Saturday, 17 October 2009

Conference stuff

Yesterday was a very full on day for Camille and somewhat less so for me. Camille started at 5:30am which is incredibly early for her. However, being the conference organiser she was required to be on hand for pretty much the whole day - so it was up and breakfasting, checking e-mails and ensuring certain things were in order prior to heading to the conference facilities at 6:30am. I headed down to be there by 8:00am when the attendees were supposed to be arriving.

It was a long day and I thought it went very well. The Sky City staff were excellent. Nothing but praise for the woman who was our main liaison for the day.

My role was pretty much limited to helping people who had experienced problems with the membership database. For the most part this was in the shape of "I can't recall my login details" and the answer was a quick demonstration on how to retrieve their login details. It was a bit of an eye-opener for me though as I had considered the way I had written the database login retrieval and its display to be fairly straight foward - and it is for people who are used to computers and the internet. However, many of our client's members are older and are not very computer/internet savvy and need more of a guide. I'll have to think about this and see if I can produce a more obvious method.

The day went on. There were presentations on all sorts of subjects that I know almost nothing about though I do know more now. Meetings were held, breaks were taken, lunch was eaten, displays were perused and vendors spoken to. The end part of the conference day at Sky was the organisation's AGM which was, I gather, very successful with a number of important points being resolved.

Then it was off to the Muddy Farmer where a large bar tab and been plunked down for a cocktail/drinks evening. We had organised a small map to show the attendees where to go as the bar was a few minutes walk from Sky. And here Google Maps let us down again! We had printed a map off from Google and given it to all attendees so out of towners could find their way to the bar. The map was WRONG!

I ended up standing on a street corner in the middle of Auckland holding up my Executive conference card in an effort to flush out conference attendees from the milling crowds. It was at this point I discovered that I have an almost complete lack of authority. I ended up with about 30 attendees gathered on the corner who all ignored my instructions on which way to go though they did listen to me when I said "The map is wrong!". They insisted on asking a passing policeman who had no idea where the bar was. However, he was a Figure of Authority and he eventually directed them to head down the street where I had been trying to get them to go.

The Muddy Farmer was a good bar. We believe all those who made it there enjoyed themselves. Camille and I eventually made it back to our hotel room by 9:00pm or so.

It was a long day.

The photo above is of the main conference room set up for the 240+ attendees.