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Hi, The Next Hope was my second HOPE conference. I went to The Last Hope also. I didn't get to mingle with people at the The Last Hope because I took the train back and forth each day from Brewster NY and I hardly even had time to attend talks. So for The Next Hope I stayed in the Hotel Pennsylvania so I would have enough time to enjoy the conference. But I spent all my time attending talks and I never went to the Mezzanine floor and talked to anyone. Are there any people in CT? I notice there is a 2600 meeting at Panera in Newington, does anyone go?
I also lost a lot of time/energy commuting to/from the conference each day, wishing I could have justified paying to stay in the hotel. But I skipped a lot of talks so that I could spend more time mingling, and it was great. I would say the environment on the 2nd floor was what made the conference amazing, to me - such a ripe environment for all of us to do things together. (The extra room for small, last-minute talks was also great!)
There should be more things like this. I'm going to have to start attending 2600 meetings.
This was the 3rd hope for me. Hope Number Six I spent more time in Tourist mode because I haven't been to NYC in a long time. The Last Hope I spent a little more time at the con but stayed mainly for the talks that interested me. This past Hope I Didn't attend any talks aside from the closing ceremonies. I was more involved in helping out with Radio Statler, which was actually a really cool experience. I did spend a good mix of my time around the Mezzanine area as well and took in the whole Con experience.
All in all it was by far my most enjoyable con.
I also commuted in. I rolled in from Stamford, CT on Metro North, plus I volunteered. One nice thing about being local is being available to help set-up on Thursday. I did this, plus helped out during the talks for the last two HOPEs. It's amazing to see this thing come together and work so well for the weekend!