Even though my first Panerai was purchased nearly 20 years ago, I did not meet the first person that knew what a Panerai was until my first GTG, the Hammer Birthday Party in San Diego in 2010. I had only been on Paneristi for about 6 months at that point. It was a jump for me to head off to a gathering of people where I didn't know a soul. Anyone that has met me since knows that I'm not outgoing and my social skills are mediocre at best.
Here are some photos from that first GTG:
Something to keep in mind is that there are always new people at these events. Everyone is there because they want to be with people just like you. I had absolutely no issues meeting some very cool people. In fact, many of those people from that first event are people that I call friends and they are very dear to me.
Since that first GTG I've been to many more, held my own GTG's in Denver, and even made it to a few PDay's, most recently in Berlin. In each and every one I add more friends, some that I know I will have for life.
So what is PDay? To me, PDay is a really big GTG. It has more people and it and may be a bit more formally organized, but it's a get together of people that are interested in this hunk of metal AND in meeting others with a similar interest. You will never be able to meet and spend time with everyone there. You will see some really amazing watches and even if you do not meet them, some great people.
It is absolutely amazing that not only can I go many places in the world and link up with someone from the community, some of those people are truly friends. I for one would never have had that without the Paneristi community.
And now something that PDay is NOT! It is not the website. There is no hiding behind your keyboard. You're out there, face to face, and you know what, even those people that you may have thought were other than someone you would like to meet, are in fact very special people, and as is the case many times, you did not get a clue of who they are from the sometimes horrible textual communication medium that we use so often.
What I am hoping to do with this post if to put a spark in some of you that have fallen away from attending events and to give a little motivation to those new people apprehensive about coming. I want to see those faces from the past and the new ones of the future. We have an amazing thing here! Let's keep it going indefinitely.
The ability to sign up for PDay will be gone very soon. If you are interested do not delay. Register, pay, and get your hotel now! Chicago is such a great place and especially nice the time of the year that the event will be taking place.
I hope to see you there!