KATU invited nearly 100 local bloggers to the studios in Southeast Portland for a "meetup". While met with initial skepticism, conspiracy, and as many theories as there were invites, the event was an amazing success! Thanks to the team at KATU for reaching out to the blogging community in stumptown -- for trusting me with the task of corralling the masses and hosting the meetup, the great food and drink, the clever (and useful!) thumb drive-containing gift bags and of course for letting us invade your studios for the evening! (I hope we didn't leave a mess?) More "Thank You" notes in a bit, but for now...
Arriving at the KATU Studios just before 6:30pm, my parking concerns eased with a spot across the street from the Portland Mercury offices, and -- more importantly -- the much-anticipated 4-Square tournament (good thing it wasn't a beer-tossing contest!).
Across the street, bloggers from all genres were shuffling in, registering and receiving name tags. My first impression was that the KATU staff was warm and welcoming -- working wonders at setting any tension or awkwardness at ease (thanks Kristen!). I exchanged greetings with the now-familiar Rob and Terry and made my way back to the studio.
What the room lacked in size, the buffet table redeemed in selection. The traditional fried finger foods were paired with an assortment of meats, cheeses, shrimp, even sushi (though I've never quite been able to stomach the idea of party sushi). KATU's staff of bartenders (perhaps explaining how they get through long wall-to-wall coverage of Pacific Northwest storms?) served up a selection of area wines and Widmer beer. I suspect we made friends among the engineering staff by leaving behind the leftover keg.
It's at this point we learn there's an interview for KATU's sister station in the news studio. This temporarily deflates hopes of a group photo on the anchor chair and quality time in Helen and Dave's AM Northwest living room. Fortunately, hope was restored in the form of a quick interviewer and we filed in to the primary broadcast studio.
You've certainly heard about tiny news sets -- this was no exception or surprise. I didn't realize they used the same room for both the local news AND the AM Northwest program. Props to the engineers for making that work every day!
I put on my headset for the group photo and more mingling / networking before the night came to a close. I regret that I didn't get to meet everyone, and I won't even *try* to recount all the faces and names I did chat with (with some exception below) -- hopefully you had as good a time as I did and, well ...until we meet again!
- Matt & Scott at Portland Mercury - thanks for the 4-square, next time I promise I'll even play! (if you'll forgive me for the invite snafu?)
- Rich - hopefuly you got at least one decent shot? (I went back to the mic so you could have a second chance. ;-) )
- Dieselboii - Thanks for inviting fellow bloggers and the great chat.
- LynnS - You were as insightful and friendly in person as you appear on your blog - thanks for coming!
- Athena - I look forward to the Portland version - where can I get the Seattle book about ghosts? You're brave heading to the basement!
- J.D. - when I win the MegaMillions ($325 million!!) on Friday, I'll come to you for advice!
- Samuel John Klein (and the WifeTM) - You looked like a natural at the anchor chair, did you drop off a resume?
- Aaron (a fellow "RCG") - thanks for reconnecting even though you couldn't make it (congrats on the newborn!). Let's get together soon?
- To Rob, Terry, John, Julie, Kristen, Steve, Deb, and the rest of the KATU staff that made the event possible -- thank you! You were excellent hosts.
With that, I say... Let the conversation continue!
For more coverage of KATU's Blogger Meetup, visit:
Thanks again to everyone who came out -- it was a pleasure to meet such a diverse and passionate group of bloggers.