I had to pick only one optional class (and that's all I could afford), I couldn't go wrong with this choice!
Beyond that, I'm pretty open with my schedule. I have a dinner date with the Mossoffs and some others one night and that's pretty. much. it. Oh, and a community group leader in NC and I are planning to get together and talk strategy. The rest? I'll figure it out as I go along. Very Type B of me, don't you think?
Blogging will be light, but I'm bringing my new iPad (OMG DID I TELL YOU BRENDAN SURPRISED ME WITH AN IPAD 2 THE OTHER NIGHT?!?!?!? WELL HE DID!!!) so I may get a little blogging done here and there. And certainly look for me on Twitter (and you can find other tweets about OCON if you click here).
So that's what I'm doing this weekend! Look me up if you're going. And if I don't see you there, then have a lovely Independence Day Weekend!