Last year I heard about a brand new event happening very close to me that sounded amazing. It was called Macstock, a conference and expo meant for friends and fans that would have normally gone to MacWorld, had it not been shut down. I never got the chance to go to MacWorld, but since the event was so close by, I signed my wife Andi and I up immediately.
Having never participated in an event like this before, we honestly didn’t know quite what to expect. What we found though was a wonderful community of people, joined by their love of Apple devices and learning more about them. We met so many wonderful people and had such a great time, deciding to purchase our tickets for this year’s event was a no brainer.
Macstock 2016 is shaping up to be even bigger and better than last year with 2 full days of sessions! Below are 5 reasons why you should come and get out out of the house to meet your fellow Apple aficionados in July.
I always love the face of someone after I show them a new trick, feature or keyboard shortcut on their computer or device. It’s like a whole new world has opened to them. It’s good to learn new things. This year’s Macstock schedule has a TON of great sessions lined up. Everything from Omnifocus and Mac Automation to Podcasting on iOS. One of my favorite sessions from last year has already been scheduled up for 2016 as well. The Speaker Round Table Q&A had all the event’s speakers up on stage, answering various questions in a fun, informal setting. No matter what your skill level, you are sure to learn something new.
Last year, Andi and I walked into the door not really knowing anyone. We were shy at first, but as the event got started we instantly felt very much at ease. Every person at Macstock was there to learn about Apple stuff and meet other people. Everyone we talked to was so nice. You already have a lot in common with the other attendees and speakers. Take a chance and introduce yourself. Here, you are among friends.
We all spend a lot of time looking at our iDevices, but Macstock is a chance to get out, face to face, and meet others with similar interests. It may be uncomfortable at first, but attend this event and talk to just one person you’ve never met before. I guarantee you’ll be glad you did. All growth in your life happens outside of your comfort zone.
While Chicago does get a decent event or two from time to time, most of the great tech events happen out west. We FINALLY have an awesome Mac event right here in our own backyard! I’m lucky to live just an hour south of the event. Even if your drive is a bit longer, that’s just one more podcast worth of information you can devour on your way there. It’s a win-win!
If you are a fan of the movie Groundhog Day like me, you can visit many of the notable landmarks from the movie very close to where the event is being held. Last year Mike Potter, Macstock’s founding father, had even stopped and got us a calendar and brochure showing us the different landmarks to go see from the movie. Now that is personal attention.
Besides what you can do in the immediate area around the event, Chicago is still only an hour and thirty minutes away with lots of fun things to do. My favorite is the Museum of Science and Industry, which in fact currently has a Lego “Brick by Brick” exhibit you are sure to enjoy.
So come for just the conference, or stay to experience all that the Chicagoland area has to offer!
Last year Barry Fulk and his amazing wife opened up their home to all us Mac geeks for the first ever Midwest Mac BBQ. It was a bit of a drive from the conference but definitely worth the wait. We met many new friends, podcasters Allison & Steve Sheridan of NosillaCast, Chuck Joiner from MacVoices with his lovely wife, and many more. It was a great time, even with the rain pouring down on us. We huddled under the tents and kept right on talking and enjoying each others company.
This year, the BBQ will be held at the exact same location as Macstock so there is absolutely no reason to miss it! Apple talk along side grilled meats makes for a very good evening.
As more and more things move online, events like this are even harder to find. Attending Macstock shows the community that there IS still a market out there for these events and that all the hard work that is required to make them happen is not only worthwhile, but essential to the community. Mike & Barry have spent many months working tirelessly to make this year’s event a success. Speakers are attending from all over the country after prepping their presentations to teach us new and exciting things. All that is left is for us to register, listen, eat and enjoy!
I want to thank Mike Potter, Barry Fulk and all the speakers and volunteers for creating and participating in such a great event! July 16th and 17th is not far off! Head to the Macstock Conference & Expo web site RIGHT NOW and get your golden ticket!