Words cannot begin to describe how I feel about the whole Ontario Blogger Meet-up on Saturday.
After approximately half a year of planning, the event came together fantastically. While I attended last year’s meet-up (with about 40 people), I was part of the Ontario Blog Squad planning committee this year with 71 people in attendance! What an amazing turn-out. We needed a certain minimum number to secure the venue and I remember expressing my worry to the rest of the committee that “what if we don’t even get 50 people to show?” Boy was I worried for nothing! It exceeded and surpassed our expectations as to the excitement from everyone for this event, which got us all even more jazzed about it.
Being part of the “check-in” team, I was the one scanning tickets and – in turn – got to directly put faces to names right away. It was so amazing to see the non-stop line at one point (and I love that bookish people are always early/on-time!) A big thank you to Hayley G, Sara, Ashley, Avery, Meg & Jessie for showing up SO early to help us lug the ginormous swag bags in from the car!
While everyone mingled and swapped books that they had brought to trade for a little bit, the blog squad stood up at the front and did some quick introductions of ourselves and the authors. At about 2pm (as per our pseudo-schedule – so punctual! 😛 ) we got everyone seated so lunch orders could be taken. Since the book signings were kept to a casual setting, we had only asked that the bloggers not bother the authors while they were eating and, as far as I could tell, it seemed to work quite well. Everyone was so courteous and respectful and there was just so much love all around in that one room. I kept running around to tables to try and meet and say hello to everyone that I could.. I think it was the adrenaline but I was starving and couldn’t eat much of my lunch. Ended up taking it home to have for dinner instead!
After lunch, we did some great book trivia written by Christa & Wendy around the room with some fantastic prizes that were donated by the amazing publishers and authors. After a bit more mingling time we decided to do the raffle draw – and since there were so many prizes still available – there were quite a few numbers that were drawn (including yours truly!).
This tweet pretty much sums up the aftermath as people were leaving:
I feel like I met so many great bloggers at #OBSmeet2012 and yet still missed chatting with a LOT more.
— Michele (@JustALilLost) November 3, 2012
It was such an overwhelming feeling, to be in a room with so many like-minded people all talking about books. I wish I got a chance to chat with more of you but it was so lovely to have finally met everyone! What I also loved was that we often attend events held by the publishers, so it was great to play hostesses to them & authors this time as well!
What was in that gigantic bag of loveliness? It’s shared over on my Stacking the Shelves post from this weekend!
There are so many thank yous I don’t even know where to begin.
- Thank you to Bourjois, the authors and the publishers (Harper Collins Canada, Random House Canada, Penguin Group Canada, Simon & Schuster, Raincoast Books, Kensington Publishing, Thomas Allen, Hachette Book Group, Harlequin Teen & Scholastic Canada) who donated to the swag bags and the prizes for the event
- Thank you to the authors (Elizabeth Miles, Cinda Williams Chima, Grace O’Connell, Allison Baggio, Brian Francis, Susin Neilsen, Joanne Levy, Maureen McGowan & Lesley Livingston) who attended our soiree and graciously signed so many books for enthusiastic blogging fans
- Thank you to the fantastic staff at the Watermark Irish Pub. The venue, food and service was amazing.
- Thank you to my fellow Ontario Blog Squad gals – we did it!
- And a HUGE thank you to every single one of you who came out from near & far to attend the meet-up and making it an unforgettable experience for myself and so many others.
Be sure to stop by the official recap over on the Ontario Blog Squad page to link-up your own recaps of the event!