Diary of a Conference Coordinator: FRIDAY

I apologize for not posting my daily accounts of the conference. I’ve been a little busy.

Friday morning, the Pennwriters Conference officially got under way. This was the day I’d been waiting for and dreading at the same time. I knew that all the bugs in the system would rear their ugly heads as we got under way. The biggest bug was self-inflicted. With a long line of attendees waiting for registration to open, I made the mistake of trying to help by stepping in and signing in a few people early…before Sandi Hahn arrived. Sandi was the one in charge of registration and was the one who had a perfect system prepared. One I completely muffed up. Poor Sandi had to straighten out the mess I’d made of things as well as face the eager hordes.

Lesson learned: LET MY TEAM DO THEIR WORK AND STAY THE HELL OUT OF THEIR WAY.

Most of the morning was spent adding a few walk-ins, which meant adding meals to the hotel orders. This was also when I learned what all I hadn’t thought to bring. Like membership brochures. Luckily, I had my computer and was able to transfer that file onto a flash drive and have the hotel office staff print out a stack of them.

One of the perks of conference coordinator was the use of one of the board rooms for storage and my office. After turning my laptop on and off several times, I finally settled on leaving it on in that office. Made it much easier to look up records and add meals.

If you came to this looking for photos of the workshops, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I’m looking forward to seeing some of those, too.

I didn’t get to attend any of the workshops on Friday. Instead, I heard about them. And what I heard was rave reviews. Suddenly, I began to realize why I’d done this job. Seeing those smiling faces and hearing how inspired folks were feeling as a result of this workshop or that workshop made my spirits soar.

Late in the afternoon, a potential new problem came to my attention. Lisa (as in Scottoline, our keynote) hadn’t arrived yet. I began having visions of this conference being known as the one where the keynote speaker didn’t show up. But she did!

One of my personal high points was sitting next to Lisa at dinner and getting to have a nice conversation with her. Then I had the honor of introducing her. The introduction was ALMOST perfect. Except that my heel got stuck in the carpet and I almost had to walk off without my shoe. It drew a laugh, which was the perfect lead-in for Lisa’s funny, heartfelt, and inspiring speech. She also made a grand and generous offer to those present. (And, YES, she was definitely serious about it).

My day ended at the bar, surrounded by friends and laughter. I’d survived Day One.

To be continued…

Comments

Metonia said…
I am so sad I was unable to attend but look forward to reading the rest of your posts

Darlene Warner

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