I've spent the past two days - much of it, anyway - working on the room assignments.
I had done the initial room assignments based on what we *thought* would be popular, with high numbers of students, and using the largest rooms for those teachers/topics, then assigning the rest into the smaller rooms based on how many I thought would be interested.
Turns out I was right for some, wrong for others.
Not to mention I found out yesterday - after spending nearly three hours on the task - that one of the larger rooms I had been counting on was no longer available.
The good news is that one of the rooms that I thought was smaller was actually larger than I thought it was.
By the time I found that out I had mush for brains, decided that sinus congestion, fatigue and trying to sort out a complex scheduling situation were not compatible and declared myself done for a Monday.
This morning I still have sinus congestion but had at least slept a reasonable amount, and started again. Being fresher, I was able to see my way through the morass of information and two hours later I have an updated room schedule.
A couple of the classes might be a bit full, but hopefully not uncomfortably so. And we're all friends, right? We're all adults and we know how to play well together, right?
We did have to cancel a few things due to low enrollment but those people affected have been switched to other seminars/workshops. And there is one last opportunity to change things during check in.
Several workshops/seminars are full, but many still have room for more, should anyone suddenly find themselves able to attend.
Our web mistress will be updating the website shortly with the cancellations. We have had a few more vendors join us for the Market Hall, we have around $5000 worth of awards for people registered for the conference entering either the exhibits and/or fashion show.
Instructors are booking their travel and I will be letting the hotel know when to expect the arrival of those staying at the Coast Hotel. (Locals will be sleeping in their own beds.)
We are officially 6 weeks (SIX WEEKS!) away from the conference. Working on this for five years means a kind of surreal sense that it is still a long ways away - but it's not.
I will be spending a lot of time at the desktop generating lists - materials we are to provide, audio visual we are to provide, class lists, room listings for each building so registrants can find the room they are looking for (with floor plan so they know where the room actually is), so on and so forth.
I will also be writing up the fashion show commentary, arranging for the numbers for the models to carry and the printed program.
Through all of these details, I keep thinking about how organizing a conference is similar to designing a textile. Lots of details. Lots of considerations. Lots of confusion. Lots of complexity. At times feeling like it will never work out. But often times, how stepping away from the problem will bring clarity, and then? Next thing you know, it's done.
I think there are lots of reasons that making textiles is so frequently used as a metaphor for life. Look how many 'fairy' tales there are with spinning and weaving are profiled - Sleeping Beauty, Rumplestiltskin, The Swan Princes, and many, many more.