The Heartland Conference, Day 1, in pictures


So after a two-hour car ride (Portland, Maine, to Boston), a two and a half hour plane ride (from Boston to Chicago), a 45-minute plane ride (Chicago to Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and an hour car ride (from Cedar Rapids to Waterloo), Rick Rector, Jo-Ellen Reed and I finally arrived at The Heartland Conference at about 5 p.m. today. Tonight's activity: a hog roast. Despite overcast skies and a sprinkle or two, the crowd was thick (VGM officials say attendance at this year's conference is up 20 percent). Here are a few photos from the event:

food1.) Food. Selections from the evening's menu.doughnuts2

2.) More food. There was a van on the premises making homemade mini-doughnuts.bill-klein1

3.) Key note speaker Bill Klein of TLC's "The Little Couple" fame signs autographs for carnival-game21attendees.

4.) Users First Alliance raised money with several carnival games.suicide-bidding

5.) Numerous attendees donned "suicide bidding" hats.john-deere

6.) Our ride home (just kidding).

Liz Beaulieu


I am so hungry right now and looking at that first picture made me drool. They are taking good care of you all at this conference!!!