If we take a step back, we realize that convention center is a very busy host. Every week it is embracing a new show and new people with crazy ideas. This makes me wonder, what kind of preparation is required to host a welcoming conference? For technical sessions, things are easier to picture since most people had the opportunity to observe or organize a symposium either in the school or in a research institute. We need to multiply everything by at least a hundred. These are OK, we can have more rooms, chairs, projectors, laser pointers, and most importantly, more coffee and labor. So we can make this happen. Now, if we think about the preparation of an exhibition hall, a blank image usually emerges. I did not even know how an exhibition hall looks like before all the companies fight for the space and start to build their own territories, not even mention about how to set it up. Thanks to my job duty and helps from the colleagues, now I have observed the way it happens…^_^
The convention center is moving at a very fast pace as we mentioned. The first thing we have to realize is the time you have to build a booth. Normally, each company has a full day working with the labor of the union to set up everything. In other words, people are working under great pressure. The very first scene I saw is that everyone on the floor was tense since all they faced is a concrete floor marked by chalk to specify the territories of each company. Phones were ringing all the time because on the other side of the exhibition hall, hundreds of trucks were waiting to ship the equipments into the hall. In the meanwhile, experienced workers maneuvered loaded carts, and crates were shuffling among people. These would go on for several hours, and step by step, each big and small cargo reached the right destination, while small hassle was happening all over the place (such as some trucks got lost, according to the workers, this is quite normal).
|Small carts moving around the cargos and magically they all arrive at the right destinations.|
|The power grids (shown in orange) on the floor are taped down nicely and distributed very efficiently for the booth use.|
|This booth is about 50% done. Technicians have been working for hours, and there are still al of of crates need to be opened and arranged on the optical tables.|
After a detailed inspection on the booth, we can call it a day. Hmmm, time for bed or time for a drink?! I would like to thank Mr. Hoang Hung and John Carter, the men who are in charge of the booth setup. Without his help and explanation on the details, I will not be able to peek through this new window to see how to dress the conference!
|Another successful show!!! After seeing so much traffic, all the efforts and sweats are just sweet!|
The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not represent the Optical Society of America (OSA) or any OSA affiliate.