I ended up requesting the tickets, but wasn't sure if I was actually going to make it.
On the day of the event, traffic was a nightmare and we got there around 1:40, with the event starting at 2. I checked in and got my wristband before I briefly ran into Thuy and Nicole.
On my quest to get the books I needed, I ran into Jessica Brody and then saw Gretchen McNeil. After I purchased my books, I went to hover around by the start of the event area.
It was announced that the wristband color coordinated with the balloon color of the table each person was assigned too. The groups of people would be staying at the table, the authors would be rotating around from table to table.
While waiting for the event to start, I saw Lita and Colleen who work at the BN at The Grove. I started hearing that they event people changed their minds and the people would be the movers, instead of the authors. And then I finally met Alethea!
The event started around 2:20. Everyone was told to go over to the table that matched their wristband. First up was Sarah Skilton and Elizabeth Ross
Each author gave a brief synopsis of their book and then opened it up for everyone. I gave Elizabeth my copy of Belle Epoque and we started a conversation about Paris.
I stood off to the side for a bit, trying to behave and follow the directions of not moving tables until told to. Buuuuuut, I couldn't do it. I took off my wristband and went over to the only other table I was looking for: Stacey Jay and Gretchen McNeil.
They each had someone talking to them and they all left at the same time. I made the joke that I had them all to myself.
I started telling Stacey about how I was trying to stalk her [Me to Gretchen: I don't want your input on this. Gretchen: I will just look over there.] at ALA for an arc of Romeo Redeemed and how Ava ended up getting it for me. And she said, "You're the other Stacee!" I said that I was and she stood up to high five me.
We briefly talked about her new book and how excited she was for it. Then people who followed the rules started coming over.
I stepped over to Gretchen and we started talking about her two weeks off from revisions and topics for the upcoming non-sanctioned SCBWI panel she is planning. All I have to say about Gretchen is that if you haven't met her or read her books, you need to get on it. She is absolutely one of my favorite people.
After a few minutes, there were even more people for both ladies, so I quickly said my goodbyes. I ended up leaving after that.
Overall, it was a clever idea and the execution of it worked for the amount of authors and attendees. I really liked the approach to the speed dating and hope that there will be other events like it!