Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oh, conferences...

I am amazed again at how much we are paying to this hotel chain that shall be nameless, and getting such unhelpful facilities. The conference wireless is flaky; it ought to be the biggest beefiest channel imaginable, but no, it falls over at the first sign of two people logging on together. To be fair it's been better today.

Most of the presentation rooms open out on to the public areas. The doors are open most of the time, and sometimes it's difficult to hear the presenter because of the noise outside. If people aren't talking, staff are rattling past with trolleys full of the next refreshment break. If the doors are closed, they rattle really loudly whenever anybody moves in and out.

For refreshment breaks, the hotel has eschewed caffeine. They are determined to ensure that we do not go hypoglycaemic. They provide freshly made pink lemonade, which is basically sugar with some lemon flavouring and pink colouring waved over it. And massive cookies, which many people here are wolfing down.

The employees are all dressed in black suits. They also have earwigs with flexi cords disappearing into the shoulders of their suits. They look like secret service agents; I expect to get jumped on whenever I take my camera out of my bag. But they're all pushing trolleys around with stuff on.

Sound proofing between many of the rooms is poor - they are ballrooms, divided into three or four smaller spaces, and what's going on next door interferes with here.

Presentation facilities have all worked so far. That's a blessing.

My abiding memory of this conference is going to be people sitting on the floor near where the few power sockets are. They have plenty of tables; none sited near the sockets. Whyyyyyyyy?

Update: I've just discovered why the soundproofing between the parts of divided rooms is so poor - the walls are not fixed, they sway when you lean against them, so the sound is leaking round all the edges.

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