A Day at the Congress Means a Whirlwind Schedule
For most World Congress attendees, the auditorium stage and the exhibit hall were where things were happening. But for event organizers, the real show was behind the scenes.
Board members ran from reception to reception, showed important out-of-town guests around Washington and tried to keep their regular day jobs in order.
After two years of planning for the event itself, they generally traded seats in the audience for the chance to sell outsiders on the region's technology community and lay the groundwork for new business relationships.
To illustrate just how hectic the schedules of some bigwigs got last week, Washington Technology offers this play-by-play from the Day-Timers of these industry leaders.
President and chief executive of BTG Inc., Fairfax, Va.
Board member for World Congress on
Tuesday, June 23
7:30 a.m. - Arrive at George Mason University for organizational meeting.
8:15 a.m. - Meet with Philip Condit, chairman and CEO of the Boeing Co., in the green room. ("BTG does business with Boeing, and I wanted him to hear the BTG name.")
8:40 a.m. - Watch speech by Condit, followed by speech by Margaret Thatcher.
9:55 a.m. - Meet backstage to have photo taken with Thatcher.
10:00 a.m. - Steve Forbes arrives. Responsible for showing Forbes around the university. ("We spent about an hour talking backstage about politics and Thatcher's speech. I had to keep him entertained.")
11:30 a.m. - Go onstage to introduce Forbes, then wait backstage for his presentation to end.
12:05 p.m. - Lead Forbes to his car.
12:15 p.m. - Go to special luncheon with Mikhail Gorbachev. ("There were about 50 people invited to this luncheon.")
2:30 p.m. - Leave conference. Go to office to get caught up for a couple hours.
5:00 p.m. - Leave office to go home.
6:30 p.m. - Arrive at the Ritz-Carlton for Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore's reception.
8:00 p.m. - Go to another World Congress party at the Ritz -Carlton.
9:00 p.m. - Go to World Congress party at the McLean Hilton.
10:00 p.m. - Return home.
Corporate vice president of Electronic Data Systems Corp., Herndon, Va.
Chairman of World Congress on Information Technology
Sunday, June 21
7:00 a.m. - Arrive at Country Club of Fairfax for World Congress golf tournament.
1:30 p.m. - Change at club and ride to George Mason University.
2:00 p.m. - Run through a rehearsal at the university for next day's opening ceremony.
3:00 p.m. - Finish rehearsal and head to McLean Hilton.
4:00 p.m. - Arrive at the Hungary reception at the Hilton.
5:00 p.m. - Go to reception at the Ritz-Carlton hosted by the World Information Technology and Services Alliance, the Information Technology Association of America and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.
5:30 p.m. - Go to the Governor's Reception, also at the Ritz.
5:45 p.m. - Go to the EDS Corp. reception, also at the Ritz.
7:00 p.m. - Go to World Congress reception, Tysons Galleria.
9:00 p.m. - Go back to the Ritz for reception hosted by George Allen and McGuire, Woods, Battle & Booth.
9:15 p.m. - Go to Crestar reception, also at the Ritz.
9:30 p.m. - Go to Virginia Economic Development Partnership reception, also at the Ritz.
9:45 p.m. - Return home to work on EDS matters via e-mail for two hours. ("The next morning, I had to meet at McDonald's at 6:30 a.m. to go over the day's coordination with other organizers. In the past week, I lost seven pounds ... all because of this schedule.")
President of George Mason University, Fairfax
Board member of World Congress on
Wednesday, June 24
8:00 a.m. - Arrive at the Center for the Arts at George Mason University for speaker check-in. Prepare for speech.
9:40 a.m. - Deliver speech to World Congress (40 minute speech with video accompaniment).
10:20 a.m. - Report to press room for question and answer period.
10:50 a.m. - Conduct one-on-one interviews with media.
1:50 p.m. - Hold meeting with Zhang Zhihua from the China High Technology Society to be presented with books (meeting conducted through a translator).
2:00 p.m. - Telephone interview with the New Orleans Times Picayune.
2:30 p.m. - Meet one-on-one with Ambassador Kamal from Pakistan.
3:45 p.m. - Return to the stage area at the Center for the Arts for the closing ceremony.
4:05 p.m. - Closing ceremony. Will be called to stage.
4:15 p.m. - Go to the Australian Embassy reception at the Center for the Arts.
7:30 p.m. - Arrive in downtown Washington for event honoring the Taiwan delegation.
("I've never had more of a demand to be at more places at the same time in my life.")