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Idea - How About A gluten-free Convention
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90 posts in this topic

The only placed in the States I have been is Buffalo, Cincinnati, Canton (stopped in at the Baseball Hall of Fame when we went to see the Reds play) and down to Florida (flew).

Karen

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Maybe we should think about (at least the first year) only doing a 1-day convention. Then, for those of you who have never been in the area, we could do a sightseeing thing on Sunday... That could be really cool. A 2-day thing may be a little hard to plan with only a year's planning... I know it sounds so far away, but there's SO much to do. What do you guys think?

And Rusla... Yeah, I think you can find some of that in DC... :)

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Maybe we should think about (at least the first year) only doing a 1-day convention. Then, for those of you who have never been in the area, we could do a sightseeing thing on Sunday... That could be really cool. A 2-day thing may be a little hard to plan with only a year's planning... I know it sounds so far away, but there's SO much to do. What do you guys think?

And Rusla... Yeah, I think you can find some of that in DC... :)

I think if we extend the convention on Saturday night to 9 pm or have a dinner after it on Saturday and give out prizes then too. I guess it depends on what we have lined for the day. The sight seeing thing would be good. I could get pictures of derelicts at the White House etc..

Then for future years it could be held in different places. In both Canada and the US. We could have the cruise or whatever for those who want that or they can do the other one like this one or they can do both.

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I totally agree that we should have it at a different place every year. That would be so cool to get to travel around the continent with my fellow celiacs. That would also be something really cool to look forward to every year.

I just had another idea... Maybe we could get the celiac bears to make an appearance for the kids??? I don't know how far out they're booked, but it would be really neat for the kids. http://www.westchesterceliacs.org/bears/bears.php

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I totally agree that we should have it at a different place every year. That would be so cool to get to travel around the continent with my fellow celiacs. That would also be something really cool to look forward to every year.

I just had another idea... Maybe we could get the celiac bears to make an appearance for the kids??? I don't know how far out they're booked, but it would be really neat for the kids. http://www.westchesterceliacs.org/bears/bears.php

That would be cool for those who bring kids. I would also need a count on kids and babies if anyone bring them also. As I have gluten-free products for kids, babies, animals, adults...etc.

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Just a thought... If the University of Maryland isn't interested, it may be easiest to do it in New York City. There are a ton of gluten free restaurants in NYC, it's culturally rich, it's very easy to get from place to place without owning (or in our case, bringing) a car, and there are TONS of hotels, convention centers, etc...

Wow, Rusla, that's awesome!!! And on the note of keeping count, we will DEFINITELY need to do something in the way of tickets, even if they're free, so that we can be sure that we don't exceed occupancy regulations. Plus, we don't want 6,000 people to show up if we only have a 1,000 person occupancy limit if you know what I mean... Perhaps we should have a pre-show sign up and then the rest is first come first serve??? Just a thought...

For those of you who are interested in forming a committee, let's meet somewhere online AFTER tax day (April 15th) and start to really work on this. We've all had such great ideas, I think we really need to start working on the formation. Anyone who is interested, send me a PM.

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Wow, Rusla, that's awesome!!! And on the note of keeping count, we will DEFINITELY need to do something in the way of tickets, even if they're free, so that we can be sure that we don't exceed occupancy regulations. Plus, we don't want 6,000 people to show up if we only have a 1,000 person occupancy limit if you know what I mean... Perhaps we should have a pre-show sign up and then the rest is first come first serve??? Just a thought...

You could do convention badges, and they can be pre-printed from what people provide when they register online (ie: names, dx date). Otherwise, people can buy registrations on-site if they don't preregister. I think there should be a fee, even if it's nominal, so that when people register you can be sure they'll actually go. If the convention provides lunch, the registration can cover that and the cost of making the badges, etc. Just a thought...

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Just one consideration on NYC, I hear from many it is the most expensive place in the US. So maybe we can get a deal from whichever hotel we are at and maybe they would throw in a convention room. On a good note, I haven't been there either and I am sure there be many a derelict there and derelict old buildings.

Let's get Donald Trump to help us :lol:

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Rusla, yup, you're right... It is god awful expensive in New York, but I found lots of 2 and 3 star hotels for under $75 a night. That's not too bad... Didn't Trump file bankrupcy or something? :rolleyes:

I'm hoping that the U of M will bite since they have such a good research center. I really think it would be neat to have the first one there. I imagine that's probably not a cheap area to stay in either though... I just had a thought though... Maybe Friday night we could find a place where we could cook a dinner??? I'm not sure how that would work, but I'm sure we could do huge pots of chicken or beef, mashed potatoes, vegetables, etc... It wouldn't be very exciting, but it would make for a really nice meet and greet. We could even have two seperate mashed potatoes, one made with milk and one made with rice milk or dairy free milk or whatever's good. I'm not casein free so I don't know too much about that stuff. Maybe some of the contestants from the cooking contest could help???

I think ChelsE had a good idea with pre-registration. We could print out name tags or ID badges for each person that pre-registers including their name, their number (for a door prize drawing and to help keep count), and maybe where they're from. Then the people that pre-register are gauranteed entrance. I think we should keep pre-registration to under $20, hopefully like $5-$10, but let's here what everyone thinks about that. I was kind of hoping that we could pull together enough vendors with samples that we wouldn't need to do an official lunch. Maybe we could find a few restaurants in the area to sponsor us with very low cost gluten free lunches and dinners? Everyone could recieve a coupon when they come in and then if they want to leave and have lunch, they could use their coupon. I dunno...

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Rusla- You rock!!!! You are too darn funny. And your business sounds really cool (the Pagan part and all the other stuff).

I'm in on the planning committee.....I did email U of M today but haven't heard back yet. Tthey are hosting theirs at the Marriot in Baltimore (their anniversary). I've been there- it's a nice hotel and could accomodate quite a few of us. Baltimore is a cool city too. NYC would be great as there are so many restaurants that have gluten-free menus BUT it really is that expensive. Baltimore would be cheaper (it's also smaller and more manageable).

Oh- as far as moving the topic to "Coping With" I could do that- it seems appropriate. Do you want me to move the whole thread or do you want to start a new one like "how many people would be interested in?" I think when people log onto the site, most go to "View New Posts" so they will see how long this one is getting anyway. Let me know what you think.

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Hey Bev, I am definitely going to consider going to Baltimore for the "big weekend"..... even if I can only make it for just Friday or just Saturday. Let me know if you are interested!

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Laura- Really??? That's awesome! Email me via the board and we can talk. I am up in NH, but I have a plane ticket that has to be used by June so I'm thinking maybe heading down Friday and Saturday and coming back Sunday. Let's chat!

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I'm hoping that the U of M will bite since they have such a good research center. I really think it would be neat to have the first one there. I imagine that's probably not a cheap area to stay in either though... I just had a thought though... Maybe Friday night we could find a place where we could cook a dinner??? I'm not sure how that would work, but I'm sure we could do huge pots of chicken or beef, mashed potatoes, vegetables, etc... It wouldn't be very exciting, but it would make for a really nice meet and greet. We could even have two seperate mashed potatoes, one made with milk and one made with rice milk or dairy free milk or whatever's good. I'm not casein free so I don't know too much about that stuff. Maybe some of the contestants from the cooking contest could help???

We could check to see if there are any local culinary schools willing to help out as far as that goes, maybe even do lessons. Some Whole Foods and other health food stores do cooking classes and have the facilities, maybe we could do something like that?

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Hey, guys! I haven't been on this site too long but I might be able to help you as well... a couple things to note:

1. There is a sort-of conventiony thing happening in Los Angeles next month (May 20th, same day as the San Diego walk, huge bummer because I can't decide which to attend) but they might be good to hook up with and talk to about getting vendors and speakers and things. http://www.celiac.org/newsEvents/conference2006.php is where I found it. I bet the coordinator listed would be willing to share information and give pointers.

2. I graduated from the U. of Maryland Baltimore County, which is a different campus from the one "at Baltimore" but I might be able to help with some info (outdated as it may be). One thing is you will need a car to get around in Baltimore, which is not true of D.C. where you can ride the metro... just thinking perhaps D.C. as a location with a day trip to Baltimore might be another option to consider. Baltimore is also fine, but thought I'd throw it out there. If you're thinking April, that's cherry blossom time, I think!

3. I'm a freelance writer and when it comes to content I can probably jump in, once you've got your thoughts together about what this will be, exactly. The idea of the cooking contest and/or cooking aspect of it is fantastic! Could you get a chef or two who have written gluten-free cookbooks to come and give classes or demonstrations?

I love all the enthusiasm on here! This is awesome! :)

P.S. -- Who is in charge of the shirts on this web site? I might want to talk to them about getting some new designs going... hmm, maybe I'll design them myself and make a cafepress store instead. I know what I'm looking for and I'm not finding it anywhere!

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ChelsE, that is a WONDERFUL idea about culinary schools!!! I love it!!! It would also give us an awesome chance to educate some of them on gluten intolerance and celiac disease. How cool!!! Maybe they would sponsor us.

Berneses, I'm in too. I love organizing. I'm phone-a-phobic though so I don't like to call places if I don't have to. Ugh... I'm willing to donate a website. I'd also be happy desiging a logo (or maybe several of us could work on some design ideas and then e-mail .jpg's back and forth to decide???). I'd also really like to help make the programs (I have Adobe In Design if anyone wants to join me. I think that's compatible with Pagemaker as well). I have experience in marketing, web and logo design, and event organization.

Moonunit, perhaps you'd be interested in writing an article or two for the program? It would be nice if we could have some short articles about celiac disease, coping with celiac disease, and maybe even a few featured celiacs??? I know some of us have really interesting stories. This would be in addition to sponsor advertisements, etc...

Am I on the right track?

I think we should probably start a new thread in "coping with" just asking if people would be interested and asking for volunteers for an organizational comittee.

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Guhlia--Count me in, too. I'm not as computer savvy as you, but anything I can do, I'll be happy to. Go ahead and start a thread--we'll make sure it gets pinned in 'coping with'. Although, 'Gab/Chat" gets a lot of notice, too. Which ever you choose, we'll go with!

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Rusla, yup, you're right... It is god awful expensive in New York, but I found lots of 2 and 3 star hotels for under $75 a night. That's not too bad... Didn't Trump file bankrupcy or something? :rolleyes:

I'm hoping that the U of M will bite since they have such a good research center. I really think it would be neat to have the first one there. I imagine that's probably not a cheap area to stay in either though... I just had a thought though... Maybe Friday night we could find a place where we could cook a dinner??? I'm not sure how that would work, but I'm sure we could do huge pots of chicken or beef, mashed potatoes, vegetables, etc... It wouldn't be very exciting, but it would make for a really nice meet and greet. We could even have two seperate mashed potatoes, one made with milk and one made with rice milk or dairy free milk or whatever's good. I'm not casein free so I don't know too much about that stuff. Maybe some of the contestants from the cooking contest could help???

I think ChelsE had a good idea with pre-registration. We could print out name tags or ID badges for each person that pre-registers including their name, their number (for a door prize drawing and to help keep count), and maybe where they're from. Then the people that pre-register are gauranteed entrance. I think we should keep pre-registration to under $20, hopefully like $5-$10, but let's here what everyone thinks about that. I was kind of hoping that we could pull together enough vendors with samples that we wouldn't need to do an official lunch. Maybe we could find a few restaurants in the area to sponsor us with very low cost gluten free lunches and dinners? Everyone could recieve a coupon when they come in and then if they want to leave and have lunch, they could use their coupon. I dunno...

Advance registration is actually a must. We would have to know how many hotel rooms are needed, how many for lunch if it is provided by the facility etc. We also have to get prices on the site if we can't get it sponsored which would set the registration rate.

Not only that but without pre-registration the sponsor ship of my products, wil make it impossible to get a proper count, which I need to have enough for men, women and any children under 10 who will be there. Any above 10 will be considered an adult in the product line. We would need all the advance counts for other things like t-shirts and brochures etc.

Now in regards to hotels if there is one that is close by that will give a good rate as a "convention site," that would definitely work. We used to get convention or show rates all the time when I was showing cats and dogs and we are not having any of those with us.

$75 a night is not a bad price, I have seen worse prices even where I live.

On Donald Trump, he may have on one of his companies. But let's face the man is making a killing on his tv show and he is still building things.

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I think U of M would be great! I have family (in-laws -- they're great) in Baltimore. I would be game -- if nothing else, Dave could drive me up, drop me off, then come back to get me! Either that, or my son would take me up -- he's really interested in getting us all together. Also, I could take him crabbing -- we found this great place across from the Naval Academy (?). At any rate, it's on a pier that used to be the bridge across. They made a new bridge, and left this one for "crabbers"! Now I know why they sell all those chicken wings in the grocery!

At any rate, count me in! Wherever it is. ESPECIALLY if it's near Beverly -- we could have Maine Lobsters. WoHOO! I still threaten her that I'm coming up there for Lobster!

Let's start making this thing gel. I'm good at begging for free stuff -- now that I'm in the chair, I look even more pitiful (I can't believe I just said that)!!!

LET'S GET TOGETHER, FOLKS!!!!!!!!!

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:) This is soo exciting! I am in N.VA ! Not able to drive very far right now, but will be there! :)
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See, the good thing about us putting one of these things on is that it would be "for the people". It would be more of a Star Wars convention than an Association of Hoity-Toity Doctors convention.

Have them come to US for a change! Instead of a bunch of professors and scientists and people out to make money talking about Celiac for a weekend, it'll be Celiacs themselves!!!

Viva la revolución! :lol:

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I live in Ft Meade, MD which is between Baltimore and Washington DC. I would LOVE to go!!! It sounds like it would be so much fun!

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Viva la revolución! :lol:

I love it!! Guys, we have to do this -- let's get serious and start planning! This is a bunch of pro-active people, we can accomplish anything if we put our minds to it!!!!!

Guhlia -- you are a Gold Mine of talent! Let yourself go wild! I can get bags, T-shirts, whatever, pretty cheap here, I think. I haven't been in touch with my "contacts" for quite awhile -- almost 2 years, but maybe I can get re-established and get a good price! Also, my DH works with a guy whose wife does machine embroidery and is willing to give me a "good price" -- don't know what the "good price" is, but it doesn't hurt to find out!

I'd be willing to compile recipes forwarded to me, then print cookbooks. I'm home all day with NOTHING to do, so I'd jump at the chance to do something like that. I may even be able to get the printing donated through some contacts who owe me favors! (Again, the contacts are old, so they may have forgotten!)

Broncobux, I see you're on here right now . . . you ALWAYS have good ideas -- what do you think?????

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What more could I add? I think this is a superb idea with unlimited possibilities.

I see nothing wrong with having 2-3 meetings at the same time but in different regions. Obviously, I would nominate my home city of Las Vegas for one (the air fare is better here than almost anywhere and the number of gluten-free restaurants make it an easy place to accomodate.

We could also do one in Chicago, Dallas, or Baltimore or Atlanta (one of my favorite cities)

However, we must also not forget our neighbors up North. Our Canadian friends need to be involved in this as they represent a large number of folks on this site as well.

I love the cook-off idea. My idea would be to award prizes in different categories (Breakfast, sandwiches, entrees, gluten-free pasta dishes, gluten-free potato dishes, desserts, snacks, kids food, etc)

It seems most of us are so eager to find more ideas to diversify our diet, we almost need to have people show us easy ways to make great food.

We could have workshops on "Eating Out with Confidence", "celiac disease for Newbies", "The Science of celiac disease- Waht is going on with my body", "Explaining celiac disease to children", "Grocery Shopping with celiac disease".

With every attendee, we could supply them with the latest gluten-free shopping lists, medication lists, gluten-free friendly lists and we could all contribute one recipe to make a celiac disease Cookbook for novices and chefs! (even if its on computer paper and in a 3 ring binder, it is still helpful).

Sounds like a great idea!

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I KNEW you would have good ideas!!!!! Those are GREAT! I think that supplying everyone with all the things you mentioned is a fantastic idea . . . hadn't thought about Las Vegas, either . . you're right, the air fare is CHEAP! Not to mention that I've never been there . . . . . . B)

Thanks for your ideas -- like I said, I KNEW you would have good ones!

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