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October 04, 2006

Was that really so bad?

I guess I feel a little guilty about stuff I’ve written and said about the opening moments of the general sessions at ASAE & The Center’s annual meeting in Boston. Well, not exactly guilty, but feeling like I need to hold myself accountable for what I said. It’s not fair to say it stunk, but not say exactly what I didn’t like or offer suggestions for improvement. Hence, I write this constructive criticism:

Taken at face value, the introductions to the general sessions last year in Nashville and earlier this year in Boston were pretty similar. The difference was nuanced. The opening in Nashville was comedic. Virtually everyone was laughing. I know some people who didn’t think Nashville’s opening was funny. Not that it was offensive, just that they didn’t find it funny. Kind of like I don’t find Saturday Night Live funny anymore. But for most of the audience, it was funny.

The opening in Boston was dramatic. Will you expect it when we connect it? Did anyone get into that? Anyone? Geez, those fly girls really tried to get the crowd into it. But it didn’t work. At all. Luckily the little “connecting” video part was moderately funny. But that was about the only redeeming part of the bit. The magician wasn’t that good.

Lesson? Less drama. It doesn’t have to be funny, but don’t take yourself too seriously.

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Greg Fine said...


I think you are right on target with your comments. The talk in Nashville was "How cool was that!" In Boston, it was "What the heck was that all about." I will say that I did enjoy seeing John Graham let his hair down a bit. But all in all, the Boston openings left me flat, and more than one female I spoke too was moderately offended. I know that it is impossible to please all of the people all of the time. And I give ASAE credit for trying. Your comment about not needed drama was also right on.

I did like the connection videos they created. That was cool and sometimes even funny.

Ben Martin, CAE said...

Oh, I hadn't even considered that some people might have been offended by it.