So, one evening over lots of wine and kvetching, my blogger friend, Nichole, and I wondered why we had to travel all over this state and country to connect with other bloggers.
“Sacramento is so lame,” one of us said (probably me). “Every other city has a Bloggers network. Why don’t we? Hey….wait a minute.”
And two hours later, I was buying sacramentobloggers.com, both pleased and dismayed that it was available. I mean, you can’t buy any two-word domain names these days without paying some greedy middleman hundreds of dollars because he knows the value of these things. I can’t even buy MY name because somebody is sitting on it and not using it.
Not so with sacramentobloggers.com. No, that domain was sitting out there in tattered burlap rags on a busy sidewalk, holding its hand out for spare change as every passerby completely ignored it. It was invisible and worthless as far as the internet was concerned. The poor street urchin had nothing to live for and was about to jump from the Tower Bridge into the Sacramento River when I happened along. I coaxed it down, told it that it had plenty to live for, that there were people who needed it, that I would take it home with me and feed it and give it love.
And then because there are still no conferences in Sacramento, we traveled to Utah, where we met another Sacramento blogger, Stephanie, who got excited about the potential of our street urchin and became our social media manager.
And then we gave it its very own Facebook Page.
And our blog roll began to grow.
And we said, “Gee, we need to actually do something now.” and began working on our first meetup/mixer.
Enter the Le Rivage Hotel. They understood what bloggers were, what they can do and wanted to support our community. They were excited to have us and we were excited to be had. Or something like that.
General Manager Mark Fitzgerald is a blogger himself (at Grubzilla Sactown) and the next thing you know, he and Sales Director Lisa Burge are giving me a tour of this gorgeous European-looking boutique hotel and we are standing in their Presidential Suite that overlooks the Sacramento River talking about doing an event.
“If I had to guess,” I told them, “we might have 20 people. Might.”
They said the Presidential Suite could comfortably host up to about 16 people and that we could wait and see, or have it on the patio.
We decided to wait and see.
And then we got 53 RSVPs.
But people told me, “Oh, you’re lucky if 50% of RSVPs show up. Less than that if it’s your first event.”
So I optimistically predicted 25 people would come. Lisa Burge predicted 35.
It turned out to be more like 44.
So what does that mean? That means that Nicole and I weren’t the only ones who wanted a community of bloggers.
And this inaugural mixer? Oh. Em. Gee.
First of all, the Le Rivage Hotel is the total bomb. (Can I say bomb? Are they still saying bomb?)
It’s right on the Sacramento River, just south of downtown, hidden away to the point that many people have never heard of it, let alone seen it. (Although I’ve heard celebs such as Prince and Britney Spears have.) It’s gorgeous. It’s also a fantastic wedding venue that anyone who’s looking should consider.
Lisa designed a custom cocktail just for us, called The Writer’s Block.
They provided a bar and a delicious appetizer buffet out on the back patio.
The weather was perfect, and Nichole, Stephanie and I did our best to meet and greet.
Early birds got an exclusive tour of the Presidential Suite which included a gorgeous sunset view of the river and celeb stories.
In meeting and greeting and ice-breaking, we learned that bloggers joined us because they liked the idea of a community and wanted to check it all out.
An iPad was stationed at the check-in table for easy membership sign-up.
And Le Rivage gave away a free night’s stay (Jeremy of Thinkhouse Collective was the lucky winner).
And bloggers took pictures and Tweeted and Instagrammed.
And to think that poor little street urchin of a domain nearly became fish food. Our membership has grown over 15% in the last week. Word is getting out, man.
I think this is the beginning of a bunch of beautiful relationships.
p.s. The blog posts from other bloggers about this event are rolling in. If you want to read what other bloggers thought of the whole affair you can check out the links at the bottom of the Sacramento Bloggers Inaugural Mixer Recap post.