Vegas BlogWorld Trip Day 3, Part III

October 5, 2008 Posted by Tyler Cruz
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This is the third and final part of day 3 from my Vegas BlogWorld trip. I had to break it down into 3 posts because a lot of stuff happened. Even so, this is a pretty long post.

Continuing on from yesterday’s post, after visiting BlogWorld I had my dinner with MarketLeverage and the super blogger panel scheduled. Since I’m not a big fan of shopping but Lisa, being a girl, of course is, we thought the dinner would make for a good opportunity for her to do some shopping by herself without me urging and rushing her on ("Come on, let’s Gooooooo – we’ve been here long enough!").

Since it was only day 3, we hadn’t seen a whole lot of Vegas yet so I escorted her from the Las Vegas Convention Center to the The Flamingo and Caesar’s Palace (she gets lost SO easily it’s scary). The plan was then to let her shop around while I travelled back to the dinner which was right beside the Las Vegas Convention Center, and then when finished, I would pick her up again at The Flamingo and then we’d go back to the hotel.

Actually, the plan was originally just to take her to Caesar’s Palace since it had a lot of shopping and things to look at, but the Monorail stopped at The Flamingo so we had to walk through it anyway.

The Flamingo is not too big and not all that interesting, save for the actual flamingos and other birds in the center of it. Oh, and it’s very, very, pink. I think it’s where most of the old people go when they visit.

Here’s a shot of some type of African Crane (I forget the exact name) which looked pretty funky:

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And some of the many flamingos:

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After dropping Lisa off, I headed back to BlogWorld at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The dinner was being held at the Envy Steakhouse at the Renaissance. I had looked up the location of the Renaissance online the night before and saw that it was close to the convention center, but I didn’t know it was THAT close; it was literally a 2-minute walk from BlogWorld.

Things in Vegas are often not as close as they appear… you can walk miles just to get from one end of a casino to the other, so I was prepared for the Renaissance to be quite a trek. Fortunately, it was easy to find.

Since it was so close, I ended up getting there early. I thought I might look a bit desperate and pathetic by being the first one there, but I’m one of those people who is never late and usually a fair bit early to be respectful. However, when I walked in I saw that Shoemoney and Problogger had just got there as well and were already mingling in the front hallway.

I joined in and we then sat in the lobby and chatted for about 10-minutes or so until Dina and Deborah from MarketLeverage arrived. Jeremy spoke about his Shoemoney Tools and what he had planned with them and the large growth he was prepared for.

We were then lead to the private room arranged for the dinner and there were two large tables. I ended up sitting alongside Jeremy Schoemaker, Darren Rowse, and John Chow. Here’s a shot of the most successful and popular bloggers…. and me :P

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There were too many people there to name all here, but sitting across from me was Zac Johnson and his girlfriend Reena, and Joe from JoeTech.com and his wife.

The dinner was awesome. Everybody was really friendly and had a great time. Due to the natural, constrained nature of dining arrangements, my networking was limited to those within a certain direct vicinity, but I managed to finally speak to Zac Johnson in person. I’m a regular reader of his blog and his is one of my favourites to read so it was good to be able to meet him in the flesh.

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I managed to catch another quick moment to speak to Jeremy when a lot of people got up to take a… break… after the main dinner, before dessert. It was loud and was a bit difficult to speak but I wanted to get my name and face out there as much as possible. I tried to plug my MMA site to him, tactfully weaving it into the discussion of Fighters.com and initiated, but he didn’t seem too interested, lol. Oh well, I tried :P

John was on my left and we spoke a lot, but I know John pretty well so I tried to spread the conversation as best I could.

Here are my thoughts and descriptions of those within close vicinity at the dinner:

  • John Chow – John was his same, usual self at the dinner. He kindly educated me on some of the cuisine and Vegas tips, and was the most outgoing and talkative on that side of the table. He was being his usual goofy self and constantly kept all of us entertained.
  • Shoemoney – On the other end of the table, Jeremy kept that side entertained. He is a very outgoing person and always has something to say or on his mind, so people naturally gravitate towards him. He talked non-stop during the entire night – I don’t mean this in a negative way, just that he’s never a bore and can always fuel conversation.
  • Problogger – Darren is a pretty quiet guy; soft-spoken and polite. It’s interesting how big bloggers can have such different personalities, especially with Jeremy and Darren sitting next to one another. Darren was really nice and is a humble guy.
  • Copyblogger – I was surprised at Brian Clark’s personality. I’ve only ever visited Copyblogger once or twice prior, but always felt that his blog was very professional, grammatically correct, and organized. As such, I guess I was expecting something more along the lines of an English professor. Brian sat across from Jeremy and spoke to him during the entire dinner. Brian is one of those people who has an immense confidence about him. You can tell he is successful just be his demeanour and his confidence. He seemed to be a very good match for Jeremy in terms of discussion and grandiose.
  • JoeTech – I’ve seen Joe around from the comments he leaves on the various "make money online" blogs. I didn’t fully remember or recognize who he was until we exchanged business cards. When the dinner began, him and his wife were just sitting there and nobody was talking to them and they looked a bit lonely so I introduced myself and spoke to them. By the time the dinner arrived though, everybody was talking so I felt my mission had been accomplished ;) I really liked his wife for some reason. She sat a bit far from me so it was difficult to actually talk to her, but she seemed to have a really great time at the dinner and kept laughing really hard, and I think that is what I liked. I remember at one point John did something really funny and she almost spit out her drink!
  • Zac Johnson – Surprisingly, Zac is a really quiet guy. This could have been because he had done a lot of travelling and was staying up late gambling (Hey, it’s Vegas!), but I think that is his natural demeanour. Once we started talking and he got used to me though, he opened up a lot more – especially once we found our common interests: gambling and computer games. His girlfriend Reena is extremely nice, and like Joe’s wife, seemed to have a great time. Oh, and Zac is also a really fast eater which I found rather inspiring, as he did it so effortlessly!

The Money

John was absolutely fixated on the bid wad of cash I won from the Cashinator, and proceeded to play with it the entire night. You can really tell how much he loves money, perhaps even more than me, but I’m not sure about that.

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If you recall from the Cashinator Challenge, John, Zac, and Jeremy each had to pay me $100 out of their own pockets on top of what they won. Both Jeremy and Zac gave me a $100 bill on the spot (which just goes to show what ballers they are), but John hadn’t paid me yet.

So at the dinner, he presents me with my $100… in one hundred $1 bills! LOL! This made my already huge stack even huger. My original thought was that he did this just to jokingly be spiteful, as it’s a pain having to spend so many $1 bills, but I later found out he actually won the cash from ANOTHER cash machine after the challenge to pay me.

The following video, courtesy of JohnChow.ca (the two photos above and below as well), shows exactly what happened. When I saw this video I laughed so hard! Also, be sure to note Zac Johnson’s expression when he sees what John just did at 0:57 in the video – PRICELESS!

After seeing John playing with the money so much, Jeremy wanted his turn. Here’s a shot of Shoemoney. Get it?

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I’ll be giving away the cash in a contest on my blog within the next few days, so don’t miss it!

I knew, even before leaving for Vegas, that I was going to take a photo of John taking a photo of his food. It was one of my missions. I’m glad to say I didn’t disappoint; here’s a shot of John taking a shot of the pre-dinner BLT salad:

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My mouth is literally watering as I write this. I love meat, but only certain kinds. Ribs are one of my favourite foods, and I usually order them in restaurants, but I’m not a big steak eater. So, I was naturally was a bit apprehensive of the inevitable big steak that would arrive, since we were at a reputable steakhouse in Vegas.

The Envy Steakhouse has USDA Prime steak, which is the second-highest grade of meat you can get, one step below Kobe. Most of us had the ENVY Signature Prime Bone-In Ribeye, which was 19oz. I took a look at the menu on their website and the price is $42 just for the steak alone. Fortunately, MarketLeverage was paying, so it was guilt-free eating. The bill for dinner must have been around $3,000.

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Again, I’m not a big steak eater, but that steak… again, my mouth is watering…. that steak was insane. It was by far the best steak I’ve ever had. The sauce was strange in that it wasn’t anything remotely close to what I had before… it was much thicker and… I don’t know.. but absolutely delicious.

The photo above was John’s steak. You’ll notice my stack of cash in front of it. Again, that’s because he kept playing with it all night like I said, lol.

How many of you can say that John Chow almost ate your $100 bill? Well, the pile was so large that at one point it fell over onto John’s plate! Fortunately they didn’t get messed up in the sauce.

I’d like to thank MarketLeverage for the absolutely awesome dinner. It was a great networking opportunity and the food was delicious. I speak to Dina and Deborah online pretty much every day, and it was good to finally meet them in person, at a social event.

Here’s me and Dina:

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And me and Deborah:

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Here’s a shot of everyone who attended the dinner.

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Posted: October 5th, 2008 under Miscellaneous  

37 Responses to “Vegas BlogWorld Trip Day 3, Part III”

  1. Dude, that dinner looks like it was very fun! Sitting with John, Jeremy, Zac, and all the other popular bloggers?! Man that’s just awesome!

  2. Great recap of everything! Probably one of the most extensive recaps of Blog World.

    That steak has got me hungry. And the money does too. :)

  3. That sounds like it was a ton of fun. Its surprising that Darren is quite.

  4. Joe Tech says:

    It was a great dinner, and it was nice to have finally met you and everyone there. I can be pretty quiet when I’m out with new people until I get a couple drinks in me. My other side came out when we went drinking and dancing with the ML crew. It was a blast. Next time, I hope to talk to everyone a bit more. It think the next thing for me will be CES.

  5. Jay says:

    Woohoo! Glad you’re finally taking my advice on giving away the money you won on a contest… hopefully it’s not yet ANOTHER affiliate challenge one though :P

    Jay

  6. Mike Huang says:

    Looks like an awesome time. I really wanted to go this year, but *sigh*…money is always a problem for non-money makers :)

    -Mike

  7. Andrei Buiu says:

    Tyler, dude, that seemed a really awesome time and really fun dinner. Hopefully I will meet you all someday.

  8. Lara Kulpa says:

    Great post, Tyler… and the crane? It’s an “East African Crowned Crane” – scientific name, Balearica regulorum gibbericeps. Pardon the trained zookeeper in me for knowing that, but my grades depended on it. :P

  9. That is a pretty fat stack of cash. Looks like you guys had a good time.

  10. rob says:

    Ok, the photo of John Chow photographing his dinner is classic :)

  11. Norhafidz says:

    wow, that’s awesome, seeing those bloggers in person is a dream of mine :)

  12. Marcel says:

    One of the the John Chow links on this post is actually linking to http://www.problogger.com/.

    Very nice recap. Very kind of MarketLeverage to sponsor this networking dinner. Looks like fun.

  13. Josten says:

    I cannot wait until im attending blogworld and im up on the super panel :)

  14. Jack says:

    Tell me it doesn’t feel nice when you step back on Canadian soil though! They should have an expo in Toronto, somewhere where students (myself) can afford to go.

    • Lara Kulpa says:

      There are lots of events that happen in Toronto. I think there was just (or is coming up) a WordCamp event there. You could also check for things happening in NYC which is a lot closer and often has events for bloggers.

      The Vegas trip wasn’t too expensive, though. It can be done for well under $1000 (I went, from upstate NY) which I bet you could save up for by next year. :)

    • Tushar Dhoot says:

      Hey, be grateful at least you’re in the big TO. It’s worse for people like me in New Brunswick, and even worse for people like Darren all the way in Australia.

  15. Melvin says:

    Those are great pics… CHow really loves taking pictures of foods I guess…

  16. This trip looks like vacations.

  17. The Rocket says:

    Have a wonderful time:)

  18. Thanks for coming to dinner with us! I wish Lisa would have come with you! We think that BlogWorld was probably one of the best shows that we have attended. It was fun to have everyone together for dinner. What show are you going to next?

  19. I just noticed that Darren wears his watch on his right hand, thank god I’m not alone :)

  20. whateverebay says:

    Are you tired? re-living the moment…. non stop… thanks for sharing so much details and pictures… :)

  21. I’m going to have to get to some of these events, hard to get the time off the ’9-5′ and the money together to be honest.

    Looks like you had a great time anyway

  22. zool says:

    Nice picture and a great pleasure to meet with others pro blogger.

  23. Dina says:

    It was great to finally meet you and Lisa in person! Blogworld was a blast and I can’t wait for the next one. We’ll have a bigger, better Cashinator, so hopefully it’s a bit more comfortable for when we add more bloggers to the challenge!

  24. Tushar Dhoot says:

    Seemed like a great event to attend. Thanks for sharing your experience there, Tyler.

  25. Thanks for keeping us informed. I love the photos of the food

  26. kayt romeo says:

    Cool! The funky bird is called a “creasted crane” and its the national bird for an african country called uganda.

  27. it is nice trip, after reading this post, we also felt like we were there. nice photos.

  28. Will says:

    These money, what about giving ‘em to this seo contest:
    http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=1061175

  29. Jay says:

    I just think it’s funny those hatas that come here to spend the time to comment to tell you how much you suck lol!

    Jay

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