I’m not going to blog this session the way I normally would, because I’m sitting on the floor in the hallway outside the room, which is packed to standing room, with people using the walls as hard surfaces to write notes on their notepads, and an entire collection of folks on the floor outside, watching the flatpanel monitor showing the slides.
This is, obviously, a lovely gesture — there are overflow crowds, and ITI is finding ways to assist. I can hear Michael Porter, and I can see his slides, and that’s definitely better than being turned away at the door. I also have a lot of sympathy for never knowing how many people will show up at any given talk, and therefore the difficulty of scheduling the rooms.
But it’s not ideal. I have wifi, but no power. I have video and audio but no sense of the presenter — and frankly, Michael Porter is the kind of speaker whose presence is important — his personality comes through in how he talks and moves and uses his expression to convey thought and meaning — so his voice with slides just isn’t the same as seeing the guy talk. The message and words come through, but they’re not as great. I’m also being bombarded by not only the hotel’s elevator/hallway music, but the noise of the lobby behind me, people checking in and out, shushing their yelling kids eating lunch, buying coffee, and socializing in the bar. Which is distracting. Add that to not being able to see the speakers, and it’s the equivalent of watching documentary television in an uncomfortable airport. Not my ideal learning environment, I’m afraid.
But it’s okay. I’ll survive. Next year, though, I hope ITI remembers these images and … well… tries something new?