Business/busyness Pt 1: the Anti-Conference Conference

If ever there was a defining time of both business and busyness engulfing my universe, it’s been the last week.

For me, it all began 6 months ago.  I joined English Central, whose major project for the year I inherited responsibility over:

English Central Conference 09: the Anti-Conference Conference

the Anti-Conference Conference

It went from being a partially begun, somewhat vaguely time-lined concept off in the far future, to gaining more and more of my focus yet still a bit in the distance, to taking over my entire focus with only a matter of weeks left.  Project managing such an event is no small feat for a committee, let alone myself and my two colleagues.  The details alone are mind boggling (who knew printing out name tags would be such a chore?), not to mention the more obvious larger aspects that require rationale, organization and forethought.

Conference day was Friday, November 20th – a date forever etched in my brain.  Potential reasons:

a) a disaster never quite able to forget completely or b) a smashingly successful first go at organizing and holding an conference of:

  • 90 attendees
  • 3 international speakers & 2 local presenters
  • 3 helpers
  • 7 Powerpoint presentations
  • 3 individual workshops with 120 handouts
  • 2  sessions of alternative format
  • 90 muffins and danishes
  • 2 dozen Tim Horton donuts
  • 172 book giveaways
  • 180 conference feedback forms (paper and electronic)

and the culmination of 6 months of planning!  Which do you think is the reason?

Thankfully, it was an event with some boundary-pushing  sessions (at least as far as conferences in this neck of the woods go), some niche-filling aims, and one that I’m so proud of that I smile whenever I think about it!  But I am glad it’s over.  Bring on 2010!


About seburnt

I own 4C and teach at University of Toronto. View all posts by seburnt

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