Orlando is a Bust (Seriously)

This is a post about my Educause 2008 experience.

I’m certain that Avitable’s party will flip the trip back to “worth it”.

Caveat: I’m not really paying to come here. It’s all covered by my job. I still get paid to be here regardless of what I can take out of the experience, and it’s a well known fact that I like to complain (or is it?). The cost to send me here is around the 1,700$ mark, including plane tickets and hotel.

Caveat 2: As usual, just spending time outside of the office context with the Chief is worth it.

I can’t believe what I’m getting for the money I am (see Caveat) paying to be here.

Let’s start with the mundane stuff, shall we?

Food & Refreshments: Oh my frakin’ Lord. WTF is wrong with these people? First of all, the refreshment breaks are way too long, and not accessible enough. When we get to the refreshment area, we’re herded – moo! – along the sides of the walls in a neverending queue. Then when you get to the refreshment station, you can grab piss-poor coffee, tea, soft drinks, little cakes or apples. Thankfully they offer apples, but it takes 45 minutes to get to the stations, and the break lasts 5 minutes. FAIL. And the food? Let’s start by saying they don’t provide breakfast or dinner, the only provide lunch. I’m paying 700$ for a conference and you don’t provide breakfast and dinner? The Blackboard World conference I went to had breakfast, lunch, dinner and two breaks included in that price, plus the welcoming ceremony and the client appreciation party – with open bar. It lasted 4 days. For the same money at your two and a half day conference I got bad coffee twice a day, and two lunch boxes (pictures below). Seriously, WTF? Seriously!

lunch

If you are wondering if this is Wednesday or Thursday s lunch, no worries: it was the same thing both days.

Conference Center: What in the world were you thinking when you decided to spread the rooms this far apart? It takes 20 minutes to walk from one session to the other! Seriously!

Conference schedule: Who decided to have two sessions in the morning, with a 100 minutes break in between them? How about having 4 sessions in the morning, so instead of having to choose 2 sessions out of 100, I could choose 4 sessions out of 100, 8 since I’m here with the Chief? That would be too easy I think. And who needs two hours to eat a frakin’ sandwich, even a half frozen one? Seriously!

Program: Speaking of easy, how about putting actual descriptions of what’s going on on the session in your program, instead of putting all kinds of really nice description that fits with what I’m doing on a daily basis, so I wouldn’t have to discover that when you write “Integrating software X with software Y” it really means that the speaker will address such issues as integrating software X with software Y, instead of telling us how he came to decide that software Y’s retail box will have the name of the product in red instead of the classic blue. Seriously!

I could go on about the speakers, but I’d probably have o kill myself. You think I’m kidding.

Today’s my last half day of conference. Hopefully I can tag-along with Dawg, Karl and Poppy to go see Zack & Miri make a porno in the afternoon. If not, I’m sure I can find a way to make up for my crappy Orlando conference.

Mark my word Internets: I will only go back to these things when I’m presenting something. And I think that gives me the right to call bullsh*t on this conference.

Edit: Corrected a few typos. In my defence; I was pretty drunk at the time you honor. 😉

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3 comments

  1. I had such a horrible experience at EDUCAUSE 07 that it never occurred to me to even think about 08, even though I’m no longer in academia anyway, but if I did have to go I totally woulda hung out with you.

    And you got to go to the movie! Yay! Did you know I had my Converse boots in a bag with me at the theater? 😀

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