Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett (pictured on screen, right) is considered the Oracle of Omaha, but the annual meeting his company puts on for shareholders, friends of shareholders, and purchasers of passes – which were available on eBay – is the spring-time gem of the Midwest. Photo from guardian.co.uk/business.
The Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting is upon us – a weekend of mingling with people from the around the world, browsing Berkshire-owned company exhibits, and absorbing the wisdom of business partners Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. And the best part, it’s all in Omaha.
There’s no event like this one: accompanied by cans of Coca-Cola Classic and Cherry Coke, along with boxes of See’s Candies, two of the most respected and well-known American investors, businessmen, and philanthropists take the stage for five hours of Q&A, with only an hour break for lunch. (Most likely to enjoy a Dairy Queen ice cream treat, which is one of the over 50 subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRKA and NYSE: BRKB))
A 2007 attendees’ perspective of the Buffett–Munger Q&A session. With the Qwest Center’s arena hitting capacity, plenty of television and projector screens are setup throughout the arena and convention center to simulcast the session. Photo by Ethan Bloch via Flickr.
Following the Q&A session comes the most important part of the meeting: the actual meeting. But don’t be late, you might miss it. The “Formal Business Meeting” runs for only 15 minutes, from 3:45 to 4 p.m.
Outside of Saturday’s Qwest Center events, there’s tons to experience in and around Omaha. The Omaha World-Herald published an excellent schedule of activities: omaha.com/article/20100428/MONEY/704299889#schedule-of-berkshire-activities.
On that schedule, is the unofficial Berkshire Tweetup, which we’re organizing in conjunction with Berkshire Hathaway-owned jewelry store Borsheim’s. No need to be a shareholder to join us, this event is free and open to the public.
For more information and to RSVP, visit tweetvite.com/event/BerkshireTweetup2010.
Here’s a brief rundown of the weekend with a few pieces of advice from myself. For a the official schedule, visit berkshirehathaway.com/sharehold.html.
Borsheim’s Shareholder Reception, 6-10 p.m. – Mingle, enjoy an open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres, entertainment and browse Borsheim’s fine jewelery. Items are discounted for those with the shareholder credentials.
Annual Meeting, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Doors open at 7 a.m. and it begins at 8:30 a.m. with the “Annual Meeting Movie.” People begin lining up before 5 a.m., no joke. The arena with Buffett and Munger only fits around 18,500, but there’s plenty of overflow rooms throughout the convention center. Of course, it’s a treat to sit in the main arena – a good reason to get in line early. They’ll answer questions until 3:30 p.m., with an hour break for lunch.
Borsheims Exclusive Shareholder Shopping Day, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Although labeled a “shopping day” this is the same setup as Friday night: open bar (mimosas are popular) with hors d’oeuvres and entertainment. Plus, there’s another Buffett appearance. In his annual letter he writes he’ll be showing up at 1 p.m. to play Ariel Hsing, the country’s top-ranked junior table tennis player. Buffett also brings in (and blindfolds) Patrick Wolff, twice U.S. chess champion, to take on attendees.
Here’s Buffett vs. Ariel Hsing in 2007:
Lastly, as mentioned in the title, we have passes to share! Leave a comment below with why you’re interested in attending the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting and we’ll hook you up with a pass. But act fast, we only have four to give out.
And if you have extra tickets to pass along for no cost, feel free to use the comments below to let others know. We think this is a very valuable event in Omaha and we hope many of our readers will be able to attend it.