05 August 2007

Conference over and out

My first ever corporate conference - I lived through it and, surprisingly, had an absolute blast!

I was full of trepidation and nervousness about the whole thing. It would have been incredibly easy to just not go; RSVP with some bogus excuse. That way I wouldn't be pushed into 2 full days of company weirdness, including having to give a presentation myself.

As it turned out, I went to Taupo on Wednesday night. This was earlier than most as I said I'd help out with registration at the resort etc. Thursday lunchtime is when everything officially kicked off. By then I had already "chaired" an impromptu Q&A session (yikes! But it seemed to go ok).

After official welcome speeches, videos etc, it was off to our sessions, where I presented to my group. That also seemed to go well - I was so relieved when it was all over though, and I could just sit back and relax.

That night we had a scrummy buffet dinner (much better than I thought) and a guest speaker (also much better than I thought - really interesting and funny). Annnnnd too much wine! For me anyways! I drank steadily - I guess I didn't realise how much I had until I got back to my room around 1:30am and crashed out; completely zonked until the alarm went off Friday morning.

Friday was our "activity day". I had a few clues as to what it would be. It turned out to be an Amazing Race all around the area - we were in teams (22 altogether) competing against each other to solve clues, complete tasks, take photos etc.

I didn't know many of my team mates at the start (9 including me), but by the end of the day we were a real team! Some of the tasks we did included: rowing a life raft, kayaking, prawn fishing, riding in a jet boat, quad bikes, walking on stilts, and my highlight = helicopter ride!! (I'd never been in one before).

It was a looooog and tiring day (not helped by hangovers!). There was a couple hours reprieve, before a gala dinner - beautiful food, hilarious entertainment (courtesy of some outgoing staff members performing lip syncs in costume... highlight = all male Spice Girls in drag!), and more wine.

Then much booging ensued, more wine, before I crashed out around midnight. What can I say?! I was a light-weight!

If I had RSVPed 'no', I would've missed the whole experience! No networking, helicopter ride, no making friends or boozing up on free wine! The conference was just plain cool. To think I could've been stuck at normal work... *shudders*

And just to finish this post off: helicopter ride!! (Yes, I was very very excited about my helicopter ride!)

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