This story appeared in the September 1984 issue of Online Today, CompuServe's magazine for CIS subscribers.
Know where you could have met a doctor, lawyers, psychologists, writers, high-school students, programmers, pilots, a corporate vice president, a physicist, an audio specialist, housewives, a financial analyst and a professional dancer — and gotten a big hug from each and every one of them?
These were people who attended the first CB Simulator seminar and party, hosted by CompuServe, June 16  in Columbus, Ohio. And hug they did!
About 130 people from New Hampshire, Florida, California, Texas, Washington and 14 other states gathered in Columbus for a full day of festivities.
Why did these people travel anywhere from a few blocks to more than a thousand miles to attend a party with others they had never met before?
Simply because these party-goers weren’t really strangers. Sure, they hadn’t actually met face-to-face before, but they already knew each other. They had met and talked mind-to-mind through CompuServe’s CB Simulator.
CB is a multi-user, real-time electronic conferencing program. With just a few keystrokes, you find yourself online with people from all across the country. And in no time at all, you feel you are a part of this electronic community.
As you share your ideas and experiences with others, you find yourself wanting to meet them in person, and that’s why CB parties have become so popular.
In Columbus, the warmth and family-style atmosphere pervaded the day’s events. As soon as the CBers saw each other’s name tags, the laughing and hugging (which only had been typed to each other before) were made real.
William and Heidi Van Engen Gerhold II
LooLoo, who has been called the Mother Superior of CB, showed up in a nun’s habit and started the proceedings with a benediction: “Dear Lord, bless these people and make this a day to be remembered.” A booming voice responded: “Request recorded, one moment please.”
Sandy Trevor, CompuServe’s vice president of computer resources — the person who designed the original CB Simulator program — then gave an informative presentation on the workings of CB. Presentations by John Gibney on forums and Jim Davenport on VIDTEX and graphics rounded out the morning’s “Smart Sessions.”
During the afternoon, CBers were shuttled by mini-bus to CompuServe’s Dublin computer facility to view the processors, backup generators and security systems.
The evening included a cocktail hour, prime rib dinner with all the trimmings, drawings for door prizes and dancing to live music (an outrageously wonderful band called Phil Dirt and the Dozers).
Top winners in the door prize drawings were Lady Di from Cleveland, who won a terminal, modem and monitor from Heath/Zenith; Bugman from Louisville, who won a Commodore 64, automodem and disk drive donated by Commodore; and Tut from Chicago, who won a Gift of Time for 100 standard connect hours from CompuServe.
Some of the other CBers in attendance included Zipp, Easygoing, Panther, Southern Gentleman (and his Belle), Tacoma Tigress, Lady Jane, Yankee Nighthawk, Cupcake, Animal, Pianoman, Sweetie and Astronomer.
To meet and talk with these and other people from coast to coast, just access the CB Simulator by typing GO CB at any prompt on the CompuServe Consumer Information Service. And watch “What’s New” for announcements of future CompuServe-sponsored seminars in your area.