Disasters, Deliveries & Dogs


Emerge mini-conference organiser and multi-hat-wearer Keri Lambden gives the low-down on planning this year’s event.

Not only do you need to be a circus performer adept at juggling and pleasing the crowd but you also need animal taming skills, mostly for encouraging printers to jump through hoops. I have to admit whilst I’ve planned smaller events, parties and even weddings, running this conference has taught me the value of friendships and the necessity of sleep.

About two weeks ago I received a phone call from a reticent sounding friend to tell me the leaflets we’d ordered were not quite as we’d imagined.

Closer to Mr Blobby than Vintage Cream our leaflets had managed to get soaked in water (and when I say soaked I mean gone for a scuba dive) and were completely ruined. No help from the printer, three hundred phone calls and some compensation later we managed to get some new ones done just in time. Not to be outdone our next fiasco came in the shape of a giant delivery of dog chews, around a years supply. Rather than sending the candy striped sweet bags we’d ordered, our eBay seller got confused and sent 3000 doggie treats. I’m not sure they’d have gone down well in the goody bags, particularly as they were “meat” flavour.

A few tips if you are planning an event, order goody bags early! Don’t work late, you’ll break the website registration form and spend the next day searching for a back up. Back everything up, then back up your back ups and lastly hire a PR person, they are gold.

All things considered planning has gone pretty well. We have great partners and sponsors. I have a great team of supporters and volunteers, awesome speakers and an amazing boyfriend, who is ok with cooking the dinner every night so I can email all the super people that have made contact, sent nice messages or just need some help.