OK Brian, not a bad suggestion. Here goes:
What I could have done better...
0. Know what you are in for. Having been to a couple of GeoWoodstocks and several TX Challenges, I thought I know what to expect. I was wrong. I totally didn't expect the crowd participation events, lab caches, or the HQ Geo Tour. The Block Party is different!
1. Arrive before Friday. I wish it was something fun like the chicken suit, but I ended up "fitting in" a business trip to Denver on the way to Seattle. Although it wasn't all bad since I did pick up Wyoming and Nebraska Thursday after work and then took a morning flight to Seattle on Friday.
2. Plan Better. Having been to Seattle many times, I thought I could wing it and just follow the gang and/or plan my time on Wednesday on my leisurely way there.... Due to # 1 above, I arrived in Seattle on Friday without a plan and without a gang since they all set of first thing in the morning when I was still in Colorado.
3. Don't volunteer. Blasphemy, I know! But really... at Geo Woodstock and TX Challenge, it is a volunteer put on program. At the block party.... it's groundspeak and all those years of premium membership dues and travel bug royalties that are paying for staffing. Not realizing the difference in format, I did what i always do... look for a spot to volunteer. Since Bev of GxProxy had asked for help, I was happy to do that. But what is a firm 2 hour volunteer window I was accustomed to at GeoWoodstock was a bit less firm (and longer). Don't get me wrong, I had fun and enjoyed working the booth and she compensated me with an awesome geocoin, but all in all, I wish I had spent the time finding the HQ tour and lab caches.
4. Be part of a group. Geocaching is always more fun in a group. Maybe its your friends from Houston, or old work pals from Seattle, or the cachers as you make your way from one beer tour lab cache to another.
5. Pre-order coins. Don't waste your time in lines!
So... some things I did do right....
A. Make time for GIFF (but bring a chair or pillow). Mostly high quality, funny films and they will be in limited distribution (i.e. no you tube) for a year. We got lucky and had a comfy seat that was only slightly obscured.
B. Do the Ape event / Tunnel of Light. Last year, I meet up with an old friend and his two young children. It was especially a blast. This year, he wants to bring his cub scout den! I saw on FB that Mustard Devil is going... I think he should retrofit his kayak Christmas rig as a tunnel wagon. who knows, it might start a new tradition.
C. Talk to strangers. Yeah, I know we are all pretty good at that anyways.