The build up to conference was palpable this year. We had incredible amounts of work ahead of us as we scheduled educational sessions, track chairs to lead them and speakers to speak in them. Not to mention networking events, meals, and meetings galore. Oh my! We got as many ducks as possible in a row, and after a last minute scramble, headed to Atlanta to work onsite.
There was a lot of walking to do, but it all worked out with a little patience and planning. Pre-arranged and printed schedules assured all coworkers were consistently where they needed to be. We were excited, helped each other, and coalesced during the few venting sessions.
How can we not be excited when there's 3,100 of our best friends and family walking around us from 7 am till 7 pm or later every day for four days?
Long hours of smiling, answering questions, walking, walking some more, and walking again led to weary souls, but a little rest and a little food helped to keep the steam going.
The Georgia World Congress is a very interesting convention center, because it is basically three long buildings next to each other. Our event was in building B, the middle building. Conference events took place anywhere within the two Omni towers adjacent to the CNN center to the five levels of the long Building B.
I love seeing old friends again after a long time. There are past research committee members from my early days or folks I've worked on projects with, that bring just such a joy in me to see them, give them a big smile, give them a quick hug, and catch up a little. Some other folks have had personality and temperament differences with me and therefore it's painful to see them and have to be customer service oriented when attending them during events and such, but still, quite doable with some ole professional elbow grease.
I went in not knowing what to expect, and came out elated and exhausted. The conference creates a contagious sense of excitement that's not really comparable to anything else. Especially fun committee dinners were we all relax and have a glass (or two) of an adult libation.
Gotta get some rest and plenty of water after all this excitement though, I'm completely worn out.