This one got off to an interesting start from the beginning. And when I say "beginning" I mean with the onset of getting the tickets sold. It dawned on me that now that I have more contacts and networking outlets than I did last year then I could potentially sell a table's worth of tickets. So that was my goal. 10 tickets sold. Pretty modest considering other bros were averaging two tables. However, if I did 10 that would be 10 better than I had done in previous years.
The initial response was very favorable. I had all types of folks interested. I thought for a minute there that I would actually need to get more tickets. However, the closer the time got to the ball, the less the solid the commitments were getting. The "Sounds fun..let me check on something"s turned into a myriad of excuses why folks couldn't make it.
Long story short, I still ended up selling my 10 tickets. Just barely, but I sold them. In fact, I sold all 10 tickets without taking myself into consideration. The tables only have 10 seats. I didn't have a seat for myself! But something told me that given the history of the commitments leading up to that date that something would open up. Sure enough, I was right.
The soror who was going to be sitting at my table told me just minutes before the Ball that she couldn't make it. There was the one open seat. Too bad it didn't stop there. My boy (who I won't put on front street by saying his name, but it rhymes with Schmill) told me minutes before that his sitter fell through so he couldn't make it. Even though they had known about it for a couple of months. Another couple couldn't make it but gave their tickets to their friends. Those friends showed but decided to sit at the table next to mine since their church friends were there. A First Fridays associate decided not to show. So my sold out table ended up with 5 empty seats. I have to admit that was a little embarrassing.
But I wasn't going to let something like that keep me from enjoying the Ball. Afterall, there were bros coming to town that I hadn't seen in forever. Like Josh from O Pi who I've kept in constant contact with thanks to Twitter and text. And Larry from O Pi who was responsible for making that tight XL-Images logo that I now have splashed everywhere (I really need to do a post about that site REAL soon). Not to mention the bros from the chapter who are always a good time anyway.
The program portion probably went a tad longer than it could have. It wasn't without some unintentional comedy though. I still can't believe that I must have been the only person who missed JT refer to some snack food as "crack snacks". Then there was Felix who apparently gets very long-winded when he gets nervous. VERY long-winded. But hey...he gave XL-Images a shout out so that was good.
The best part about the Ball was it was one of the most successful ones we have had in years. We had estimated we would sell right around 300 tickets. That totals 30 tables. After we started counting the guest list and doing the seating arrangements we found that we actually did 33 tables. It's been a while since it's been like that. I know the scholarship recipients for this year and next year are really going to appreciate that.
Now you know a Black and Gold Ball post wouldn't be complete without some pictures. I made it a point this year to float around more than I have in the past to get more comprehensive photos. Plus, I was also testing out a new lens and a borrowed speed light to see how the combination would work in that lighting. Not too bad if I say so myself. Check them out for yourself in the ZKL Black and Gold Ball 2011 photo album. Mark your calendar now and next year you could see yourself in some of these pics!