Once Upon a Conference


SchipulCon 09 at the Houston Zoo A wise woman once told me that to be a good writer, you have to actually write. So the same goes for bloggers right; to be a good blogger means you actually have to blog. That’s what I tell my clients anyway.

Well once upon a conference, I forgot about my blog because “things just got too busy.” Now the conference has come and gone and for the first time in two months, I find myself without an excuse not to visit this quiet place again. It’s home and it’s nice. But I haven’t actually been present here to enjoy it.

But once upon a conference, I found myself inspired again… and wishing I had never neglected writing at all. Oh how I wish I had a record of some of the hilarity that ensued when Ed said “Sure Maggie. You’re an event planner. You can plan the conference.”

Hold the phone please. Didn’t he realize I had been a wedding planner? At a country club? The difference between taupe and off-white is quite different than the difference between having wifi or lacking it (as I would later learn).

Well… The First Annual Schipul Web Marketing Conference (SchipulCon09 for short) was last week and thanks to the super smart crew I work with, our speakers and our sponsors, things just went fine. 200 people had a chance to come together at the Houston Zoo to learn some pretty amazing things… And I managed to avoid incorporating the wedding march into any intros.

So today is Monday and once upon a conference, I have realized that for the event planner in me, the most important lessons were not learned on stage.

And it is those things that SchipulCon inspired me to write about.

So what do I wish I had known before I started planning this conference?

  1. The quietest person on your team will be the one who is always there when you turn around and need help.
  2. Trucks are great for many things, but not moving popcorn machines when there is a chance for rain.
  3. You can never have too many power strips.
  4. Blogging Panels are ALWAYS better with Sharks.
  5. When help is freely offered, take it with grace.
  6. Check your speaker flight times… at least 36 times.
  7. If you invite Ziv, you will do shots. No matter how many times you say no.
  8. And no matter how loudly you say no, for that matter.
  9. If you say “y’all” 40 times in the closing remarks, people will giggle.
  10. Have someone outside of the team you can bounce ideas off of. This person will be your savior and one of your biggest cheerleaders.
  11. Have confidence in yourself. But make sure you have a back up plan in case a meteor hits your venue.

And in case you were wondering… we went with white linen.

12 Responses

  1. You kinda already know this, but you did a fantastic job! You give good conference my dear, and I am very proud of you. Very informative and, more importantly, FUN! I almost forgive you for missing my presentation at Netsquared because you were "too busy". Hope you have a relaxing week, and when can I sign up for SchipulCon10? Or is it Schipulcon2010? I'm confused . . .

  2. JJ Lassberg says:

    You did an absolutely phenomenal job. If a photographers job is to make a person look good – an event planners job is to make the event seem effortless… and you most certainly did that. Congrats!!! Looking forward to next year.

  3. Fayza says:

    Bravo, Magsies. You pulled it off with style, grace, and with much success. Is anyone surprised? I'm certainly not.

  4. qcait says:

    You are amazing and the conference was fantastic. Your lessons learned are wonderful because I KNOW they all come from the heart. Love, love, love!

  5. cpembyrun says:

    Fantastic conference you did plan…I felt it came out "wiser" if I spoke Yoda-ish. I love you and I am so proud of all your hard work.

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