The Voices of Solution Tree ~ 99 AUTHORS – 3 DAYS – 1 EVENT!
Set up Day for this event is the equivalent of Christmas Eve to us here in Indianapolis! Last year, we decided to host an event in our home state where we feature ALL of our AUTHORS! And now it is finally here. As a publishing company, this has never been done before! Sure we have many conferences but they are on one topic with specific authors speaking on their subject matter of expertise. So, the stakes are high this week and we are focused on pleasing our 99 authors just as much as the 1500 attendees.
We spent the entire day setting up and after 18 months of preparation, we feel ready to go. The entire Institutes team is here – a rare occasion! All of the coordinators and I are only all on-site together for 2 events a year. This photo is a small portion of our book store. Of course we are selling all of our books that are highlighted at this event. We kept the hotel lobby busy today too. There are over 600 hotel check ins for our conference just today! We have completely occupied this 1005 sleeping room property.
Some of us were lucky enough to do a hard hat tour of the JW Marriott, Indianapolis back in December of 2010. The hotel opened in February. It is exciting to see the hotel go through phases from furniture wrapped in plastic to set and ready for our event! We are proud to host our inaugural authorspeak conference in the largest JW Marriott in the world. (All other JWs are designed as boutique hotels.) We are sharing meeting space with the adjoining Indianapolis convention center too. This program is designed to have just 2 general sessions and 45 minute breakout sessions throughout the day. We are also hosting topic specific panel discussions during lunch and VIP evening receptions, mostly for authors.
Tomorrow I have a 5:30 AM staff meeting with the on-site team and Brian, the event coordinator and assistant director of Institutes. We will get our coffee and prepare to register 1500 of our closest friends (for the week anyway). With a welcoming reception with all of our authors at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Colts, tomorrow evening I am looking at a 17 hour work day! I will be hitting my pillow before 9:30 tonight! I am grateful not to be working the 9-11 PM shift of the welcome table at the Indy airport.
Right now I am writing from the executive lounge on the 31st floor where complimentary appetizers, hors douvres and drinks are available all day. My diet Sierra Mist and crudite are modest compared to the spread provided. Knowing the importance of my tomorrow, Merlot is definitely not an option! Time for beauty sleep.
Returning to the hotel brings fond memories. My parents, Josh, Jen and I stayed here the night before I ran my first half marathon in May. It was nice to check in this morning and get greeted in my room by this. Our sales manager Maureen is so sweet. WISH US LUCK for our big day tomorrow!