Sunday, April 4, 2010

Squeaker convention, chapter 4 (unedited)

How big is this church hosting the squeaker convention? They have their own kitchen, naturally, and baked hundreds of cookies fresh that day for the convention. It's a compound.

Most of the squeakers were in the big conference room when we got there. I think it was eight to a table. Fortunately the open seats were closest to the front. I wanted to be able to get video of the event conveniently. I wasn't there in a working capacity, but I produced a short video, very similar to what I would have done had I been producing video for the newspaper. I used my company-issued camera, and edited the video late one night at the office, but the video has no visible connection to my company. The event even took place in one of our coverage areas, featuring a woman from another one of our coverage areas, but given how ridiculous our online presence is these days, I opted to do it independent of the company. Again, another story for another time.

Much of the convention was Keri's stories about herself. How she and her husband were $50,000 in debt, but made conscious choices that made them debt free in less than three year, how she decided to start a website devoted to coupon clipping, how she became a media darling.

There was a short interactive bit where we chatted with somebody we didn't know at our table. Afterward a couple of us at each table won a prize bag from a salon chain. The prize bag had a bottle of shampoo, which I'm sure is far more expensive than I'd ever pay for a bottle of shampoo. If you don't require expensive hair products then you can get bottles of shampoo and conditioner pretty cheap on a regular basis. This is assuming you're will to spend more than $1 for a bottle of Suave.

A bunch of door prizes were given away toward the end of the night. There was nothing spectacular, but there were a bunch of nice things. We didn't win any. Such is life. Keri fielded questions a couple of times during the night, and people had plenty of them. Some of the squeakers would have gladly made a six-hour night of it if they had the chance.

At the conclusion of the convention a number of people approached Keri. I expected this. People thanked Keri for all her work, which didn't surprise me. (To hear a few people talk, Keri isn't saving the squeakers money, she's changing their life. You'd think these people had joined Amway.)

What I didn't expect was people seeking pictures with Keri. Several people wanted their picture with her. Yes, she's a public figure in the Twin Cities, but the thought of getting a picture with her would never have occurred to me. Who knew telling people to clip this coupon for a discount at that store would garner rock star treatment? Not me.

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