Update #2: Julie Brewington has a very nice summary and photos from the MD CAN conference, check it out here at Right Coast Conservative.
Update: As I mentioned below, the only reporter I saw all day was from the Annapolis Patch. Click here for the story filed by reporter Cory Galliher.
Thanks so much to all of you who traveled in nasty weather to Annapolis yesterday for the Inaugural Maryland Conservative Action Network Conference. I’m trying to find the right word to describe the conference other than it was wild. We got slammed! Going into the conference on Friday we had about 180 registrants (80 above what our earlier goal had been). We ultimately had around 215! That number is based, not on sorting out registrations this morning (that’s going to take all week), but on the fact that the hotel did a fantastic job of finding more food in the kitchen to bring the boxed lunch numbers up to 215!
Thanks to all of the last minute helpers we had at the registration tables to get everyone checked in!
In addition to all of you, we thank our speakers who were all fabulous and who generously gave their time to be with us yesterday. Some of them have groups they work with, so you might consider helping support those groups as a way of saying thanks. And, by all means, please join their organizations!
As first time conference organizers, we sure learned a lot! I don’t know where to begin with that, but did want to mention that if you were one of the 80 plus people who squeezed into Apostle Claver’s “conversion politics” training session, you should know the hotel said we couldn’t stay in the ballroom but could use the smaller adjoining room which seated 40. Figuring that 40 seats sounded pretty good, that’s what we did. We were wrong.
One thing we were right about was advance planning to keep the conference moving forward and on schedule. I didn’t notice exactly when we finished but it must have been about 4:35. So Cathy and Tonya as moderators, planned for and stuck tenaciously to a schedule for the day. Perhaps its unseemly for me to suggest it, but thanks to Cathy and Tonya for the well-oiled moderation of the conference!
Judging by the large number of attendees visiting the vendor booths, we hope that you all found lots of new members and supporters.
We look forward to reviewing the questionnaires many of you filled out to figure out what our next step might be. MD CAN to date is simply three women putting on a conference. We will keep you all posted on the results of your suggestions from the questionnaires. If you took one home, please take time to fill it out and send it to our Post Office box address.
Our fervent hope was for us all to meet each other, learn from speakers and each other, and go away with new networking friends. I think we accomplished that, although we wish we had met more of you!
The networking list that we told you about on several occasions will now take a little time to organize (after we had a zillion new registrations). At check-in we asked if you would be willing to make available to fellow attendees your name, county and e-mail address. If you said ‘yes,’ we will soon be pulling that information together and only those who said ‘yes,’ will be receiving the list. If it’s a ‘no’ we completely understand. If you indicated neither, you will get an e-mail from me asking again. I noted that there were two counties trying to pull their fellow attendees together at the afternoon break to meet each other—one was the much larger Montgomery County contingent and the other the Prince George’s group.
Until we can get a real bulletin board website going (the only thing we’ve discussed for MD CAN to do moving forward), please visit this blog for more updates on the conference.
An afterthought: As far as I know only one reporter attended this large gathering of Maryland conservatives, and that was a reporter from the Annapolis Patch. So, if you see any coverage, send it my way. It’s typical that the mainstream media in Maryland is not covering this story, but as someone said, it’s o.k. if they underestimate us right now.