I can’t believe it has been a month since the International Downtown Association Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Never having been to Texas before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I certainly didn’t expect to like it as much as I did.
The night before the conference, I arrived in San Antonio and stayed at the Hotel Gibbs, a lovely historic building almost directly across the street from The Alamo.
Unfortunately, I was so busy at the conference all day both Thursday and Friday, that I didn’t get to take the free tour and so, like Pee Wee Herman, I never got to see the basement. However, on my last night in San Antonio (the weekend before Halloween), I did get to witness goblins and ghouls trick or treating in the streets. As I sat in the hotel bar watching all the people on the street, the local bartender told me ghost stories of the area where I was staying. I may or may not have seen some actual ghosts pass by.
The conference was held at another hotel down the street, which gave me several opportunities to explore (ie. get lost on) the streets and Riverwalk. The Riverwalk is really amazing and beautiful and maybe the worst place to try to use Google Maps. I ended up going back to the old fashioned way of finding my way around: reading street signs and asking strangers for directions. One thing that struck me was how safe I felt, even on my last night there, when people were dressed in scary costumes and carrying fake weapons.
At the conference, I was joined by Ashley Roberts from New Mexico, where we had our booth in the exhibition hall representing Three21 Innovations, consisting of GatherBoard, Next Exit History, and Your Event.
It was here that we spent most of our time, talking to conference attendees and other exhibitors. I met many people representing companies and cities throughout the country and particularly the Northwest. Our booth was located right across from the buffet tables where there was a nearly constant flow of snacks, drinks and meals. Because of this, and our inviting little cocktail tables, we had many visitors.
Directly across from our booth was Ike, the interactive smart city kiosk, as seen in the following photo.
We also enjoyed spending time with and learning about the other exhibitors, such as The Portland Loo representatives, who had a plethora bathroom jokes.
I returned to Missoula having made some new connections, and feeling like I had learned quite a bit.