CMEpalooza Flash Mob!!: Bronze Sponsors

As described on the blog earlier in the week, we’re rolling out a new Sponsor event this spring based on the “flash mob” concept. It’s called, in a touch of creative genius, CMEpalooza Flash Mob!!

Today is Day 3 of the event, where we’ll focus on the Bronze sponsors of CMEpalooza Spring. It’s now officially 9:30 am ET/6:30 am PT. Because this is the largest pool of sponsors, we’ll give you lots of time for this one, a whopping 6 hours. You are welcome! This means that today’s entry form will close at 3:30 pm ET/12:30 pm PT. That should be plenty of time to find a quiet place on your porch to crank up some John Tesh and dig into your research.

We have lots of Bronze sponsors – a whopping 20 of them – so while it would be nice if you took the time to visit lots of them and find out some information about the best and brightest in our world, we’re only requiring you to answer 50% correctly (that would be 10 for you non-math majors) to qualify for the prize drawing.

Here is how you play:

  1. Click on this link to access today’s entry form
  2. Call up our Sponsor tab in a different window – you’ll need the links on here to visit our Silver sponsors
  3. All of the answers to today’s questions can be found within 1 or 2 clicks on each sponsor site. We didn’t choose any questions that were so obscure as to require excessive digging.
  4. When you are done and satisfied with your answers, hit the submit button
  5. If you got 10 questions right, you will be entered into our prize drawing at the end of the week, where you can win a $100 Amazon gift card (we’re giving away five of them)

That’s all there is to it. Good luck everyone. And… go!!

 

 

 

CMEpalooza Flash Mob!!: Silver Sponsors

As described on the blog earlier in the week, we’re rolling out a new Sponsor event this spring based on the “flash mob” concept. It’s called, in a touch of creative genius, CMEpalooza Flash Mob!!

Today is Day 2 of the event, where we’ll focus on the Silver sponsors of CMEpalooza Spring. It’s now officially 10 am ET/7 am PT. You have a cushy 3 hours to complete today’s entry, meaning that the entry form will close at 1 pm ET/10 am PT. That should be plenty of time to tell your boss that you are “taking a walk around the block” and then complete the entry form.

There are only six Silver sponsors so this particular quiz should not take you much time to complete. Because we’re in an especially kind mood today, you only have to correctly answer questions related to four of our Silver sponsors to qualify for the prize drawing. But hey, if you answer all six correctly, just think how proud you’ll be of yourself!

Here is how you play:

  1. Click on this link to access today’s entry form
  2. Call up our Sponsor tab in a different window – you’ll need the links on here to visit our Silver sponsors
  3. All of the answers to today’s questions can be found within 1 or 2 clicks on each sponsor site. We didn’t choose any questions that were so obscure as to require excessive digging.
  4. When you are done and satisfied with your answers, hit the submit button
  5. If you got four questions right, you will be entered into our prize drawing at the end of the week, where you can win a $100 Amazon gift card (we’re giving away five of them)

That’s all there is to it. Good luck everyone. And… go!!

 

 

 

CMEpalooza Flash Mob!!: Gold Sponsors

As described on the blog earlier in the week, we’re rolling out a new Sponsor event this spring based on the “flash mob” concept. It’s called, in a touch of creative genius, CMEpalooza Flash Mob!!

We’re starting today with the Gold sponsors of CMEpalooza Spring. It’s now officially noon ET/9 am PT. You have 2 hours to complete today’s entry, meaning that the entry form will close at 2 pm ET/11 am PT. I was going to limit this to 1 hour, but I know we’re all busy and there is only so much time each day that the boss will let us dilly dally, even if we are all working from home.

There are only three Gold sponsors so this particular quiz should not take you much time to complete.

Here is how you play:

  1. Click on this link to access today’s entry form
  2. Call up our Sponsor tab in a different window – you’ll need the links on here to visit our Gold sponsors
  3. All of the answers to today’s questions can be found within 1 or 2 clicks on each sponsor site. We didn’t choose any questions that were so obscure as to require excessive digging.
  4. When you are done and satisfied with your answers, hit the submit button
  5. If you got every question right, you will be entered into our prize drawing at the end of the week, where you can win a $100 Amazon gift card (we’re giving away five of them)

That’s all there is to it. Good luck everyone. And… go!!

 

 

 

A New Sponsor Event: CMEpalooza Flash Mob!!

A few years ago, flash mobs were a big thing. They were goofy but usually fun. Basically, a group of people would congregate somewhere unannounced and have an impromptu performance or just do something random. Here in Philadelphia, the city’s opera company did a bunch of flash mobs at the Reading Terminal Market. Other cities had flash mob pillow fights. You can go down the YouTube rabbit hole and find all kinds of stuff.

Yet as with everything trendy, the day of the flash mob came and went. It’s been maybe 5-6 years since I remember hearing anything about them. But you should know better than to think that would stop the CMEpalooza train. Being that Derek and I are always on the tail end of every trend (Derek has started wearing his clothes backward again like his boyhood heroes, Kris Kross), we’re bringing the flash mob back, baby!

That’s right people, it’s time for a brand new sponsor event that we are calling CMEpalooza Flash Mob!! This is your chance to learn about all of the brilliant sponsors of CMEpalooza Spring with the possibility of winning loads and loads of cash.

Here is how this is going to work:

  1. On each of the next three days (Tuesday, March 2 through Thursday, March 4), we’ll make an announcement that “Today’s CMEpalooza Flash Mob!! has begun.” Tuesday will be for our gold sponsors, Wednesday for our silver sponsors, and Thursday for our bronze sponsors. The announcement will go out through our blog as well as social media (@thecmeguy or @medcasewriter on Twitter or via our LinkedIn profiles).
  2. You will have a limited amount of time to complete that day’s entry form online. We’ll give you 1 hour for the Gold sponsors, 2 hours for the Silver sponsors, and a generous 4 hours for the Bronze sponsors. We’ll even set the completion bar a bit lower as the days go on and the number of sponsors in each category increase. We won’t tell you when each day’s Flash Mob!! will begin, but we’re not so cruel as to do it at a random time in the middle of the night. We’ll be reasonable.
  3. Each day you successfully complete the online form, you will earn you one entry into our prize drawing. There will be five winners announced at the end of the week, each of whom will win a $100 Amazon gift card. With that kind of scratch, you could decorate your bedroom like Derek by purchasing one of these and still have plenty of money left over.

So bookmark the CMEpalooza homepage (or just subscribe to our blog), give Derek and I a follow on social media, and prepare to dig in.

We Need to Have a New Chat About CMEpalooza

My son does this thing where he pretends not to hear me when I’m trying to get him off his iPad and into the kitchen for dinner table (Wait, your kid, too? Amazing).

“Time for dinner. Turn the iPad off.” (No response)

“Time for dinner. Turn the iPad off.” (No response)

“Time for dinner. Turn the iPad off.” (No response)

(Walks over and puts hands in front of iPad screen)

“Hey, what the heck? Why’d you do that… Oh, it’s time for dinner. I didn’t hear you!”

Every. Single. Night.

Turns out, however, that it’s not just the youth of America who are experts at tuning out vital information. You, too, are to blame! Yes, you, the loyal followers of CMEpalooza! For shame, for shame!

Now before you run to mommy and daddy whining, “But I didn’t do anything!!!” allow me to explain.

First in 2017, then again in 2018, and then again just this past July, Derek tried his best to get across a very important message about CMEpalooza.

The message is simple.

It’s CMEpalooza.

Big “CME”

Little “palooza”

Now mash it together.

CMEpalooza

Sounds simple enough, but trust me, our experience tells us otherwise. All joking aside – and that’s hard for me to do – at least 50% of our friends and fans mess it up. Just this past week in my email, it’s been “CMEPalooza and “CME Palooza” and, my personal favorite “CMEPalozza.”

I know, I know. Who cares, right? As long as you get it close, that means you know who we are and that’s all that should matter. I get it. And I really don’t think people get it wrong on purpose, at least not most of the time. So we should, I suppose, agree to brush it aside like those crumbs that end up around my son’s plate because he refuses to use his fork at the dinner table (Wait, your kid, too? Amazing).

I hear you. But Derek doesn’t. And so every time we get a “CME palooza” or a “Cmepalooza” or a “CME Pepperoni Pizza” or some other combination (you’d be amazed how many different ways there are to butcher CMEpalooza), I get an email with a cringy emoji from Derek. It’s his way of telling me how he dies just a tiny bit inside every time our event is butchered in print (note from Derek: all true.)

You are probably asking yourself right now, “Isn’t this all kind of your fault? I mean, you did come up with the name knowing how weird it is?”

Again, fair point, and I’ll need to defer to Derek on this one. He came up with the name CMEpalooza. It’s his baby (I guess that makes me the cool babysitter? [note from Derek: It does not, no.]). But it’s too late now. It’s CMEpalooza.

Big CME

Little palooza

CMEpalooza

But hey, if you want to torture Derek, be my guest. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to remind someone that, “You don’t need to scream into the iPad when you are playing a game with your friends. Inside voice!”

The Loyal-est of the Loyal

Loyalty.

It’s a powerful yet complicated concept. You are loyal to a family member, a friend, a partner, or even, I suppose, a pet (sorry, I’m not an animal person). In business, you are loyal to your company or your boss or your co-workers. I know, it’s kind of a dying concept.

To me, loyalty means that you can count on someone, that they will be there to support you and carry their weight, and they won’t just say, “Sorry, you are on your own.” Loyalty is one of the most valuable qualities someone can have.

At least according to Hollywood, the mafia is big on loyalty. Once you become part of “the family,” you take an oath of loyalty. If you break that oath, well, better get fitted for a pair of concrete shoes.

As we head into our eighth year of CMEpalooza, I figured it was a good time to look at just how loyal the CME community has been to CMEpalooza. I’m not talking about your individual loyalty. I have no doubt that many of you have read every single blog post and watched every single session since Derek trotted out the concept for CMEpalooza in the spring of 2014, but since we don’t track our readers and there is no formal registration for our events, we can’t tell how many of you get a gold star. You have our permission to put one on if you want to feel special.

What we can track is the loyalty of our sponsors. Since we began accepting corporate sponsors for CMEpalooza in the fall of 2014, there have been 66 different organizations who have sponsored at least one ‘palooza. That alone is a pretty astounding number. But what is perhaps even more astounding is the loyalty that most of these organizations have shown to us. Of the 66 sponsoring organizations, only 11 have been “concrete boot” sponsors, latching themselves onto CMEpalooza like a pesky barnacle for just one event before sinking to the bottom of the sea. Some of those companies either folded, were gobbled up by a larger organizations, or simply lost our email address. It happens.

While we will, of course, be holding our special sponsor event in a few weeks for those 24 companies (and counting) who have already signed up as sponsors for our 2021 Spring meeting. (SPECIAL REMINDER: Yes, you can still sign up for a sponsorship. All of the information is in our Sponsor Prospectus), today, we want to celebrate those organizations who have shown loyalty to us over the years. We want to honor your faith, trust, and belief in CMEpalooza. Today, we celebrate your loyalty.

THE PRINCES OF LOYALTY (sponsoring >50% of CMEpaloozas)

THE QUEENS OF LOYALTY (sponsoring >75% of CMEpaloozas)

THE KING OF LOYALTY (sponsoring every single CMEpalooza)

 

Good Job

Hey.

You.

Yes, you, reading this CMEpalooza blog post.

I want to tell you something.

It’s something very important, that we all need to hear.

Good job.

That’s it.

Just…good job.

It’s been a weird year.

It’s been a hard year.

Harder for some than for others.

But hard for us all.

There are days when work is hard.

And communicating is hard.

And parenting is hard.

And living alone is hard.

And getting out of bed is hard.

And doing anything is hard.

And that’s ok.

We all feel like that sometimes.

But here you are.

Reading this.

And that alone is something.

You made it this far.

And that’s great.

Good job.

Now Playing: The CMEpalooza Spring Agenda

One of my first jobs as a high school kid was at a local movie theater. It was actually kind of fun. A lot of my friends also worked there, along with a handful of cute girls from other schools who didn’t know how awkward I was in advance of meeting me. I had about 5 minutes to make a good impression. Guess how well I did?

Alas, fleeting youth.

Anyway, at the movie theater, there were good “assignments” and bad “assignments” for the nightly team.

The bad: Working the concession stand. This was where everyone started out, because it kind of sucked. You were on your feet the whole shift, had to deal with cranky customers who couldn’t figure out what they wanted until they got to the front of the line despite waiting for 15 minutes behind dozens of other people, and you had to constantly refill the popcorn maker without burning yourself. On busy nights, the time passed quickly, but on slow nights, you just had to stand there and stare into space. There was nowhere to hide.

The good: Being an usher. What’s fun about carrying about a broom and dustpan and cleaning up the messes the customers make? Well, if you walked into an empty theater, you could usually sit down and watch 10-15 minutes of whatever movie was playing before anyone missed you. Plus, it was dark, so if you did a half-assed job, no one cared. I would often time my entrance into a theater so that I could pick up the movie where I left off 2 hours ago. For some movies that played in multiple theater simultaneously, I could watch the whole thing (more or less) in one shift.

Apropos of nothing, a quick movie theater story because it remains to this day one of my favorites. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen to me, but was relayed by a friend of mine.

(Customer walks up to the concession stand)

Customer: Yeah, I’d like a hot dog and some lemon chips?

Friend: Lemon chips? I’m not sure what you mean.

Customer: Yeah, lemon chips. (Points)

Friend: Um, you mean nachos?

Yes, people, the world is full of geniuses.

So why am I telling you about my movie theater days today? Well, because the days of movie premieres (Fridays) were always the busiest. This was an era where you would actually sell out the entire theater, sometimes hours in advance, for a film that had a lot of hype. I can’t imagine with all of the avenues of entertainment available at our fingertips today that that ever happens (yes, yes, we’re making the whole pre/post-COVID assumption).

It’s the same deal with CMEpalooza. On the day that we put out our meeting agendas for public consumption, we get a massive rush of traffic to our website that dwarfs what’s been going on with the Robinhood thing-a-ma-bob (but hey, if you made a million dollars last week, buy a CMEpalooza sponsorship, won’t you?).

We’re ready for the big rush, because today indeed is the day when we unveil the CMEpalooza Spring agenda. As always, we’ve put in quite a bit of thought into our sessions, and we think we have a really interesting mix for you. There are definitely a few quirky, out-of-the-box formats we’ll be trying out that may or may not work (Of course they’ll work! We are professionals here!). We always try hard to bring in some new stars that haven’t been on the CMEpalooza marquee before, so you’ll hopefully see some names in here you don’t recognize but can’t wait to hear from.

So take a look at what we’ve got in store, double check your calendar to make sure you have Wednesday, March 24 blocked off (yes, Derek, this is a reminder specifically for you), and order up a box of Junior Mints to be delivered that morning. Or lemon chips. That works too.

CMEpalooza Archive Obsession

One of the sports-themed podcasts I listen to has started a new gimmick where every Friday they talk about their latest obsessions, mostly related to the world of sports. They aren’t really “obsessions” in the true sense of the word but rather things that they have found super-interesting recently and are excited to see more and learn more about.

This is neither a sports-themed podcast nor is it a Friday, but I’m not letting that stop me from stealing someone else’s gimmick and using it for my own purposes. My most recent obsession is with all things Scottish. I don’t know if it’s because my trip to Scotland in the summer of 2019 was the last big trip I did before the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down (absence makes the heart grow fonder), but for the past month or two I have found myself seeking out anything and everything Scottish. A few examples:

  • Only watching TV shows* set in Scotland. My favorites so far have been Outlander, Case Histories (starring Jason Isaacs, who also played Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, which was extremely disconcerting once I made the connection) and Shetland, which is a great show featuring fantastic sweaters.

    *Not entirely accurate as I have also watched both Queen’s Gambit and Lupin during this stretch. I enjoyed them both, but was annoyed neither of them took place in Inverness or the Isle of Skye.
  • Liked the sweaters that Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez wears on Shetland so much that I researched them online and bought one for myself from a store in Buffalo, NY, for more money than I realized anyone would actually pay for a sweater. I was later informed this was considered a reasonable price. I wish I was making all of this up. (Note from Scott: we demand a photo)
  • Bought the book Clanlands: Whisky, Warfare, and a Scottish Adventure Like No Other, written by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish, stars of Outlander. My wife is a huge Outlander fan, and I read this to her while she is knitting or puttering around in the kitchen. The book is a precursor to a forthcoming Clanlands TV show and has its own Instagram account, which I follow. There are pictures of McTavish wearing rugged sweaters and, yes, I have googled “graham mctavish sweaters.” The results were poor.
  • Joined the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, a Christmas gift from my thoughtful and patient wife. As a card carrying member of the SMWS, for which there is a yearly fee, I am now able to spend even more money on bottles of scotch that only members can purchase. Yes, I spent money for the privilege of spending more money. Quite a brilliant business plan they have (Note to Scott: can’t we get the interns to figure out a similar plan for CMEpalooza??) I have bought three bottle so far, one of them accidentally. Don’t ask.

But enough about me and my crazy Scottish obsession. We’re here to help those of you who just can’t get enough of CMEpalooza. I’m not going to call it a CMEpalooza obsession because that’s sort of creepy ([looks at blog post title] [shrugs and quickly moves on]), but if you are anxious to watch as many CMEpalooza sessions as possible, I have some good news for you, friend.

The CMEpalooza Archive has been updated to include all the sessions from CMEpalooza Fall 2020!

Woo!

We also are going to be releasing our agenda for CMEpalooza Spring next week, so there’s that, too. While you’re waiting for the exciting news, I recommend relaxing with a wee dram and a couple episodes of Shetland. Sláinte!