THE Special Event

    At the behest of my better half, I got a flu shot. Apparently, the flu is pretty bad in some parts of California, and she wanted to take no chances with my immune system vs. the plague.

    I crybabied my way through it, and even though most of it was for show to the utter delight of my children (is that weird that they absolutely relish the fact that daddy has to get a shot?), my left shoulder is currently pretty tender!

    Well, after a fairly nondescript flight, a commute to Anaheim from LAX, and then a check into the pretty decent Hilton Anaheim, I’m ready to call it a night. With a pretty full schedule tomorrow, I’m excited and beat, all at the same time.

    Again, I’ll try to give you all daily updates from the show floor, highlighting some of the more exciting educational sessions, maybe getting some hot new products that may be coming to Hawaii real soon, and other juicy tidbits to make you feel like you were RIGHT THERE WITH ME!

    The way I try to pick education sessions at these conventions is maybe a bit unconventional (see what I did there? oh well… give me a break, it’s late and I’m tired.) I rarely pay attention to what the actual sessions are about, and focus more on WHO the presenter – or presenters – is/are. Normally, a great speaker, someone who is a veteran in the industry with lots of war stories, or who just has an “it” quality about them regarding their speaking skills will deliver a much better session than someone who has a great topic.

    I also tend to gravitate towards panels (sessions with multiple speakers) as they often are more fiery or exciting.

    Finally, I look for roundtable discussion type sessions, where questions and answers are encouraged. Audience participation can often be unpredictable. I was once part of a session where the topic was about the differences in the older generation of Event Planners vs the new generation of Event Planners. Man, that got hostile pretty quick. I literally thought it was going to be a streetfight once the younger guys started mouthing off about how the old guys were over the hill and the veterans of the industry were bemoaning the young know-it-alls who didn’t know their heads from… well, you get the picture.

    This year, the sessions I am excited about include:

    A Question of Ethics: looks like there will be some hot-button topics addressed in this one!

    Do You Want to Know What I Know?: CEO’s and Presidents often know their stuff, and it sounds like audience questions will be encouraged. TOO BAD these happen at the same time!!

    Splurge, Purge, and Feed the Urge: I forgot… one of the MOST RELIABLE ways to know what a good session will be is if it’s “back by popular demand”. Unlike movies, the sequel is often just as good as the original. And if they are bringing it back for another year, it MUST have been GOOD. These are all event pro’s, after all.

    Confessions of an Event/Wedding Planner…: Just the sheer number of speakers and their resume’s BEG for entertainment. I think this will be a GOOD one.

    Well, time for some rest. It’s a big day tomorrow, and I for one am looking forward to it!

    In case you want to check out the full list of sessions, find the pdf here.