The Superheroes of PodCamp Boston 2
One of the problems with an event the size of PodCamp Boston 2 is that things get lost along the way and after. Events like that need a public face or two, but rarely does the rest of the group get publicity. I want to take a moment to single out six individuals who made PodCamp Boston 2 possible; without them, there would have been no event at all, period.
Whitney Hoffman: if there’s a human being who can be said to epitomize the “organize” part of organizer, it’s Whitney. Without her, quite frankly, this ship would have been sunk. From smaller details like how many signs should be printed to large things like calling the Boston tourism bureau to secure the Seaport Hotel as a venue, Whitney made the vast majority of PodCamp Boston operations work seamlessly; but then, I would expect that of someone who both the ADA and the NFL have tapped to manage part of the Super Bowl’s operations.
Steve Sherlock: Steve Sherlock was our true collaboration enabler, arranging weekly conference calls and providing detailed transcripts of who attended and takeaways from the meetings. Steve also co-piloted registration with Susan Kaup and made that just work, too. Hint for future event planners: the conference call is a GREAT idea, and second hint, if an organizer doesn’t make at least 50% of the calls, they’re not an organizer, just a tourist.
someone: or Chel, as she’s more commonly known. Chel picked up a ton of administrative details, stuff that seems unimportant but will quickly grow to nightmarish proportions if left ignored, like contract dates, reminders, etc. Chel also took leadership of managing ALL the PodCamp Boston event entertainment on Saturday night, a mammoth undertaking given how many multiple, conflicting priorities there were. If you had any fun Saturday night, she’s to thank for it.
Susan Kaup: or Sooz, depending on the context. Sooz brought us game day operations, including BostonNOW’s sponsorship of registration, and I swear she knocked over a Staples truck to bring as much stuff as she did. Sooz also organized our ad hoc volunteer teams and recruited additional people to help manage registration operations.
Dave LaMorte: Dave stepped up and brought serious horsepower to game day, managing all the directionals, signage, and other organizational things that helped you find your way to where you needed or wanted to be, from lugging around aluminum meter boards to managing the posted grid.
Last but certainly not least, Marni Shapiro of pulvermedia. You know the really nice venue we had, sponsored by VON, and the great A/V, seating, water, chairs and tables, sponsor setups, building interface, wireless, network connectivity, laptops for presenters, FANTASTIC audio systems with twice-daily soundchecks, frequent notices about building information, food court availability, and a billion other things you probably didn’t notice? All that stemmed from Marni’s desk in her role as VP of operations for VON and pulvermedia. If there was a compliment I could give her and her team, she’s VON’s Whitney Hoffman, who at the end of the day just gets it done, period. No excuses, no meandering, no bullshit. It’s done when you need it to be done, and that’s all there is to it.
Now, this is not to say that other organizers didn’t contribute, because they certainly did, but I wanted to point out that these six folks went far, far beyond expectations to make PodCamp Boston 2 a success. If I ever wanted to run an events business (I don’t) or anything which required operational excellence, these people would get job offers immediately.