Welcome to Denver!

With every ounce of energy I can muster at 7 a.m., let’s get excited, people! The 2014 NAA Education Conference & Exposition is underway. If you’re not in Denver with the best and brightest in our industry, I hope you feel really bad about yourself. No, not really. But maybe a little.

This year marks my fifth conference, which is to say that I’m pretty much a jaded old woman who has seen and heard everything. Yet here I am, honestly excited for this year’s line-up.

And how could I not be after last night’s conference kick-off? NAA may be celebrating its 75th Anniversary, but our attendees had the energy of 25-year-olds. Seriously, I can’t keep up.

But there’s no rest for the weary. At 9 a.m. Travelocity.com Founder and Thought Leader Terry Jones is presenting on building digital relationships. Fingers crossed the gnome is in attendance.

After a slew of other great breakout sessions, Marty McFly himself will be in the building for the Opening General Session. As I’ll remind myself repeatedly when Michael J. Fox walks on stage, be cool. Just BE COOL.

Once my paparazzi tendencies have subsided—most likely after I’ve been tased—I plan to calmly make my way over to the NAA Exposition Grand Opening. We have a record number of booths and exhibitors, and I guarantee your Fitbit will be working overtime by the time you explore each and every aisle of fantastic supplier partners.

Unfortunately, whatever calories you burn are gonna sail right on back to your hips at tonight’s Opening Party. Or maybe I’m just the only one with impulse control issues. 

With a Festivals of Colorado theme, tonight’s shin dig at the Denver Performing Arts Center is going to include music, art, adult beverages and treats from more than a dozen food trucks—coincidentally, one of my dreams come to life. A mile-high plate of food in the Mile High City—am I right?

So enjoy the first full day of the 2014 NAA Education Conference & Exposition and I’ll see you all tomorrow morning for round two. Just look for the woman wearing an expression that says, “Was that fifth corn dog really necessary?”

Lauren Boston is NAA’s Staff Writer and Manager of Public Relations. Unsurprisingly, she writes a lot—most often for units Magazine and as a weekly blogger for APTly Spoken. She enjoys making people laugh, sharing embarrassing childhood stories and being the (self-proclaimed) Voice of the Apartment Industry. She welcomes feedback, unless it’s negative (in which case, please keep it to yourself).