1. It was a logistical nightmare. Ok, so I was never part of the initial team that decided the venue of our Convention since I entered LCP by August and they were already a fourth on the planning and preparations stage and also, our team was concerned with the substance of the Convention. This is viewed on a third person POV. I think, as an events organizer, it should be of primary concern to have a conducive venue-- one that is functional, practical and affordable. Also, it should be away from as much distraction as it could. Choosing Resorts World Manila may live up to the "Global" theme of the Convention since its a first-class hotel and is very accessible to the airport terminals, however, it fails on the categories of functionality and affordability. The complex requires too much walking (not that I hate walking but it is really a hassle for all the delegates) plus it presents too much distraction (i.e. boutiques, shops, cafes, bars and CASINO!). Also, RWM, being first-class, is too pricey for an event organized by a non-profit org. But maybe, I dunno, why not nalang. Hahaha.
2. We had a lot of programme boo-boos. We had to extend our time allocations for each speaker and/or number. Also, we had to cut some Q and A's for most of the breakout sessions so as to give way to other speakers/ activities in line. Also, we don't have enough leeway to extend as this would result to another tranche of payment. Gah. There was also this incident that the Hotel would have to shut the aircon so we'll be forced to leave. Yeah, we're really forced to do so, at the expense of our speakers who were sweating profusely while discussing their presentations. Talk about manners. While, we can understand their reasons that they still have to prepare for the next event scheduled in their Grand Ballroom, shutting down the aircon would just make matters worst. You could have talked to our principals, instead.
3. Despite these logistical nightmares and programme boo-boos, the whole Convention still exceeds expectations or at least meets it because of the high-level discussions it spawned and the interactions it brought to life. The speakers were really great, we learned a lot from them. Also, their presentations are of good quality. Participants were also enthusiastic to discuss these new ideas and replicate best practices during several Q and A's. Some discussions also made room for future policy decisions and programs for each local government. Both the local and foreign speakers were really good. There was an intelligent discussion between and among the delegates and the partners present. This actually saved the Convention. Hahaha. Well, that's on my opinion. :)
4. The Exposition was also vibrant and ~alive. Hahaha. The first and last time we entered it (during the Closing Ceremonies), we were amazed with how the cities really propped up their booths. They even have flat TV's that showcase the best you can experience from their areas. There were also various local merchandises that were sold during the exposition.
5. The City Tour was full of wonderful and insightful best practices. We visited Paranaque, Pasay and Valenzuela and listened to their simple lectures on their acclaimed best practices. I personally like Paranaque's peer-to-peer adolescent RH education. In their program, former drug addicts, drinkers, smokers and those who engaged early in sexual activities would teach their fellow youngsters to avoid these vices. The city government, in partnership with their local parish and other non-government orgs, are spearheading such program. Currently, adolescents who undergo the program have been spared from these vices and instead turn to better activities. With full support from Mayor Jun Bernabe, the kids were really bent towards making this practice a complete youth empowerment program for other cities. In Pasay, Mayor Calixto is going for more services for the urban poor. As part of the FACES program, Pasay was able to educate their urban slum dwellers on urban agriculture. He also embarked on contructing a medium rise bldg for 150 families living on the dilapidated Hankins compound. Finally, our last stop was Valenzuela City. The mayor's staff toured us inside the newly contructed City Hall. Mayor Win's commitment to eradicate corruption and promote good local governance was very much evident on the whole City Hall Complex. The walls are made of glass so as to see people working; their BPLO was located on the first floor for better access and the whole complex is digitally wired. They are very much dependent on information technology which is really a good thing.
Labels: experiences, work