BAcon 2014 – Day 1 Start of the Conversation

A conference named BAcon? Well, you just know it has to be good! Actually, it is GREAT!

BAcon stands for the BoardingArea conference and is the time when Randy Petersen and his House of Miles brings together the bloggers that make up BoardingArea (BA) and the new Prior2Boarding (P2B).


This year’s conference is the second BAcon event. Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay is where the BAcon has been sizzling the past few days. Last year’s very first BAcon Conference was hosted in Randy Petersen’s hometown of Colorado Springs, Colorado. BAcon sightings from our first event were recapped here: Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3. This year’s social media hashtag is #BAcon14.

It was exciting to be a part of a growing BoardingArea community this year with many BA and P2B bloggers joining in from around the world.

Randy brought us together to generously give us the knowledge, the tools and the inspiration to better our craft of writing about travel. There are so many aspects to the business of travel writing, that Randy’s motto of “This is just the beginning of the conversation” is so appropriate.

While this conference’s attendance isn’t open to a general travel audience, you, as a reader of Pearls of Travel Wisdom and BoardingArea, were there in spirit as we all focused on how better to serve YOU.

Here are a few behind the scenes events to share the experience with you:

Gary Leff (View from the Wing), along with other bloggers, caught Randy off-guard during his Welcome talk by adding in an ad-hoc agenda item – a Happy Birthday tribute to Randy. While the number of attendees might have rivaled the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, our voices didn’t quite measure up. Nonetheless, the Happy Birthday sung to Randy was certainly very sincere from every one of us. Randy is now figuring out how to get his present (a new saddle) to fit in the carry-on sizer for his flight home. If it wasn’t for the strict union rules in Vegas, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see a horse paraded into the conference room to sport the new saddle.


After that, it was serious time for learning, the real reason we traveled from different parts of the world to be at BAcon. Our first session was a media roundtable with Scott Mayerowitz (AP), Ben Mutzabaugh (USAToday), and Tyler Dikman (LoungeBuddy).


This was followed by an excellent panel discussion led by Anthony Black and Michael Pool (Delta Air Lines) as well as Michael Marino (Caesars TotalRewards). An amazing line-up of experts, all generously sharing ways we can improve our craft and work together.

BAcon days are very long though all good travelers know how to make time for some fun, too. Our evening social hour, sponsored by GoGo Inflight, gave us much appreciated time to interact with other bloggers, especially the newer ones whom we had not met last year.

Just for fun, GoGo threw in another thrill. For all who were interested, GoGo invited each of us to enjoy the new High Roller, the world’s tallest observation Ferris wheel. It is a must-see if you enjoy looking out over the Las Vegas Strip from 550 feet up.


We begin early, we end late, but everything in between is non-stop. We spend the day working diligently to become better bloggers because in the end, this is about our readers, not us. Randy and his team make a huge commitment to help each and every one of us build our brands, better our skills and serve us.

My goal is to do the same for you. How can I better help you be a productive, safe and confident traveler?

This is just the start of the conversation.

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