KC Home Dad

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Convention news and notes - Arthur Bryant's

For our final get together, we boarded a bus to Arthur Bryant's. The KCDADs spent most of the ride there debating who had the best BBQ in town; frankly a never-ending debate with so many great options in the city. Unfortunately the banquet room there was WAY too small for 50 men and it was so hot and stuffy I began to wonder if I was going to be on the pit soon (someone said it was 87 in there!). Fortunately the Convention staff bought us several pitchers of beer that really hit the spot. The food was good, and there was lots of great praise from the out-of-towners. Too bad they don't know how good BBQ can be in Kansas City because there is much better out there. I really enjoyed talking to more guys I hadn't met yet - it is strange in such a small group to have not yet met everyone.

We needed a giant shoe horn to get out of there and it couldn't have come any sooner. Did I say I was baking in there! On the return trip a couple of us KCDADs decided we will lobby for Gates (another old-time KC BBQ tradition) or Oklahoma Joe's for next year. Back at the hotel some of us went to watch Texas-K-State or do more bar-hoping on the Plaza while the rest of us went back to the Hospitality Suite to drink more beer and discuss the convention some more.

CHEER: Dinner at a BBQ restaraunt - a requirement for any visit to KC
JEER: Gates or Oklahoma Joes or Smokin' Gun are better


Convention news and notes - Final Session

The Final Session of the day brought an exciting announcement and great discussion. Clearly, Kansas City was a HUGE hit as a location and as an educational experience.

Mike from the D.C. Dads group made the big announcement that we now had 501 C3 status as a non-profit organization which will make it easier to have more sponsors for future conventions. However, several things were left up in the air. For example, what is our name? The At-home Dad Convention is not officially a part of this 501 C3 nor is the new website www.athomedad.org. Hopefully this will all get sorted out in the coming months.

After this exciting news, we discussed the good and the not-so-good of the convention. There was only praise for the location. Everyone loved the short 5 minute commute from the hotel to the convention at UMKC as opposed to Chicago where the commute was an hour one way and 2 hours the other. Everyone loved the Meet & Greet at the Boulevard Brewery as well as the BBQ at Arthur Bryant's. UMKC was the perfect size for the convention and all the amenities were perfect. The only real concern was that more people from the midwest rather than the coasts were represented at this convention and that it made sense to move the convention to different locations from year to year. I agreed with that, however, I felt we should decide to have it in KC next year (which we did) and also decide, right then, where to have it next year or at least put the word out for "bids" from other At Home Dad groups. While Kansas City is centrally located, it is clear that it is better to have it closer to other Dads in other locations in future years so they have more of an opportunity to attend. That being said, any other location MUST have hotel and convention facilities that are close together with low travel and hotel fees along with a strong, active At Home Dad group. The location must also be decided as far in advance as possible - most conventions have these booked 3 and 4 years out.

After deciding that the convention would be in Kansas City next November (see more at www.athomedadconvention.com), we moved on to other details. Some felt that we all should have gone to dinner together after the Meet & Greet at Boulevard and that we should do that next year. I didn't agree with that because Friday night would be the only time to search out your own "taste of Kansas City" but I was in the minority. Definitely we need to have TWO sessions of Open Forum Discussion about our kids next year. Also, most felt that some presenters did not understand us, their audience, very well and would be helped by a more thorough explanation of what we are all about.

After introducing all the media representatives in attendance (which, as I said before, should have been at the beginning of the day) there was a little time for sharing hilarious anecdotes about our kids before we all caught rides back to the hotel to relax before Arthur Bryant's.

CHEER: We are now officially a national non-profit organization
JEER: My wife was right (and that is never good to admit) - men aren't that organized (but we manage don't we!)