Thursday, December 1, 2011

Behind the scenes at a conference

top - David running lights, Dan running sound; below - me running ProPresenter & PowerPoint, Steve running the switcher; Matt is not pictured because he took this picture!
My experience at Compelling was especially unique because it was the first time I've worked as part of the technical support. Twentyonehundred was asked to provide support with sound, lights, camera, and screens - basically, everything that you need to produce a professional conference. This was especially important since the conference has grown over the years. With 700 students in one room, it's important that everyone is able to see the speaker, hear the speaker, and therefore stay engaged during the main sessions.

my station at our tech table. those headsets were uncomfortable!
 At first I felt a little useless since I know very little about running a conference from a technical standpoint. But by watching my teammates David, Dan, Steve and Matt, I learned things like the names of different types of cords and what they are each needed for. I climbed a tall ladder and adjusted the lighting that hit the various parts of the stage, and set up the headsets that we all used to communicate with each other during the sessions. In each session I was in charge of advancing song lyrics and also keeping track of the speaker's PowerPoint presentation and letting Steve know when to switch from the presentation to the video feed which showed his face on the screens. These are the kinds of details that perhaps most people would not realize need to be thought about, but they are nonetheless vital for pulling off a successful conference.

Compared to the craziness of registration and administrative tasks I'm used to doing at conferences, this job was a breeze! I'm grateful to be on a team where I can learn new skills and serve in different ways. It was even kind of fun!

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