Behind the scenes at a tech conference

Posted by Gina Rosenthal in dellsf12 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A colleague of mine, Dan Sutherland, posted some great pictures of what it took to change a hotel ballroom into the hands-on labs for the Dell Storage Forum in Boston. Since I did lots of behind-the-scenes work again at this Dell Storage Forum, I thought I’d share some of what I saw as well.

Did you know there is a crew in the back of most keynote sessions, but also behind the stage, working to make sure you can hear and see everything that the speakers planned for you to hear and see? The organization and timing these folks have is incredible. They are also wicked funny.


Also, anyone with a session works for weeks before the event to get the presentation just right. There are usually rules the conference team wants you to abide by, and just getting all the details down is lots of work. This year, the Speaking in Tech crew had a session during which they recorded a live version of their podcast. We were lucky to have an AV staff that helped monitor a soundboard so we had microphones and a way to record the podcast. That team was helpful, and worked along with us and the Speaking in Tech team late into the night Sunday to make sure we had the sound plan down for the session.



I also have to give a shout-out to the events team. No matter what the request was, the answer was always “we can probably do that”. Even if the request was given to them in a desperate, angsty, or even annoyed voice. And most of the requests my team had were able to be met by the events team (and we’re probably not the easiest clients!). So for all the little things that always seem to annoy all of us at conferences (wireless comes to mind…) there are lots of things that just seem to be there. An events person was probably the reason why the other things were just “there”.

So, next time you go to a conference, stop and say something nice to the event staff if you see them. They work hard to make things really nice, and we probably don’t show them enough love.


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