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Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Monday, October 05, 2009

Behind the Scenes at Defending the American Dream Summit - #DAD09

While Tim Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity, was in the forefront of events for the 2009 Defending the American Dream Summit, he would be the first to acknowledge the numerous staff members who worked to make sure everything went off well from the initial planning and securing of facilities, dinners, coordination of speakers, new media and regular media, sponsors, etc. But, even more important were those who jumped through hoops to resolve problems on behalf of attendees and the myriad of unplanned situations that can and did occur. This year, AFP experienced a success factor that led to numerous problems.

People who had not preregistered came in large numbers because of numerous factors from good weather to an updated speakers list that included Newt Gingrich and Laura Ingraham. The result was more people "coming to dinner" than could be managed in the main hall for dinner. It is hard to manage a sit-down dinner for 1500 people but when 300 unplanned people are added, new dynamics occur. However, the AFP staff and the service providing the dinners quickly adapted and created an overflow room, a large TV with a live feed of the speakers and quality service. And to top off this special overflow room, those assigned to the room were joined for dinner by former House Speaker and Mrs. Newt Gingrich.

The next day, all the speakers starting with Newt Gingrich were cheered on by 2000 attendees to such an extent that the scheduled speakers were soon far over their allotted time. My wife was seated front and center on the third row enjoyed the entire event. So again, the staff adjusted the schedule and meeting places for lunch and the follow-on breakout meetings. No complaining - just a quality responses on all levels. An enjoyable time was had by all.

As for me, except for Capitol Hill Rally and the “Tribute to Ronald Reagan” Dinner, I worked a long side of other new media types in a conference center ("bloggers row") tailored with a wide screen monitor and high-speed and wireless internet connections. AFP's "new media" director, Erik Telford, a professional and friend too many of us, made sure that we had what we needed, and he kept a steady stream of speakers pointed our way for interviews. On the second day, three or four interviews would occur around the room at the same time. Interestingly, while the many of the bloggers / writers were interviewing speakers and AFP guests, preparing stories, live blogging or Twittering (#DAD09) with hundreds of thousands of people about the AFP events, many of these same bloggers are themselves noteworthy and could provide for hours of potential interviews in other setting.

Before identifying a partial list of the new media people who shared our time together on "bloggers row," I wish to thanks a fellow blogger who "saved my bacon" on the first day. I encountered an a virus the prior evening when checking email and posting a couple items before retiring after a long day's travel from Arkansas. Although my system stopped the virus, it also deleted access to the mouse for my laptop. A fellow blogger and technical guru, Steve Eggleston came to rescue and worked over an hour fixing my computer while allowing me use his computer.  Again, thank you - Steve!

Also, present on "bloggers row" were Maggie Thurber, 2008 AFP's Blogger of the Year and Bob Weeks, the 2009 AFP's Blogger of the Year. Hot Air's blogger Ed Morrissey also interviewed blogger Leslie Carbone, author of the new book Slaying Leviathan. Long time SamSphere friends Emily Zanotti and Krystle Weeks attended. Investigative bloggers Steven Allen Adams and Chetly Zarko showed their style. Others included Sean Hackbarth, Melissa Clouthier, John Hawkins, Aaron Marks, Katie Favazza, Tabitha Hale, Anita MonCrief, Chuck Young, Bob Carr, Tom Gartert, Dan Wholihan, Katy Weatherly Benningfield, and Rachel Alexander, Teri Christoph, Michelle Moore. Again, this is only a partial list!

With the close of the AFP summit, bloggers headed home. However, we will keep in contact by twitter and taking time to read and comment on what the others are posting. We all appreciate the effort to make us comfortable as we reported at the AFP Defending the American Dream Summit and we all hope to see our special friend Erik Telford at other events throughout the year.
Tags: AFP, blogger, Defending the American Dream To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 9:07 PM - Post Link


Anonymous Debbie Pelley said...

I enjoyed reading about your trip to Wash. D.C. It's great to see your broadening your contacts and staying in the midst of the battle. You are a real asset to Arkansas.

Blogger Leslie Carbone said...

Great write-up! Thanks for posting it.


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