Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Our Day at the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting
I had heard that the lines to get into the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting in Omaha could wrap around the convention center, and there was no guarantee that you would be in the arena, in the same room with Warren Buffett. Since this was presumably the entire point of our road trip, I really wanted to make sure that Paul got a good place.
He left our hotel room at 6 a.m. and ended up splitting a cab with a couple also going to the meeting. Good thing -- it was pouring down rain, and the original plan to walk the two miles to the convention center wasn't really the best option.
The weather and the early hours combined made it definitely not the best option for the kids. We arrived there around 10 a.m. We made a quick tour around the exhibit hall and popped into the meeting -- both in the arena and in a conference room where it was being broadcast.
Then we walked, walked, walked, basically until about 4 p.m. The exhibits were all Berkshire Hathaway-owned companies (or companies in which Berkshire owns a significant percentage), and nearly all had something to sell. From Dairy Queen to Fruit of the Loom to Geico to Johns Manville to Kraft to Oriental Trading to Garanimals to Pampered Chef and so, so much more. We made the circle innumerable times. Our biggest buys -- a shirt for Paul and several Dairy Queen treats. Dilly Bars were popular with seemingly everyone.
Paul joined us during the hour lunch break, but other than that the kids and I just wandered. It was fun, and pretty good people watching. There were other kids there for sure, but not a ton. And people in jeans to suits and everything in between.
We left the convention center around 4:30 p.m. and later that evening attended a cookout at Nebraska Furniture Mart. Inside a huge white tent were dueling pianos and a few food options. It would have been pleasant had it not been so cold! After eating we headed toward the warmth of the store. Nebraska Furniture Mart has a tremendous selection of home furnishings -- not just furniture, but dining sets, fans, rugs, electronics, desks, stoves, hair dryers, everything.
I expected the day to be interesting, but I didn't expect to have so much fun. What's more, it instilled a real sense of ownership in the companies that Berkshire Hathaway has invested in. After all, their success plays a part in our success. Dilly Bars and Blizzards for everyone!