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Friday, January 11, 2013

Conference Adventures Part Un - 18 Days 'til

Planning and organizing a conference is not an easy feat by any means, and I often ask myself why I keep doing it... But at the end of each event I have this "conference euphoria" (as my Father calls it) that feels very much like an addiction. Which gives me this feeling like a crack head itching for their next fix to plan another conference.

It's now 6:33 am on Friday and I have been up for 2 hours after 5 hours of sleep coming off of answering emails to speakers that have questions already answered in the 4 emails they have gotten so far, only to find they "can't make it" after all just 2 weeks before the event.

So what keeps me sane while doing all of this? 

Simply talking it out... So I'm going to use my personal blog to get out what needs to get out to save the rest of the world my frustrations.


18 Days Until the Event


Status Update:

Speakers: 29 out of 36 speakers confirmed
Speaker's Presentations (PPT or other): 0
Agenda: 5 spots left to fill
Location: Booked; deposit made; still need to coordinate F&B, layout of room, AV, Video Recordings, Meetup event details, Party details, and Photographer.
Master of Ceremonies: Me (until I can find someone)
Volunteers: 0

After my mostly Master of Ceremonies for all of my events past canceled on me for all conferences in 2013, I have asked one other person that I trust to take on such a task but was notified last week that he will not be able to do it. My backup plan is to host the event myself, but that leaves me to rely on volunteers to check people in, and someone else to man the AV, Social, and Photography. If everything is queued up before the speakers comes up to speak, I can hand them the mic, and then go up on stage why they get ready. That is IF the speaker's presentation is ready to go before they show up for their talk. Then once I introduce them, I can check the video camera (propped on a tripod) to make sure it is in place and running, Take some photos, check the Hootsuite feeds (Twitter, Facebook, etc) and get ready for the next presentation. But... that's only if I can get someone to volunteer and check people in without needing my help throughout the day.

The key to making this go smoothly is making sure I am available to watch the coffee/tea (making sure we don't' run out), be available as people check in (in case they have questions), and being able to check on the marketing aspects during the event. This will be my first time MCing... The fear of getting on stage is beyond my at this point (which used to be my biggest fear), now it's making sure I get through another conference without a complaint from any attendees or speakers.

This morning I actually snapped (a little) at the speaker that cancelled on my last minute. He filled out the form on the website requesting to speak back in November, and after several emails pleading him to confirm his topic, time, and speaking he asked when he was speaking, his topic, and if there was any compensation for speaking (T&E and Honorarium). I pointed out that his topic, date, and time has been sent several times, along with all the details of the event - and that the form he filled out clearly stated that he would be compensated with a Pass to the event for himself along with 2 passes to give away as he chose (worth up to $3,000). He said without compensation and T&E covered he will not be able to make it... I just simply said "Thank You" and explained that int he future perhaps he should come to these decisions more than 2 weeks before the event, and to read the information regarding speaking before requesting to speak.

I'm going to turn my computer off and head to my day job now...