Future Points and Miles Meetups in Northern California

I just got back from Chicago, where I attended the annual Chicago Seminars. I only attended the event for a day, since I was in town with my sister and we ended up staying in the city most of the time. It was still fun and I got to reconnect with friends and meet some readers. I felt bad because while I was talking to my friend Christine, a few people were standing nearby, waiting to talk to me. We were wrapped up in work talk and by the time it was over, a few of those people had left. I felt very bad and didn’t mean to ignore anyone. I also want to say thanks to the folks who came up and said hi – you’re all a really nice bunch and I appreciate your support!

There were even a few Bay Area readers in the midst and they echoed something that comes up quite a bit via email: When is the next points and miles meetup? It kind of slipped my mind to have one at the Chicago Seminars, which would have been perfect since there were folks from all over the country and it would have made for a really interesting conversation. I have been meaning to hold another one before the end of the year, since it went so well last time. If my friend Kendra is up for co-hosting it, that would be great. Realistically, though, I think it will have to wait until January.

Fun times at the Points and miles meetup in Berkeley
Fun times at the Points and miles meetup in Berkeley

I did have an idea that I wanted to run past everybody before announcing any kind of gathering. Last time, things went really well but there were a couple of folks I didn’t get to because the crowd got larger than expected. So I was considering organizing several different meet-ups and limiting them to 8-10 people. We’d implement a sort of ticket system: You make a donation (maybe $25 – $30) to a specified charity and in exchange you get to attend one of these events.

What we do in this hobby is great in so many ways, but there is an aspect of it that is very self-serving – both for bloggers and regular hobbyists alike. So why not put all of this passion for points, miles, and travel towards a good cause? Rick and Howie donate the profits from the Chicago Seminars to charity every year, so I thought we could replicate that here.

We would hold these meet-ups in the Bay Area (around Berkeley, Fremont, maybe Richmond) as well as the Sacramento/Davis area. I’d like your feedback about all this: Would you be willing to make a tax-deductible donation to charity to attend a points and miles meetup? What is a price point you can afford? Where would you like to see a reader meetup scheduled?

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  1. Hi – Great idea! Count me in and I know a few other people who will be interested as well!

  2. Absolutely!

  3. I’m glad we got to meet and talk shop over lunch on Saturday! Christine is so wonderful too; I’m so I’m grateful she helped facilitate our meeting. I would HAPPILY participate in this Bay Area meetup format. Charitable support in order to trade tips about our hobby works for me ;-). Could even do a volunteer event for a few hours then talk (during and) afterward too. Btw, I’ll keep you posted on how my experience with MOs at QS goes.

  4. Paul Ruhkala

    Sacramento and Davis would be great

  5. Hector Torres

    I would love to meet in Sacramento/Davis area. Roseville would work too.

  6. yes – great idea. Also, I live in New Mexico but come to CA often on Business – so dates would be great.

  7. Donation or volunteering would be ok. I am on the peninsula so would appreciate a weekend date to make it over to East Bay or Davis/Sacramento.

  8. Hi Ariana. I was at the Chicago seminar Friday and Saturday looking for you but I didn’t know how you looked like and didn’t want to stare at every girl’s badge. Just saw your picture on Facebook and I think I remember seeing you there. Didn’t know it was you. Sent you a Facebook request.

    Too bad I can’t attend one of your sessions, me being in Michigan.

    • Hi Feroz, I’m very sorry I missed you at the event. You’re not the only one who had this problem and I should have done a better job of organizing a reader gathering at the event ahead of time. A few people reached out to me via social media and I was able to meet them, but I know not everyone has my Twitter handle. Again, I should have made myself more reachable and I really feel bad to have disappointed some readers.

  9. Absolutely!! And Fremont would be great!

  10. Great idea, Castro Valley in the East Bay would be awesome!

  11. If you’re ever in Atlanta or Nashville I’d love to do a meet-up over here!

  12. I’m in! The Berkeley meet up was truly enjoyable & insightful. I live in Fremont, so I don’t mind meeting in my area or driving up to Berkeley again. I have a friend or two who will be tagging along. Donations or volunteering are a wonderful idea to give back to this hobby that has been immensely generous to us. Thanks so much again Ariana for planning this one out.

  13. I’m in for sac/davis area. I really enjoyed the Berkeley meetup and would love to do it again.

    Making a donation is a great idea. If we’re getting all these free trips from the banks and their credit cards, then the least we could do is share the bounty by taking from the rich and giving to the poor!

  14. Down! Speaking of, – meet up in SOCal would be great too! 😀

  15. Ariana
    Would like to attend. I live in SanJose, so a Freemont mtg would be good. Live 1/2 time in Mexico, return to SJ 1/12 to 1/21/2017. Could contribute $25 to charity. Good luck.
    Bob Dailey

  16. Sacramento/Davis would be great.

  17. Ariana, great idea. Count me in. Need help with anything?

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