"To anyone out there who is only thinking/deciding/wondering/dithering about attending this event (TechRepublic Live 2010: The Changing Face of IT - June 30th to July 2, in Louisville, KY).
"We never can tell who will be next, or why. Please rethink your plans, re-arrange your vacations, re-plan your finances and get there, no matter how.
"I, for one, don't want to mourn another TR friend that I didn't meet in real life, but wanted to, desperately. This is OUR community get-together. This is our chance to meet each other, chat in real time, face to face, and yes - hug each other to bits. Last years' Gathering was a total hug fest.
"For anyone not sure what they'll find - take it from me, not one of us is an "online persona." We're all exactly the same in real life as we are on line. It was very refreshing to find that; it also shows how honest people on this site really are.
"Please - take a second look at getting there. If you still can't, then please do me a favour. Take care of yourselves, wrap yourself up in cotton wool or bubble wrap so that nothing can harm you till you CAN get there and we can meet in person.
"We're only here once, and some of us aren't here that long. Let's make the most of a wonderful opportunity to share.
"If this sounds like emotional blackmail - it is. But I think you'll all forgive me for it this time."
This post was taken directly from the discussion thread of the original post about the event. Please send your official RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.