Making Conferences

So. It’s done. The conference is over and wow! It is not the amount of work. It’s not the faculty. It’s not the venue.  It is the stuff.

To come to the conference we bring LCD projectors, print rows of name badges and labels. We copy forms and informational sheets and bookstore items and handouts for the speakers. We bring gift bags for faculty.  We bring baskets for the books and for the First Pages. We have signs to direct participants to the baskets, the critiques and reviews and registration. We have folders full of the handouts, the informational sheets, the bookstore items and the schedule. We even have a huge banner for our chapter!

We write scripts for our panels and for our conference narrator chatter. We go to a good hotel, staffed by caring, hardworking people. We try to have something where almost everyone, okay, okay, it should be everyone, but seriously? We try to have take-aways for as many as we can.

But the big deal isn’t any of that. The biggest deal is the expectations. :-). There are those who nod knowingly and talk about managing expectations. Or, suggest this little tweak here, or that little tweak there, and all will blossom into the most perfect of alignments, a spectacular conference. Personally, I like the glitches, the hangups, the issues. They mean that the conference can’t run itself. It needs all of us, those who volunteer for this duty, this job, this vocation.

 

 

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