Diary: Confessions of an Event Planner

It was the first event I had organised in Asia. Kuala Lumpur turned out to be a brilliant venue, and is still the best value for money I've ever seen. We had 200 delegates at a three-day event, with two gala dinners. One fantastic event was held on the skybridge of the Petronas Towers, while the other was at the Menara Kuala Lumpur, the huge communications tower that boasts a rotating restaurant and panoramic city views.

Unfortunately, due to a communications failure (on my part, I suspect) the pre-booked band failed to turn up for the show at the Menara KL, and although we had a splendid dinner, there was no entertainment, just a single microphone. Unwilling to allow the delegates to leave without some form of entertainment, and perhaps emboldened by some of the booze that I was paying for, I ascended to the mike. I apologised to the assembled delegates in advance and then launched into the Sailor's Chorus from Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. The evening went downhill from there onwards.

However, on our final conference questionnaire, delegates were asked what features they would like at future events. A couple of them said "more singing - and dancing - from the organisers". Delegates at the conference have continued to remind me of that evening, years after the event. Perhaps it is better to be remembered, rather than forgotten, after all.

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