IN THIS WEEK’S POST: SDI, HDMI, HDCP, MFSA, UMM, OMP, and basically enough acronyms to keep 1200 United Methodists happy for a 4-day get-together.
So. The big event has come and gone. Annual Conference 2016 is a wrap. And was it as exhilirating as I was hoping for it to be? Yes. Was it stressful? Absolutely. Am I exhausted? I am, but I need to type this blog post before I fall asleeklsdgns;lKDG;ALWKEMBGJAKWEGNLKEWgn.
Ahem. Anyways. Let’s talk about it.
Now, before I can even begin to tell any stories, I have to start with a story. I know, I know, sounds weird, doesn’t it? But bear with me here. As Mark (my boss) and I travelled to Hot Springs, we received news from Butch (one of my co-workers) that the equipment truck had broken down in Bryant. We later found out that the cause was a blown head gasket, and that we would have to move all of the equipment, just the three of us, from one trailer to another. On the side of I-40. In 110+ heat index heat.
It was as fun as you’re imagining it was.
Now, I’ve already explained what Annual Conference is here, so I won’t go into that. Besides, the setup and execution makes for a much more fun explanation. And fun it really was. Setting things up was honestly very smooth, and we had a fantastic crew to assist us led by Rob Walker.
However, Rob himself is quite the character. And he helped to contribute to one of the most memorable moments of the whole conference for the staff and crew.
As I was helping to set everything up, I ate lots of candy to get me through it all. And one day, I ate nothing but candy to get me through. I didn’t want to miss any of the action, or not learn how to do something, so I just kept a stash of candy with me the whole time. Therefore, Rob proceeded to call me “the candy man” all week long, and it wasn’t too long for the rest of the staff, from Mark (my boss) to Mackey (the outgoing Director of Mission and Ministry) to call me that. All. Week. Long.
And while I fought it at first, I grew to accept it, and own it. Therefore, the post title story is complete.
But that story is only a glimpse into one-half of the whole story. The other half, the execution of everything from video to streaming to presentations, was also filled with its moments. It was certainly more stressful. Certainly resulted in many laughs (and snarky comments, if I am to be honest here). And certainly produced some highlights that I’ll be keeping with me for the coming months and years.
From the “Wesley Brothers” name tag that EVERYONE wanted a picture of…
…to keeping up with the US Open finale for the Bishop and others…
…there never was a dull moment. There never was a stress-free moment, either, with making sure that slides were cued at the right moment, microphones were activated and at the right volume, and everything was recording smoothly. And to be honest, those things didn’t always happen 100% perfectly. But we made it through them wil minimal effects on the conference, and I even discovered a work-around/exploit for one of our bigger projection and equipment compatibility issues. It’s such a good work-around, that I don’t even want to go into detail about it for fear that it might actually get patched (because it deals with breaking encryption, which could be used by copyright pirates and the like). But rest assured, it was a cool thing I discovered, and we certainly plan on using it in the future.
I could go on and on about the conference itself. About the messages, the debate, the good, bad, and sad moments. However, I don’t want to delve into those here, as this blog is strictly free of my personal opinions and solely about covering my work experience and vocational exploration. So to that end, I will conclude thusly:
Annual Conference 2016 was a fantastic event. It had its ups and downs, but at the end of the day, United Methodists from across the state of Arkansas…well, united for a greater cause. I see great potential in our future, and we can’t let that vision go.
So what comes next? Well, I can now share the following, since they were announced at the conference: a new website, the REcharge Initiative, a new mobile app, and the 2017 Technology Summit.
Until next time,
BONUS: Selfie time!