Georgia World Congress Center main entrance and sign at Twilight with traffic streaks.


I wrote in this space yesterday about my anxiety about attending a large conference for the first time in a long time. Let me give you a little recap of Day One, just to keep both of you loyal readers in the loop.

  • If you know anything about Atlanta, the event venue is Building B of the Georgia World Congress Center. It’s next to Mercedes Benz Stadium, State Farm Arena, and Centennial Olympic Park. I parked at our headquarters building just across Northside Drive from The Benz, and decided to walk across the street to the conference. At 3:30 pm. In mid-July. It was HOT! Did I say it was HOT? Let’s just say I’ve already paid for closer GWCC parking for today.
  • Check-in was a breeze. Lots of nice smiling folks to get you where you needed to go. But $100 to replace a lost ID badge?
  • I thought my team members would be there already, but they (wisely?) decided to wait until closer to the start of the main session to show up, so I wandered around by myself for a bit. (Fine by me…don’t get me wrong!)
  • I meandered down—and down—and down—and down again to the exhibit hall. That part was wall to wall with vendors of all kinds, hawking everything you could imagine—and some things you’d never think of. I didn’t go to every booth or table, but I was disappointed in the swag—or lack of it. Maybe there’ll be more today.
  • Unless you’re absolutely starving to death—and I mean that literally—you might be wise to avoid the “Philly cheesesteak” booth in the exhibit hall. Just sayin’….
  • I met a few of my colleagues—three women, I’d guess late-30s/early 40s—in the lobby, and went with them over to the Once and Former CNN Center while they ate. And while I washed away the afterthought of the “Philly cheesesteak” with sweet tea from Chick-Fil-A. A wide-ranging, but pleasant enough conversation ensued.

Another installment shortly, in which your observant scribbler reports on the actual content of the opening session. Stay tuned…