The weekend of April 25th was my second conference with rewardStyle. They bumped up security a bit this year and we were all given badges.
There was a volunteer schedule we could sign up for during the week to go to The Joule downtown to help set up. I signed up all of the days just to get out of the office a bit and to get away from my desk for a bit. JT, Nathan, Blake, and I went to help out on Thursday afternoon, mostly lifting things. It was a still a nice day away from the office, and we got some exercise, too.
In between lifting stuff, we got some coffee at the Weekend Coffee shop and took the rS bikes for a test-drive around the city.
We also managed to get a peek at the pool:
The next day was Friday, the official start of the conference. Although we were volunteering, there was significantly less to do that day other than security. The conference seems to go smoother and smoother each year, with all of the aces in their places at the right time and not a lot of hustling around. There was some downtime from 4 until 6 when the cocktail party was supposed to begin so we went up to the pool for some drinks with the California team.
At 6:00 the cocktail happy hour hosted by River Island started on the eyeball lawn. We had a giant tent set up in case of rain (we weren’t blessed with the beautiful sunshine we had for last year’s cocktail party). It did start raining though, and we had to ferry all of the publishers to the tent with umbrellas. When we finally had everyone across, we got to relax and have a few drinks.
Unfortunately, the weather did get severe enough where the party had to be moved inside to the Midnight Rambler. We had to ferry everyone back across the street yet again, and we all ended up getting soaked despite having umbrellas. Oh well. We lifted some more boxes, had some more drinks, and then I went to Deep Ellum with Cody, Tim, and Taline from the London team. It ended up being a really fun night.
The next day was the main day of the conference with the main stage sessions featuring Amber and Baxter. I showed up a little bit later in the morning, after Cody took me to get my car. I took a stroll around downtown and waited while the sessions were going on.
After a bit, Forrest, Gary, and I went to find a room key to get up to the pool. We sat poolside and had some drinks until the Londoners came up and joined us. Alex and I sat, drank, and chatted poolside for a while and enjoyed the sun. Soon, more Londoners came up to also enjoy the weather. Pretty soon we had a nice pool party going on.
In the evening, we had a big finale party planned on the Margaret Hunt Hill pedestrian bridge. We started to get prepped for that, then I went home to change for the party. I was on bus duty, making sure everyone got to the shuttles. I was a bit late to the party because of the bus job, but it was pretty lively by the time I showed up.
There was a band, a dance floor, and an open bar. Pretty much the recipe for a great party.
Dallas approved our fireworks for the first time since the opening of the bridge and…
And after the party, it’s the … after party!
The next day was a pretty chill day, everyone mostly was recovering from the night before. I went back to the Joule in the afternoon and went for a swim in the pool. Some of the Londoners wanted me to take them to an In-N-Out because none of them had been to one before. Of course!
We went back to the pool to finish out the day. The Londoners went to a mav game, but I went back home shortly after that because I could feel that my apartment was starting to miss me. I will leave you with this one last cool photo that Alex took with my camera by the pool:
This was definitely the best conference yet. Everything went super smoothly, everyone had a great time, and the whole week leading up to it as well as the weekend itself was a ton of fun. I didn’t even feel like I was working most of the time. I already am excited for next year!