Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting
I had the pleasure of attending this year’s Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting in Omaha during the first weekend in May. Dave Bromelkamp invited his older brother Mike, Saul Baumann, and me to join him on the trip to eastern Nebraska.
The Annual Meeting (which most people call a "festival") is unlike any other event I've attended. This mid-sized Midwestern city becomes a destination for investors worldwide, and the entire town focuses on the Annual Meeting. Every local I encountered on Thursday, from my Uber driver to the restaurant employees to the hotel front desk staff, asked if I was in town for "Berkshire Weekend." It's easy to see the locals' pride in Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, and the Berkshire Hathaway company.
On Friday, the day before the Annual Meeting, Berkshire Hathaway hosts their subsidiary companies in a huge ballroom where attendees can shop and learn more about their products. The best way I could describe the atmosphere in the convention center that day was a combination of the Minnesota State Fair and the Mall of America. There were thousands of people milling about, trying to take advantage of the sweet deals, catching a glimpse of a celebrity, or finding one of the dozens of CNBC cameras to achieve their 15 minutes of fame. The biggest celebrity we saw during the weekend was Bill Murray leaving the meeting Saturday. Many attendees weren't even shareholders but Nebraskans who bought tickets to gain access to the shopping deals being offered. My favorite booths in the convention center were Dairy Queen offering $1 dilly bars (D.Q. is a Berkshire Hathaway company), and the bookstore. The bookstore had 20 books for sale that were some of Warren and Charlie's favorites. They also had various authors there signing books for the attendees.