Venue, venue – where are you?
Now only nine days away from the BrainJams event in New Orleans, I am starting to sweat some serious bullets. Securing a venue has always been one of the more (if not the only) difficult pieces to throwing an ‘unconference’, but throw in the fact that you try holding an event in a city that has been totally devastated by a hurricane – and well, it has given me more than a few gray hairs.
Now it seems most of the ‘free/low cost’ places we had scouted are either already booked for Jazz Fest events, or not ready to be opened to the public. One of my last hopes is a classroom in the Louisiana Technology Council building and I am fervently working with Mark Lewis (President of the LTC), so odds are good we can get the space, but I would still like everyone to get together – think nice thoughts – and cross every digit on your body.
Of course, if we had a sponsor who could kick up some serious cash for a hotel room ($5k which includes food and drinks all day) – the location would have been set two weeks ago. But, that type of sponsorship is hard to come by - and to be completely honest, I think it might even detract from the feeling we hope to get from the BrainJams events. Keep it simple. Low key. Enable people to connect through ‘fireside conversations’. That is the beauty of BrainJams.
This process also confirms previous discussions Chris and I have had on the need to build a repository of items such as venues, video equipment, sponsors, etc. to make it easy on other people trying to hold their own ‘unconference’. Because this part just sucks and I would like to save others from having to go through this process.
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