Conference time! We have been packing for a week/month. Tomorrow, an 18-wheeler will load up roughly 15,000 lbs of freight and drive it to New Orleans. Tomorrow is the unofficial kick off to Conference.
It will be delivered to the 25 or so staff members who will travel to conference next Thursday. Once it's delivered and our convention services team has built our 'sets,' we'll begin frantically unpacking auction items, idea fair boards, wine, setting up offices and registrations, building a Nike pro shop, and more. Members and Partners will arrive Thursday night and Friday. Weeks and months are spent preparing for what we call our Member-Guest. It's when we become the club managers hosting our members at 'our club.'
On Friday we'll have 50 people go out into a community in New Orleans with the St. Bernard Project to help rebuild some houses and education starts Saturday morning. There will be over 70 education classes, focusing on food and beverage management, leadership skills, wine education, social networking and more. We have our own trade show for 2 days with over 300 sq feet of space, vendors from Toro and John Deere to china, linen, and architecture firms. There will be a silent and live wine auction, featuring over 1,000 bottles. Archie Manning is speaking one morning. Saturday is the auction that I run - we're having a Po' Boy festival with dueling pianos this year, and of course hurricanes. Almost 70 items and about 600 people will be in attendance. We're doing a 5k run bright and early on Monday to benefit St. Bernard Project. That night, all 2000 of us will go on a progressive club tour of 3 of the most prestigious and historic New Orleans clubs.
We have several people from each of the 13 Corporate Partner companies attending. There will be over 100 international managers from literally all over the world. There will be dinners, receptions, and lots of networking. There will be many late nights, few meals eaten, and too many alarms set for 4:30am. There is a blue blazer, gold name tag, several pairs of khaki pants and the