Preparing for ICCM Europe 2016

I’ve been an attendee of ICCM for the last two years, so when it came time to volunteer to help with the planning of the 2016 conference, I decided it was time to step up and truly help out. When it was asked if eDOT would host the upcoming conference, I thought that we could easily handle it given our personnel at the time, but as it is with missions, our personnel situation changed. Instead of having a few more bodies to help out, the bulk of the load fell on the shoulders of me and Miette.

While Miette tackles the nitty gritty details and numbers, I have taken on a very different role. I am the planner. My role is to figure out what all needs to happen in order to make everything happen the way we want it to happen. Got that? Oh and don’t forget, there has to be a plan for the unplanned things that may or may not actually happen. Simple, right?

Well maybe an example will help out. This is the kind of stuff I do to help make this conference work as seamlessly as possible. Let’s take drinks as an example. Something as simple as providing drinks for a group of 60 people shouldn’t be too difficult, but let’s see what all had to be taken into account.

  • First we need to figure out how much, on average, each person will drink in a day outside of meals and coffee breaks. We decided on a liter a day.
  • Now we have to decide what kind of drinks people will want. We know that not everyone will be happy, no matter what we get, but we do want to provide a good variety. So we decided to get water (still and bubbly), apfel schorle (bubbly apple juice), coke, coke zero, sprite and diet coke.
  • Now we have to decide how many of each item to get. This is partly where the budget makes the biggest impact, because water is way cheaper than pop (yes, I said pop; I’m from the Midwest). We haven’t made this decision quite yet so it is still up in the air.
  • Now, the unexpected. What if this year, few people drink anything extra at all? What if everyone drinks two liters a day? We decided to only buy a portion of the total that will most likely be purchased to get us through at least the first day and then when we need more we will have a better idea of what flavors are the favorite and can buy accordingly.
  • All of this is just for one small aspect of the conference, and I didn’t even talk about where we are buying the drinks, recycling the cans and bottles or any of the other decisions that are involved.

To say the least, there is a lot involved in order to make this conference happen, and we are hoping that we haven’t overlooked any detail so the attendees can get the most benefit as possible.