Butch Voices (the work! and so much of it…)
So aside from being interested in the conference as a participant and attendee, I started my Butch Voices involvement journey when I submitted my resume back in October of 2012. Eons and eons ago, it seems. They were looking for a logistics co-chair, and dude, event logistics? That’s like… my JOB, man.
Since I graduated college in 2000, I’ve been doing some form of event logistics. Scheduling, coordinating, managing spaces, audio/visual support, staff from students to full-time worker bees. J-O-B.
Now… screeeeechhhhh back it up a minute. This does NOT mean I am an event planner. These are different things. Event Planners help you pick out your finger sandwiches and color schemes for your linens. I make sure that your caterers can find where they’re going, that your attendees have chairs, and that your linens have tables. Doors are unlocked. The A/V dude knows you forgot your dongle. Bathrooms are clean and ready. People know where to park and how to get to where they’re going. I don’t really care what you’re having during your continental breakfast as much as I want to make sure you have enough trash cans for your empty coffee cups.
OK, that’s a lie. I DO care. But that’s only because, when I meet you at the start of the event, I’m only a little bit looking for you to say, “Oh please help yourself to those mini cheesecakes!”
Don’t mind if I do!
I am the invisible behind the scenes person that makes your event seamless. My job, really, is to go unnoticed because everything worked so well that no one ever looked around and said, “Can you find someone to bring us more chairs?”
So the job details of the logistics co-chair was totally in my wheelhouse. Except for that part when I was put in charge of ordering continental breakfast items. Did you know that butches really like lemon poppy-seed bread? Less so with the blueberry kinds. But MAN can those folks drink some coffee. Hoo-boy! New skills, for the win!
My job was a little of coordination and planning, plus being the go-to person for the Marriott conference manager (the “me” at the conference). Also, little other duties as assigned here and there. Nothing too uncomfortable, by any means.
So the WORK was awesome. I ran around like a headless chicken all weekend, looking for fires to put out and presenters with whom to shake hands and introduce myself. “Can I get you anything? Everything look OK? Questions?” Less fires to put out = I did my job well.
So every morning, around 6am (PST – THAT was an easy adjustment), I would wake-up and watch the local news, where the blinking and complicated traffic report made me think that they were suggesting routes out of the city DUE TO THE APOCALYPSE. But no, apparently that’s what the traffic looks like in the Bay Area on any given morning. Weird. Then I would go nonstop until about 11pm or midnight.
The adrenaline of the environment and the FEELINGS (coming soon!) meant that I didn’t mind the lack of sleep. I went to sleep hard every night, and up with a bang every morning until I found myself on a red eye back East on Saturday night. Then, of course, I promptly slept for, like… three days straight. It was one of those things were work feels GOOD. It felt great to use all parts of my brain, myself for four days. I can’t wait to do it all over in 2015.