Recipe for an Active Rain Celebration...Chicago Land Style!

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate

recipie for a celebrationFirst of All Gather Together all the Necessary Ingredients:

1Terrific Italian Style Restauraunt In Oak Brook, Illinois...just outside of Chicago

25 or so - Active Rain Bloggers from:  Iowa, Michigan, Indiana & Illiniois...Yeah Midwest!!!

2- Special Active Rain Founders:  Matt & Lydia Heaton

2- Great Organizers & Hosts:  Craig Schiller & Eileen Landau

Tons- of Warm Smiles and Great Conversation

MIX TOGETHER WITH  LOTS OF FUN and Voila...

You Have what we experienced in Chicago Today!

 

Active Rain BirthdayThis was a wonderful opportunity to meet people and get to know them in real life...fleshing out the blogging experience so to speak.Active Rain Celebration  Maggianos Restaurant in Oak Brook, Illinois provided a warmly intimate setting for this Midwest Connection of the Active Rain Celebration. 

 

Lydia Heaton, hostess extraordinaire arrived with name tags & the birthday cake!  She even sent us home with extra food! 

 

 

 Inquiring minds enjoyed talking to Matt to see if we could get revelations  for the future!  Zillow blogger & Representative, Sara Bonert also fielded many questions. It was good to be able to talk to Sara about some of the innovations Zillow is continuing to work on. 

I met Justyna, a real estate agent from the Chicago area and also Laurie Dunnmire,a Realtor and stager.  Lucky Lang talked about the incredible MEME blog that he put together. Enjoyed meeting Julie Firenzi (Project Blogger) & her husband.  Craig Schiller (Stager & Founder of Stage if Forward) stimulated my mind and imagination. As much as I enjoy his blogs...it was great to share ideas in person. It was also a lot of fun to talk with Eileen Landau.   Time flew by very quickly!

 Today, was a wonderful demonstration of what makes the Active Rain experience so empowering.

I express special thanks my husband, Clement who drove 3 hours to this gathering  and made it possible for me to attend.  Several other spouses also showed up to support their Blogging Partners!

Active Rain- Chicago Birthday Celebration

Conversation naturally turned towards the real estate industry as everyone compared notes.  More than once, blogs that had been written were referred to. 

TO COMPLETE THE RECIPE...

BAKE FOR 12 MONTHS, COOL DOWN & LOOK at the MIX AGAIN....

According to Matt Heaton he predicts:

Active Rain will continue to grow  at it's current steady rate and have a total of 100,000 MEMBERS in a Year!

AND

GROUPS to be increasingly important in maintaining Community!

Happy Birthday Active Rain and May You ENJOY many, many more!  Thank You for providing a Generous Platform to share and to grow professionally

 Copyright 2007 Audu Real Estate  All rights reserved

Links to other posts about the Chicago Active Rain B-Day Celebration...

Active Rain Birthday Party Chicago Style...by Lucky Lang

How Does Active Rain Make Money?  Chicago Wanted Answers...by Craig Schiller

Happy Birthday Active Rain...by Eileen Landau

Thank You Active Rain for the Chicago Birthday Party...by Sara Bonert

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Rainer
122,017
Christy Powers
Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners - Pooler, GA
Pooler, Savannah Real Estate Agent
It looks like another wonderful Active Rain Brithday! Congrats to all!
Jun 17, 2007 08:12 PM #25
Rainer
30,287
joe kelly
RE/MAX Professionals Select - Naperville, IL
I am in the Chicago area, I wish I was there at AR birthday party. Looks like you all had lots of fun!!!
Jun 17, 2007 09:59 PM #26
Rainer
128,820
Therese VanderMeer
Midwest Properties of MI - Grand Rapids - Jenison, MI
Realtor-Greater Grand Rapids, MI area communities
Lola:  Looks like great fun for all!  Thanks for sharing.
Jun 17, 2007 10:12 PM #27
Rainmaker
210,989
Lucky Lang
Mel Foster Co. - Davenport, IA
SRES, Davenport, Iowa Real Estate

Lola,

I finally got my post of this event done:

Active Rain Birthday Party Chicago Style!!!

The link to your post here is in it!

Take care,

Lucky :)

Jun 17, 2007 10:56 PM #28
Rainmaker
1,518,176
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate
You had a great mix of attendees -- AR Team. agents, stagers, Zillow, and people from three or four states! Thanks for sharing the pics!
Jun 17, 2007 11:05 PM #29
Rainmaker
222,606
Rick & Ines - Miami Beach Real Estate
Majestic Properties - Miami Beach, FL
Lola - way to document the event!  I'm so glad you put this together and so glad you had fun.
Jun 18, 2007 10:38 AM #30
Rainmaker
376,112
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
Thanks to all who have stopped by to comment!  I took the day off on Sunday and enjoyed some rest and a wonderful Father's Day.  It has been fun to read all the comments this Monday.  It has been pointed out the RECIPIE should be spelt RECIPE!  Ooops!  This is what happens when you post late at night and forget to run your spell checker just one more time...I'm going to leave the picture up with the headline (Recipie for a Celebration) as a reminder that our little imperfections are what make us most interesting at times!
Jun 18, 2007 01:41 PM #31
Rainmaker
376,112
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Cyndee,  Thanks for your comment!  We did enjoy a wonderful Father's Day! My 2 teenagers put together quite a spread to honor & Celebrate a great dad!

Michael, it was a lot of fun!  Try to get to one of these if you have opportunity!

Hi Lucky, Just read your post too.  It was good to meet you and your wife.  It turned out to be a very long day for us as we hit some traffic heading out, but I decided to post that night because I knew I would not be touching a computer again until Monday!  For this post, I used Printshop to create the graphics.

Jun 18, 2007 01:49 PM #32
Rainmaker
376,112
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Craig, Great Food, Great Location & Great Company...all the necessary ingredients for a swell event!  And...all with folks with whom we were meeting face to face for the first time!  Amazing!  Thanks for sharing some really helpful insights about blogging & groups...I'm still processing. :)

Maureen,  I'm glad that I went.  It was an intriguing & interesting event on many levels & also fun to boot!  I'd love to meet you at an event like this if we ever had another one for the Midwest. 

Ann, The Florida event is going to be Terrific...I just know it!  Well, perhaps next time you'll have an opportunity to go.  I'd love to meet you too as I've read several of your blog posts.  Thanks for commenting.

Jun 18, 2007 01:56 PM #33
Rainmaker
376,112
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Hi Bryant,  I knew that if I didn't post...it wasn't going to happen until late Monday...stale news you know.  I felt like a bonafide reporter! :)  Hope you had a Terrific Father's Day!

Susan, if you you can get to one of these...DO GO!

Hi TLW, It is Amazing...the Friendships!  Here we are...many meeting for the first time and there are instant connections.  Conversation is not stilted, but engages right away.  If this is even just a small part of what is happening when members of the public connect with a blogger on Active Rain...then this is far more powerful that I think most of us ever imagined!  Thanks for the top to post this blog in the Active Rain Gatherings group. 

 

Jun 18, 2007 02:02 PM #34
Rainmaker
376,112
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Carol, Thanks for your visit and comment.

Maggie, Almost missed your comment.  Thanks for stopping by.  It would be fun to catch up with you at one of these type of events!  I will let Clement know how much he is appreciated by my fellow bloggers at Active Rain. :)

Hi Julie, It was great to see you!  I wished that we had more opportunity to talk...the time did fly by amazingly quickly.  I have enjoyed reading several of your blog posts and I'm so impressed by how you do it all so well with little kids!  Keep it up.  You're inspiring!

Jun 18, 2007 02:08 PM #35
Rainmaker
376,112
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Hi Gary,  Thanks for stopping by and commenting. 

Gena, You made me a do a double take with your comment! :)  I think you missed the punctuation mark of the period when you were reading.  For the record...Julie Firenzi is NOT married to Craig Schiller.  I met her husband who was along to support her at the event, like mine was to support me.  We all had a great time & were truly grateful to Craig & Eileen for their work in putting this event together.  Hope you'll have an opportunity to attend one of these.

Kelly...read comment to Gena. :)  Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

 

Jun 18, 2007 02:23 PM #36
Rainmaker
376,112
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Dena, I DID hand over the camera at one point, but those pictures didn't come out well and in the one that was usable, I wasn't visible.  Thankfully, Lucky has captured some pictures on his blog.  Thanks for stopping by!

Lori, it was great to meet you everyone else. Events like this give real meaning to the contribution that Active Rain is making in the real estate community.

Matt, It was truly a pleasure to meet you & Lydia in Chicago.  I know that you're as amazed at this phenomenon as many of us are.  Thank you utilizing your creativity & skills to create a place of community which is truly benefiting the real estate industry.  Kudos to you!

Jun 18, 2007 02:44 PM #37
Rainmaker
376,112
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Terri, I can certainly understand...

TLW...we're all waiting to see how Florida tops it off next weekend!! :)

Missy, you would have absolutely enjoyed it!  I would have loved to touch base with you...hopefully, we'll be able to do that soon. :)

Tracy, interesting point..."traditional networking vs. virtual...much more effective."  Very true...have been to many traditional networking events and they are very different than this was. 

 

Jun 18, 2007 03:11 PM #38
Rainmaker
376,112
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Hi Christy, Thanks for your comment

Sorry that you missed this event, Joe.

Long day...but It was a lot of fun, Therese.

Thanks for the link Lucky...I'm going to edit this post to include the other's posts as well.

Hi John, It was a great mix of people and sparked some interesting discussions! 

Hi Ines, Thanks for stopping by and commenting.  Glad you enjoyed the post!

 

Jun 18, 2007 03:28 PM #39
Rainer
91,190
Eileen Landau
BAIRD & WARNER, NAPERVILLE - Naperville, IL
ABR, CRS, e-PRO

Ah Lola,

We had a ball. As Craig commented, "What happens in Oak Brook...ends up on Active Rain!" We enjoyed figuring out a 'cool' place that was easy to get to. And, the food! Yum!

Craig, should put the cake in the freezer and we can bring it out next year when we have our 2nd birthday party. And, yes, the figure of 100,000 that Matt threw out when I asked him where he saw AR in a year, is just mind blowing.

And we were here at the birth!

Jun 18, 2007 05:46 PM #40
Ambassador
1,991,757
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages Connecticut - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
Lola,  looks like all of you had a great time.  The one in New York is at the end of the month and I hope to be able to set aside time to go there.  I am sure that those who are planning that get together will do an equally great job.
Jun 18, 2007 09:30 PM #41
Rainer
45,954
Greg Zaccagni
The Federal Savings Bank - Wheaton, IL
Illinois Mortgage Lender

Lola:

 It was great meeting you on Saturday.  You took some great pictures.

 Greg Zaccagni

Jun 19, 2007 10:14 AM #42
Rainmaker
1,603,351
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Authentic Feng Shui Expert
Lola, what a wonderful post!  Active Rain is coming to NY soon and I can't wait to attend and meet everyone---I'm looking forward to having a wonderful time and meeting many people on AR. 
Jun 21, 2007 08:42 AM #43
Rainmaker
246,193
Gena Riede
Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792 - Sacramento, CA
Real Estate Broker - Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699
Lola, What a great thing. I have to call my friend and tell her that I missed the period! I was so shocked and now you have solved it...it was a period. Amazing the difference a period, makes. Thank you.
Jun 22, 2007 09:51 AM #44
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Rainmaker
376,112

Lola Audu

Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
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