FROM THE MPI CONFERENCE IN LAS VEGAS—Our first set of news capsules from MPI’s World Education Congress is now online, and I can’t seem to stop grinning.
It’s been a very long time since I was a journalist. When I left Canada’s Parliamentary Press Gallery in 1984, I was well aware that I was “going over the wall” from reporting to communications, and that there would almost certainly be no turning back.
But even if my newshound instincts have smoothed out over the years, my blood still runs 40% printer’s ink. (Is it vegetable-based ink? you might ask.) So for me, one of the biggest highs about our work is when our content goes live in real time.
We covered a conference in 1988 in downtown Montreal that required a 110-page, bilingual conference report. In the days before email, and well before nested content strategies to break the material down to manageable chunks, each report was close to an inch thick—and those were short session summaries. The print shop was four blocks from the hotel, but traffic was so bad that it was faster to walk the boxes of books down the sidewalk. My chiropractor did very well that week.
But when we reached the hotel, it was all worthwhile. We were swarmed by participants who grabbed their copies as fast as we could open the boxes. At one point, I managed one step into the crowd before my box was empty.
And this was a group of teachers, renowned for their thirst for knowledge but not generally for their rowdiness!
We know there’s a special energy and, often, a huge amount of excitement when people meet at a face-to-face meeting. That’s why we hold them. For a conference publisher, the highest honour and the biggest high is to feed that energy and thrive on it by helping meeting planners and participants keep track of their content.
Which is why I’m so excited that our first wave of news capsules is live on the MPI website. There will be more capsules in the next two days, as well as a parallel series of summary segments over the next couple of weeks. I’ve been doing this for two decades, but the thrill—of telling the story, delivering the news, and serving the audience—just doesn’t go away.