This round of pet peeves is focused on the pet peeves I’ve accumulated as a conference organizer (for multiple events). Let me be clear, there are many amazing aspects and these are my issues but you know me, always sharing:
- Last minute cancellations: There are absolutely situations that are truly unavoidable and merit last minute cancellations. Yet, here are some reasons that do not make me a happy lady: I finally asked my boss if I could go and the answer was no (DO NOT accept if you are not sure you can go). I finally figured out the cost of attending the conference and can’t go (DO NOT accept if you haven’t looked at the cost first). My flight was delayed (why are you flying in an hour before you should speak). Often, organizers are unable to replace the session; which just sucks for all involved.
- Response Time Expectation: Please take into consideration that many organizers are doing this as a second job. I once had someone get super annoyed because I didn’t respond within the hour. I would give anything to be able to be immediately responsive but it’s just not realistic unless this was my full time job.
- Not being able to enjoy: There is so much work leading up to the event. There are always a number of challenges during the event. This means that often I find myself not taking the time to enjoy the conference. I’m going to try really hard to soak in the highlights at Agile2017 regardless of whatever is going on that needs attention.
- Uninformed judgements: I understand that lack of information can cause wild stories. However, we are in the Agile community, let’s give organizers the benefit of the doubt. I was at a conference (that I didn’t organize) and I heard the most random things from “organizers are pocketing the money”, “organizers only picked their friends to speak”, “organizers don’t care about feedback”, etc. We sign up for these roles because we care – this continues to be one of the hardest aspects for me to deal with.
- No soda feedback: Personally, I do not drink pop (soda, coke) very often. However, I get that I’m odd in this. I was floored to learn what hotels want to charge for a single can of pop…wait for it…at one hotel $8.00 a can. Yes, $8.00 a can. And no, they won’t let you bring in anything from outside the hotel. Registration costs would dramatically increase if organizers had to cover that.
As much as these are pet peeves, they are mine and as a leader that doesn’t mean I get to simply judge others. Instead, these serve as opportunities for others and for me to grow. If this stuff was easy, I wouldn’t be sharing.
What are your conference organizer pet peeves?