Today my alarm (and William’s too, as a backup) went off at 6:30 am (which is, I think, 10:30pm back home… OUCH). It hurt. I showered and got dressed, then got by laptop and headed down to the hotel breakfast. If you haven’t had a European breakfast in a hotel, you are in for a treat: meatballs, various slices of deli meats and cheeses, croissants, I think savory (not sweet) ebelskivers, and a few other odds and ends. Fortunately they had scrambled eggs, sausage, and some grayish sausage (I passed on that), as well as yogurts and granolas. I only had about ten minutes to eat before I had to catch the speakers bus to the event center…
at 7:30 I hurried down to the lobby (one floor below the restaurant) and met up with the other speakers, only to find out that the owner of the bus driver had been arrested the night before, and all of his bus services were frozen. The conference organizers are AWESOME, and so the Plan B they came up with was to walk about a city block (or two) to a line of taxis that they had called… I’m sure the taxis made out pretty good, as there must have been about fifty of us that needed rides immediately to the event center!
The event center is at a huge movie theater… which meant that the presentations were in front of a huge screen. That was a first for me… I’ve spoken in business buildings, churches, conference centers, even homes, but never had I spoken in a movie theater :p
The speaker’s room was nice but full… so I went to an empty theater and polished my presentation. That’s how I roll… no matter how “done” I am, there’s always more to tweak. I was feeling the effects of jetlag, and a little worried about whether I would be able to make it through my presentation (in about 2ish hours, at 11:30 am). The first presentation I watched was on data visualization (check out the topic below… this was a great topic for a European presentation) and kind of succumbed to a shuteye a few times. Man, I was tired.
Next was my presentation… I finalized this presentation concept at the University of Utah recently and was surprised at how I had planned to do Part A (on the foundational and must-do things in LinkedIn), and then Part B (going to LinkedIn and poking around). In an hour, I didn’t have any time to do Part B! I think this is my most solid LinkedIn presentation so far, and it’s not the whole thing I would do. Anyway, that’s what I did here, and it turned out to be a great presentation.
Oh, and check out my new look:
After my presentation it was 12:30, and lunch time. There are around 1,500 attendees here, and the food was served kind of buffet style amongst the vendor booths. It was super, super crowded. I waited until about 1:15 and finally got a burger and fries (fries were arguably invented here, and you can get them almost anywhere… you put a few spoonfuls of mayonnaise (or ketchup, but most have mayo) on top of them, and then stab at them with a little wooden spear (so you don’t get your fingers greasy). So yeah, I finally had my fritas experience!
I went to a table with a guy who looked really young, but he has a 13 and 11 year old, and he “even got married later in life.” He could have passed for 25, seriously. Turns out he plays the trombone in three bands, and his wife plays the trumpet, and his kids both play. Was very cool to chat with him about Belgium and his life here. “Do you watch movies?” No, especially since having kids… no time! He was a delightful guy, and taught me a bit about the history and culture of Belgium.
After that I headed to the shuttle to go back to the hotel to get ready for tomorrow’s presentation. I have a “speaker’s dinner” tonight at 8pm, and then will likely head to bed to get some sleep before I have to get out tomorrow. Luckily my presentation is at 4:30pm, so I’ll have time tomorrow for my ppt tweaks.
So, what did the travelling trio do today, you ask? Their own thing, on their own.
Apparently they made it to breakfast, and then they set off to explore the city. They had a list of things to see withing a twenty minute walk of the hotel, and of course went back to the bakery from yesterday and tried new stuff, as well as took a nap (again) in the park 🙂 I haven’t heard anything else, but here are some of their pics: