I always think of the first day of actual classes as day 1, so registration becomes 0 by default.
Everything went well in terms of packing and getting to Boston. We arrived at the Seaport at about 2:00PM, checked in and set out to find conference registration. The hotel is part of the "World Trade Center Complex" and a small sign in the lobby read "CKU Registration -- World Trade Center." So we went out the door and across the street to the building bearing those very words on its facade.
Uh, no. No signs. So we asked. "Oh, that's in the World Trade Center." Uhhh...oh, the other World Trade Center. /cue eye roll Apparently there are 2 buildings, east and west. We were in the wrong one. Note that the registration sign didn't designate which.
So we finally make our way through the hotel, to the side entrance, across the street, and into the correct building. Now, you might be asking yourself, "Why can't they find a hotel that can accomodate all the events in one building?" Funny, I was wondering this myself. You can't tell me that in Boston it isn't possible. But anyway...
We picked up our tote bags (which now have the city and year of the event printed on them), our class tickets, and our supply box. Once again, a few good things and about 4 million different types of adhesive. Adhesive makers really come through with the product donations.
Next were the make-and-takes. Once again, I have to say the signage was poor. There were undogly lines for some M&Ts (Making Memories, SEI, Hero Arts), but we did manage to sit down and do a few, most notably Autumn Leaves and 7 Gypsies. We decided to get into line for Making Memories, only to be told they'd run out of product. Which brings me to yet another nit-picky gripe. The number of attendees isn't a secret -- so plan properly and don't run out!
S decided to go up to her room (she brought along her 7mo baby and her 20yo daughter to care for said baby), and I wandered around. I kept seeing people who looked familiar, but then I saw someone I really knew and had to stop. "K? Don't I know you from Memory Lane?" Sure enough, it was K1, along with the other K2 (both women have the same name). K2 used to work at Memory Lane, the scrapbook store we all shop at in our area. I hadn't seen either of them in ages and had forgotten how great they are. :) K1 wandered around (she seems to know everyone since she's been to all the other CK/non-CK events lately) and K2 and I gabbed. Turns out we're practically neighbors and didn't know it. She immediately insisted I give her my phone number and email so she could invite me to the crops she has at her house every month. Whoo! :)
After a little gripe session about the conference flaws, we met up with K1, another friend they'd just met (D) and headed back to the hotel to get ready for the "tailgate" party. This is the kick-off event -- a high-energy, "pump up the crowd" type thing where you get freebies, too. K1 promised to save seats for S and me, and we parted ways.
The party was, well, lame. Not because the CK people weren't trying. The crowd was just...weak. I know in 2002 in CT, the event was a million times more fun. I actually felt embarrassed on behalf of all the duds. :-\
The freebie kits were pretty nice -- not as flush as they were in 2002, but some nice stuff. BUT, they ran out of those, too. People, you *know* how many people you registered!! Get it right!
Then the search for a decent quick snack commenced. It ended at 7-11, where I purchased cereal and milk that in the hotel would have cost me about 5 times what I paid at 7-11.
Next was the "celebrity" crop. Now, for those unfamiliar with scrapbooking, it's a hobby with a lot of "celebrities" -- magazine editors (Lisa Bearnson really deserves a lot of credit -- Creating Keepsakes magazine almost singlehandledly made this industry what it is), creative genuises (Becky Higgins, who has a cult following like you wouldn't believe -- people wanna be Becky, do their hair like Becky, wear glasses just like Becky's, etc.) and other published artists. I am not so much into the celebrities, mostly cause I've met all of them. (At CKU in 2002, I was on the concierge floor, so we rode the elevator together, had continental breakfast together, etc., I had nice, long discussions with many of them. Photos were taken, the whole deal. BTDT.) The lines were boggling. I dunno, but I would be creeped beyond belief at that sort of attention.
S decided not to come down for the crop. I would have gotten a lot done, had I remembered to bring a crucial bit of product. Ah well.
I'd forgotten how hectic it all is -- getting from place to place on time, waiting for elevators, finding food that won't bankrupt a normal person.
So, off to get dressed and head out to class. :)