As the saying goes, there is nothing quite like learning on the job and no truer words could be spoken about my experience with this year’s BIO International Convention. Having joined the Communications Department less than two months prior to the largest event of the year, my start date was in the height of Convention preparation. Each day at the office was consumed by learning, retaining and contributing as much as possible to the Convention related tasks at hand. The frenetic work pace and continuous stream of emails flooding my inbox proved to be a bit overwhelming at times, leaving myself to ask the question, “How will this all get done?”
Then, before the blink of an eye, the Convention was here. Fortunately, having taken advice from my new colleagues, I was well rested and well equipped with comfortable shoes. Being on site Saturday and Sunday, for the early days of set-up and Media Registration, helped to get my feet wet prior to Monday’s official start date. One of the more humbling moments came during this time when, unable to find the Media Registration booth, I had to sheepishly ask for directions only to find I had walked by it numerous times already.
By Monday morning there was a definite buzz in the air that was contagious. I found myself walking a bit taller and full of pride, knowing I was part of an organization that produced an event with high expectations in an exciting industry. The rest of the Convention was a blur of early mornings, monitoring press conferences, updating press releases, assembling press kits, manning the media registration desk, distributing media lists, putting out fires and lending a hand whenever possible. Not to say the week was all work and no play. BIO has mastered the art of offering fun, social and entertaining off site events that tempt even the most tired employee to stay out well past our bed times and enjoy the camaraderie shared amongst co-workers.
All in all, the event was a wonderful learning experience. It was truly amazing to watch all the pieces fall in to place, from the countless tweets, blogs and press releases the social media team distributed to the record breaking media attendance, it was quite evident the amount of planning that went in to the completion of a successful event. And the icing on the cake, would have to be how warmly the Communications Department welcomed this newcomer. Even in the most stressful of times, every question was answered with patience and every minor blip was resolved with a smile.
Now it’s on to Boston where this rookie hopes to be an old pro!