Other than some serious last-minute rushing to make my flight due to some weird traffic phenomena, the trip to Miami for the IAEE Expo Expo was pleasantly, well, pleasant. And my room at the Doubletree is serviceable, even though I have the world's grossest view out the window of some kind of drainage pit where it looks like a building once was. But if I lean out the window and crane my neck to the left, I can see the ocean!
Anyway, the opening general session was chock full of awards, presentations, and the other stuff that tends to make opening general sessions snoozers. I did like Bob Eubanks as the emcee. He was the perfect balance of funny, cranky, and incredulous. But the rest of it just really dragged. I'm sorry, but it did. Some day, someone will figure out how to make these things less boring, but today wasn't the day. Or maybe I'm just tired.
The reception started out pretty interesting, though. It was held at Jungle Island, a very cool venue that would have been perfect if our group was 500 instead of 2,000. As it is, they seemed to be pretty overwhelmed. The food warmers were empty, the servers seemed a little freaked out, and the bar was 200-deep. They kept telling us to move on, there would be more food further down the way. And there was, but again, the plates were empty. Some people were eying the parrots along the path with a hungry eye. By the way they were squawking and trying to look fierce, I think the parrots felt that vibe, too. Fortunately, we all eventually found something non-feathered to put out the fire, but it wasn't the smoothest of food services.
One of the best parts was seeing the baby animals, including a kangaroo, some lemurs, a lion, a tiger cub, and a baby gator, held by their handlers who in some cases let us pet them (I fell a little in love with the red lemur, who was hugging his handler like a baby and felt like the softest fleece).
The other best part was running into someone I actually know and was hoping to run into, but figured I never would (you know how that goes if you don't arrange a meeting ahead of time): Candy Adams, aka the Booth Show Mom. Then I find out that the person I had been futilely hunting food with earlier turns out to be someone I had mentioned here on face2face a while back, consultant, speaker, and author Maryls Arnold. I wish I'd known she was going to bring up face2face at her session today--I would have put up a greeting for her class, just for fun.
Well, I'm totally out of gas and not looking forward to an early day tomorrow, but I am looking forward to some good sessions. Stay tuned...