You've never seen a group of finance folk more determined to put a hurtin' on the atmosphere, and their meteorologists, than at the TD Ameritrade Institutional 2014 National Conference
hosted at the Hyatt Regency Orlando
First, there was the weather braved by fundsters coming from the northern states and midwestern states still battered by the polar vortex, or whatever is making the weather miserable there now. Some booths were empty because teams couldn't make their flights. Some teams drove hundreds, if not thousands of miles, instead of flying. A few companies, with their booths still in airport limbo, scrambled to look printing shops to print out impromptu placards and marketing materials.
And on Friday, the last full day of the conference, many teams sacrificed crucial final hours of exhibition time in order to try to scramble back before Jack Frost could make things worse.
Those who braved traveling through the northern blasts were well rewarded. Early estimates of the TD Conference peg attendees at roughly 3,000. In fact, so many people showed up that organizers had to feed hundreds in the hallways around the luncheon ballroom.
But even in Florida, the atmosphere had its fun with the conference goers. Thursday and Friday, Orlanda was afflicted by weather that hovered in the 40s and 50s as well as rain, and even some hail.
TD's traditional community events, like Habitat For Humanity and the Special Olympics, had to be relocated indoors to escape from Mother Nature's moods.
Nonetheless, the event was a peppy, well-organized high-tech bash with tons of green decor.
There were numerous stands devoted to TD's Veo system, shoe shines, head shots, a station devoted to volunteers filling backpacks to the United Way, as well as free polo shirts.
Attendees got to drink and mingle, sampling pulled pork, risotto, pasta, empanadas, and nachos. Booze was o be had by all.
Fun-seeking fundsters overflowed to the various hotel eateries like Fiorino's, Napa and Rocks, as well as local restaurants like Oceanaire.
Featured speakers included Mitt Romney, George F. Will, Juan Williams and Sugar Ray Leonard.
Friday's entertainment will be Huey Lewis and the News.
The conference ends tomorrow.
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