We did it! After nine months of planning, the conference went off splendidly. The team and I are pretty pleased with ourselves.
We succeeded in bringing in more money and more registrations than we had hoped, and were also successful in bringing together a diverse group of speakers and attendees. We got a lot of praise from attendees during the conference. And that was great.
Leading up to the conference, I started getting sick. That’s what lots of stress and bad eating habits will do. But adrenalin kept me going.
On Friday, it was good that we only had two workshops and about 50 participants, as we experienced a lot of registration difficulties and were nearly overwhelmed. By Saturday morning, however, we had much of the process sorted.
Saturday morning I gave a very short introduction, during which I forgot half of what I planned to say due to nervousness and my clogged head. But who cares when you’re followed by Martin Wattenberg!
I got to meet some great people, including Chris Downs, Mark Jones, Allan Chochinov, Robert Frabricant, Harold Hambrose, Jennifer Leonard, Daniela Sangiorgi…well, I guess all the speakers really. Mark, Allan, Jennifer and I stayed up pretty on Saturday and even did a little drinking and dialing. Shelley Evenson took it well.
I also got to see familiar faces, like Todd Wilkens, Alexa Andrzejewski, and Irene Chong, all of whom I worked with during the summer at Adaptive Path.
As far as the gist of the day, Saturday seemed to either confuse or engage everyone, so much so that the ensuing conversations at the Warhol party caused Chris Downs of live|work to redo his keynote presentation for Sunday morning.
Chris’ keynote really set the pace for Sunday, which turned out to be a very powerful and inspiring day. But it may not have seemed as such without the previous day’s presentations and conversations. The conference concluded with everyone together for Oliver King’s panel and Richard Buchanan’s keynote, both of which everyone seemed to enjoy.
I was happy to have been able to attend most of the presentations. I missed one set on Sunday morning, feeling like I needed a break. But with my mind on keeping the show going, I did not have too much time to process, and I took zero notes. Fortunately, others did.
After the conference, I promptly went home and planted myself on the couch. I tried to sleep but got up to write a thank you email to the other conference organizers: Ayça Akin, Matt Forrest, Joe Iloreta, and Kipum Lee.
The past two days I’ve been recuperated, quite literally, as my illness finally took over. On Monday I panicked about my thesis. But by Tuesday morning, I clambered up the rocky slope I was on, and could at least see the mountain range in front of me left to climb. This brought about some peace.
So Emergence is over…or is it? There’s still a lot of updates to make to the website, including uploading presentations and podcasts. And if we’re wise, we’ll start planning next year’s conference now.