wow. welcome back to reality jess.
i wish i had a good excuse as to why i've been away for so long. like an awesome trip to a remote island with z.e.r.o communication or backpacking the annapurna circuit (alas, it's still on my bucket list). unfortunately, i've got nada. except for a wicked case of blogger's block & no motivation to sit down and write. life has been, well, life. and since things have been so relatively normal around here, i'm having a hard time figuring out what to share and how to share it.
to be honest, i don't have nearly enough pictures to make up for the amount of time i've been away. i spent the end of april in atlanta, georgia at a conference we produced, last weekend was spent in pennsylvania participating in our first adventure race and this week we're prepping a. for surgery (ugh). but isn't this the point of blogging? to share my everyday and the things we do with each of you that care enough to spend time on this little space everyday? so here we go- back to life, back to blogger-ality.
in general, i like to keep my personal and work life separate, but sometimes (most times) the worlds are bound to collide. so i figured, instead of avoiding this topic, i'd dive in feet first and show you how a conference producing company rolls and share what i do. ready?
the saturday before the conference i generally fly into the conference city (in this case, atlanta) with our events team. it usually takes us the better part of a day to travel and once we arrive to our hotel and are settled, we unpack our suitcases and organize the office. if we're lucky, we can take a break and spend the evening out on the town for dinner and drinks. i'll be the first to admit, it's always awesome to get fresh air & local flavor.
in this case, we went to alma cocina for an amazing dinner and afterwards, made our way to an irish pub for some sweetwater brew.
on the sunday before the event, load-in continues. we wake up relatively early and get cracking on a lot of the details. these are the components that we believe make us different. from our conference phone app and twitter feed to name badges, giveaways and evaluations. & we take all these little things to heart. working with the av team and hotel staff, rooms are set, internet is dropped and stages are built. most of my energy is concentrated in the exhibit hall where i work with our vendors to build the space per our partners expectations. i love seeing every inch of the space come together & it always reminds me how much i love the world of events.
the rest of the team arrives later that day & if there's enough to do, helps us finalize a few of the details (such as rolling t-shirts or alphabetizing name badges). we then head out for a team dinner full of good food and lots of wine- ready to toast to a successful conference. this past conference we ate at sear in the marriott marquis. let me just say, if you're there- the georgia salad was by far one of my faves. and don't forget the dessert. not only do they have the great wall of chocolate, there's also the chocolate bacon crunch- that even this die-hard vegetarian couldn't resist.the conference runs monday-thursday. these are the longest days yet & require the most out of us. our call time is around 6:30am and after a day of conferencing and a night of networking, we'd roll into our rooms around 1:30-2:00am. this particular conference was a first annual event so expectations were high. luckily, the crowd was very interested in learning all about the material and everyone was extremely engaged. during the day, we coordinate various sessions on different topics with breaks for coffee, lunch and afternoon snacks. every evening ends with a reception of some sort.
this year, we took everyone to the hard rock for a bit of music and dancing. once our venue rental was exhausted, the after party continued at metro cafe- a unique greek diner/karaoke bar. there was over a 2 hour wait to karaoke, so while we never made it to the stage formally- there was plenty of sneaky solos throughout the night.
by the time the conference is over, we're boarding the plane exhausted and completely run down. but we're always running on the adrenaline of an insanely successful conference and many new friendships. these conferences continually solidify why i love the world of events. even the longest & most frustrating sales campaign is outweighed by the enthusiasm of these successful conferences. & just when you think you can't take it any longer, you have new steam in your engine and are ready to do it all over again.
so that's my life when i'm conferencing. it always seems busier than it sounds. but hopefully you've enjoyed the bit of insight into this side of my life.
i plan to get things organized this weekend and begin a fresh start next week. i can't thank you enough for hanging in there and sticking with me. over these next couple months i have a lot to share (though some things i can't divulge yet), so things are bound to get interesting!
on another note, i'm working on creating a new blog platform. i've been battling my blog url & name since inception- and finally came up with something that emulates who i am to the core. i'm excited to share- and if you have any suggestions as to what blog platforms to use, i'd be greatly appreciative!