The 50th edition of Warren Buffett’s annual Berkshire Hathaway meeting kicks off in Omaha this weekend, and behind all the quirky events and exhibits is one event planner who Buffett calls his “ringmaster.”
Carrie Sova spends the better part of nine months a year planning the annual meeting, reported the Wall Street Journal’s Anupreeta Das — from hiring an outside design firm to organise the 40 companies at the exhibition to that time she had to figure out how to park a real Burlington Northern train outside the downtown Omaha hall.
Whatever Buffett’s whims may be, Sova is the one to carry them out: “The big picture — any of the really good concepts . . . stemmed from Warren, and the little details of making all of it come together were worked out by our staff,” Sova, 30, who was Buffett’s second assistant before becoming his “ringmaster,” told the Journal.
Business Insider decided to check out Berkshire’s visitors guide for the weekend to see Sova’s work, so here are some characteristically Buffett-y events planned for this weekend that she no doubt will have had a hand in:
- The exhibition hall opens early this year, on Friday, and a record 40,000 guests are expected to pack the 100,000-square-foot hall. (Last year, See’s candy brought a 7,000-pound fake lollipop to display at their exhibit, but when they discovered it was damaged, Sova’s team had to scramble to find white paint to cover up the scuff, the Journal reported.)
- Buffett, who used to be a paperboy, will kick off the fourth annual newspaper toss, in which participants must throw a folded Omaha World-Herald 35 feet toward a real front porch. The grand prize? A DQ Dilly Bar.
- You can visit IBM’s supercomputer, Watson, at the exhibition hall too.
- On Saturday, the Journal reports, a miniparade will feature two Texas Longhorn steers and a four-horse Wells Fargo stagecoach.
- Hit up a quaint little picnic with live piano music and some of Buffett’s favourite foods (chips, cookies, pizza), hosted by Nebraska Furniture Mart, on Saturday night.
- Dine at Buffett’s two favourite steakhouses (but make your reservations now!). Buffett reportedly plans to eat at both Gorat’s and Piccolo’s on Sunday. (If you hit up Piccolo’s, the Oracle recommends the root beer float.)
- At some point on Sunday, maybe between meals, Buffett will compete in a table tennis competition at the Regency Court shopping center, according to the Omaha World-Herald.
- If table tennis isn’t your thing, join in the Brooks-sponsored 5k run on Sunday.
- If you’re not feeling athletic, take on bridge champions Bob Hamman and Sharon Osberg at the exhibition hall
- Or maybe check out a magic show from Norman Beck.
- And don’t forget to shop. Special Berkshire products include “Berky Bras” and, of course, “Berky Boxers” featuring cartoon Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger faces.
And that, we are sure, is not the half of it. Expect many more surprises and lots of junk food-and-soda-fuelled fun.
Read Berkshire’s full visitor’s guide here.