I woke early again the next morning, this time to work my first Hands on Hundred shift of the event. I was to help out at the Opening General Session, greeting people and pointing them in the right direction. This ended up being a really short and low-key event shift, but we did get to see most of the keynote speakers at the session as well. We were whisked away before the end though – we had to head down to the Exhibit Hall to be ready to launch confetti when it was officially announced open.
This leads me to my new favourite thing – Flutterfetti. For those of you who have never heard of Flutterfetti (I hadn’t), it is so much fun. Basically you have these disposable tubes that you can launch confetti from with just a flick of your wrist. It took a couple attempts for me to perfect the technique, but it wasn’t long before I had it all figured out. The Flutterfetti training was pretty intense for our group:
1. We used an empty Flutterfetti tube and walked through the motion with the direction of the lady from Flutterfetti.
2. We had to do a full, normal paced walk through of the technique one by one. The Flutterfetti lady critiqued our movement and we repeated until we got it right.
3. Once we showed her we could do the motion correctly, we each got to have one real practice shot (I launched mine into the wall).
4. We waited for the exhibition to be announced open, and we each got two shots to “throw” into the crowd (I perfected my technique on my final shot, so much that everyone “ooohed” and “ahhhed” over it – I was pretty proud).
Once all this happened, I felt totally Flutterfetti certified. Just saying. I’d really like a certificate actually.
After this was all cleaned up I was done my shift. I headed up to my room to have a little bit of downtime and then spent a couple hours in the afternoon touring the exhibit hall. I was unprepared for how absolutely magical a special event trade show is. I wandered up and down the aisles in awe of the beautiful fabrics for sale and decor for rent, as well as the unique entertainment ideas and interesting pieces of technology. I was absolutely in my element and totally could have wandered through there for the rest of the day. But before long, it was time to head to an education session!
My first session of the day was “Better Pitches: Mastering the Unexpected” with Matt Elwell. During this session, we were provided with a bunch of different tools and exercises that improvisers use to deal with the unexpected in any situation. These can be used to build skills that would come in handy in almost any line of work. I was definitely provided with some thing to think about in relation to just general conversation.
My second session of the day was “Contracts & Negotiation III: What You Don’t Know Can Cost You and Your Clients!” with Mona Meretzky. Mona was extremely knowledgeable on this topic, and provided us with many do’s and don’t of negotiating contracts with different groups, whether for venues, vendors, or clients. I found this session extremely informative and most, if not all, of the information will be useful for me on a regular basis.
By the time I finished this session, KP had made it to the hotel! Hurrah! I thought about getting some Flutterfetti to launch for her arrival celebration (because, you know, it’s the best), but that didn’t really pan out. You can read all about her final day in Denver as well as the rest of our evening in her post, It must be my lucky day!
My favourite learnings and tidbits from the day:
1. Plans are useless, but planning is indispensible.
2. Always be prepared to embrace an unexpected moment.
3. Ask for more than you expect.
4. Flutterfetti is the most fun thing ever.
5. Event trade shows are better than pretty much any other trade show.