So the day of the conference arrives, and I’m up fairly early all things considered.  My room is less than 2 minutes from the conference, so I can nip in and out as I please.  It also meant I could keep the rest of the site staff updated on what was happening.  One of the exhibitors was a company called VerifiedByCam.  It’s a great idea where a person makes a video to prove their identity as a way to stop scammers from joining sites.  Simple and effective and I wish I’d thought of it.  I also spent an hour chatting with Steven Baker of the FTC about romance scams.  One alarming fact he shared with me is that the number of people in Australia who take their own life after being the victim of a romance scam is higher than the number of people murdered.  That really shook me up!

Lunch was great.  That’s all I really have to say about that.  In case you’re interested, I had the salad, potato salad and chicken.  I managed to talk to a few people during that too, explaining what we are and what we do.  People were genuinely interested, but seemed confused when I explained we don’t do this for profit.

2pm came, and it was time for me to be on my first panel.  To be honest, most of the questions were for the legal guys, but I did manage to answer a few questions.  Upon leaving the stage I was approached about writing a blog entry by Charly Lester of timeout.  After that, more mingling, more getting our name out and more trips back to the hotel room to keep everyone up to date on events.

The iDate awards ceremony was that night.  Tickets were over 100 bucks, but Nick from Scamalytics offered to pay for one for me.  It was a kind offer, but I refused.  If you’re interested, you can see the winners at http://www.idateawards.com/nominations-las-vegas-2015.php  I’m jumping ahead of myself a little here, but the next day I was told by Marc that he’d quite happily have gotten me in for free if I’d wanted to go.

So finally the Pinball Hall of Fame.  The conference laid on free buses there, and had free drinks.  Now, I love pinball.  I suck at it, but I love it.  We drank, played pinball, chatted, laughed and had a great time.  In fact, one person who shall remain nameless (not me!) practically had to be dragged out he was having so much fun reliving his youth.  Midnight struck, and it was my birthday.  I managed to celebrate my birthday in the Pinball Hall of Fame.  I also spent a long time discussing the castles in Wales with the owner.  After that, a few of us went back to the bar for a nightcap and a meal.  Another burger for me.  Are you sensing a trend here?  2am saw me off to bed, the first day over.

In the next entry, we’ll discuss the second day of the conference.