This years gathering was timed perfectly for me because our benefits year at work goes from July 1st to Jume 30th so I was able to take two weeks off using half my time from last year and half my time from this year. I won't be able to do that for next years gathering. Plus I gave up several other things to go this year because it was so close and I didn't think I would get another chance to meet everybody, even if I was sick and not up for socializing as much as I'd hoped for.
I gave up going to NY Comic Con because I couldn't afford both. And just so you all know, that meant giving up the chance to meet Jared Padalecki IN PERSON, among others.
There are two other events I would love to be able to attend next year, TAM8 and San Diego Comic Con. Both of these will cost me next year but I am finally in a place career-wise where, if I want to do these things, I can afford to, but likely only one of them. And both would preclude my attending the New Orleans Gathering if I can not split my vacation time like I did this year.
Going to TAM has been a dream of mine for the past 5 years. I would absolutely love to meet James Randi in person before his health declines too much more. And to spend even a few days among like minded people as myself would be a great thing. If I lived closer to NY City or Boston I might feel differently but being an hour away from Manhattan and 4 hours from Boston, going to the social events is just too difficult for me, especially when they are held on Wednesday nights.
San Diego Comic Con is another one of those events I need to get one of these days. NY Comic Con is cool, don't get me wrong, but SDCC is THE event. Almost everyone I follow and chat with on Twitter is there now and many of them were at TAM7 just two weeks ago.
So, really, it's all going to come down to cost. I am going to go to NY Comic Con in 2010 come hell or high water. I can not make a decision on any of the others until I have all of the costs. TAM8, if I go, I know will rum me a couple of grand because it is held in Vegas. The up side is that it is held in Vegas. Never been there before. SDCC, again, probably half that plus I've never been out to the west coast before.
I do have at least six months before I have to make any serious decisions about all of this.