Monday, January 26, 2009

Training at TSE 2009

So today I arrived in San Diego much earlier than expected to start the week of TSE. It's my first year doing TSE, but it's supposed to be one of the biggest worldwide event planning conferences in the world. I drove around the Gaslamp district in search of cheap parking and something to occupy about 1.5 hours of time. Turns out, trying to figure out all the one-day streets and ped crossings kills a a lot of time! I finally parked at the mall and wandered around there for a while. It only took less than 15 minutes for me to walk to the convention center from there, about 7 blocks. It was a lot chillier than I expected.
The Hands on Hundred program volunteer meeting started at 5pm. I bumped into Shirley who was one of the interns at my old event planning company, so that was a surprise. I also met a few nice people, Mia from New York and Julie from Pismo beach. The meeting was pretty brief and straightforward, all the volunteers seem really nice and some have traveled from really far away, like Australia, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and South America. They were already announcing next year's TSE in New Orleans! I don't know if I"ll be able to make it out that far...
I confirmed my 4 volunteer slots and ended up meeting a wonderful woman named Marianne who was from South Pasadena as well (my hometown!! GO TIGERS!). She runs her own event planning company and does mostly weddings but is hoping to expand her business. We got along really great, exchanged cards, and she even gave me a ride to the mall parking lot since it was soo cold! I hope I get to bump into her again later this week, she seems like a really good contact to know, and she's pretty much doing exactly what I'm doing.
I'm spending the week with my friend at her apartment in San Diego. We went to eat at a Japanese Izakaya afterwards and then got boba. YUM! After settling in and figuring out my schedule for tomorrow, it's going to be a long day! But I'm excited and hopeful. At least I know Shirley is around, and I found out that my other friend Mark Howell will be here for his entertainment work as well. Out of the 5 social events, I'll be attending 4 of them as a volunteer, so that means I get to see the final product without having to pay the additional ticket cost, so that's helpful. Tomorrow will mostly be workshops and seminars in the day, and then I volunteer at the "TSE Starts Here" event from 7pm-11pm. Wish me luck!

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