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Things to Think About #1: Sockets

Sometimes, you’re working in an old venue. Real old. Rooms that have seen hundreds if not thousands of meetings, speeches, dances, rallies, fund raisers, etc. Old things can be well worn. Worn in ways that aren’t obvious.

For instance, there was a chain hotel in Bethesda that we used to use a lot that was old but seemed to be aging well. It looked like the ballroom had been renovated at some point. Newish carpeting, reasonably fresh wallpaper and paint. High tech climate control that kept things too cold digitally. The works. However, the electrical outlet must have been overlooked.

We didn’t need a high-voltage power drop. We only had a our laptops, a switch and a couple projectors so we just plugged into the regular wall sockets. Or at least we thought we did.

This socket had been plugged into thousand of times over the years and there just wasn’t enough friction in there to ensure that what was plugged in would remain plugged in. The weight of the cable pulled the plug half way out of the wall as soon as I let go of it. It wouldn’t stick.

This, of course, could be very bad for our stuff.

We ended up securely taping the cord to the wall just below outlet. No biggie.

Always, always have a roll of gaffer’s tape with you when you’re working.

The Weekly Might Have Missed List (05/31/09)

©Jonathan Potts

©Jonathan Potts

Meet Prepared — Contingency 101: Retail Event’s Not So Grand Opening

Everything went well, he told me, except that they forgot to plan for a sudden rainstorm. Sure enough, it rained. When I asked what they did, he replied: “Panic ensued.” Although we as professionals will typically work out an inside venue back-up location should an outside event need to be moved, it’s imperative that we look at the myriad things that will be impacted by weather, even with an indoor function, such as the valet issue and power outage cited above, or access roads flooding.

LinkedIn Answers — What is the worst thing that has happened to you when presenting to a board of Directors?

I sneezed and the button of my skirt flew off and landed somewhere where it clinked pretty loudly. I paused, red-faced, then said: “In just another minute my skirt falls off – but it’s not a distraction, I actually have good news to report.” Got the laugh, moved on. (Nicole Filiatrault)

Controlbooth.com — Something To Share

If anybody is ever unsure about the health or capacity of a plug/connector, double check!!!

Speak Schmeak — Practice like you mean it

Practice using your props and flip charts. Practice using your remote device if using slides. Practice using your timer. If you’ll be recording yourself, practice with the microphone and recorder so they won’t distract you on the day. Pay attention to the details. Details count.