Friday, April 11, 2008

Symposium was a Success!!

The symposium went very well, better than I expected. Everything ran very smoothly, we didn’t seem to have the hiccups one would expect from it being our first event. We learned a few things on how to run the day better next time, mostly minor things. Like we didn’t think of it until halfway through the first speaker but having a pitcher of water handy would be very useful. Also next time I think we should go with a wireless mic, one speaker wanted to wander more and all of them occasionally leaned back a bit from the mic so it likely was not as loud at the back of the hall as it should have been. We didn’t have a panel discussion and I think that is something we need to incorporate into our next event. We also did very well with book sales and could have probably ordered more. But we had very little to base our order on, we just made a guess and we were a little low, but that’s better than having too much stock.

The presenters themselves were fantastic. We had selected authors we thought would be good but we truthfully had no idea how well it would turn out. Just because a guy writes a good book does not mean he can speak in front of a crowd. But our guys were a good batch, I’ll post a bit more about each one this week as they all brought up some insights and questions I’d like to share and comment on.

They were also highly complimentary of what we had put together. I’m not sure if they were just being nice but I’d like to believe they were being honest. Down the road we’ll send out surveys to speakers and attendees to gauge reactions to our event, I think then we’ll have a complete picture.

The hall was pretty good sized, I took this first thing in the morning. Eventually we'd fill about half the place. The Community College of Aurora videotaped the first half of the day for their community cable access station, hopefully we'll get a copy of that. I'd love to share it on here or youtube but we'll see if that's possible.
Here is our book room. We had books for all of our presenters. I'd like to thank the University of Tennessee Press, Kentucky University Presss and Savas-Beatie for helping us out with this. The University of Tennessee Press did the most for us as they also sent catalogs, bags, a table cloth, and other promotional materials. We've dealt with them from the very beginning on this, back when it was just a kernel of an idea.

One of our roundtable members, Bob Moulder, set up a display showing a fraction of his impressive collection. My favorite aspect of Bob's collection is that there is a personal story behind each item. He just doesn't have a certain model of sword, he knows who carried it in the war and what happened to him, that's impressive. That's a Bob behind the table, but not Bob Moulder, its his friend and day's assistant Bob Huddleston.

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