Ghost of ILHC past

Busy week as we make final preparations for this year’s International Lindy Hop Championships, so not a lot of time for updates.  I thought I’d take this opportunity to wheel another note from my Facebook vault.  I wrote this at the end of the first ILHC last year.

At 1:00 pm on Friday afternoon, we got official access to all the meeting spaces at the hotel. At that moment we had planned for the sound and the floors to be installed simultaneously, plenty of time before the risers arrived and the chairs to be set up for the 8:00 pm opening of the ballroom for social dancing.

At 1:01 pm on Friday afternoon, I was standing in the middle of an empty ballroom.

The guy delivering the floor was at lunch, the sound guys were delayed, and the volunteers for floor set up were no where to be found.

Everything was going according to plan.

Before every event I like to make a time line and fill it with a forecasted play by play of how the weekend will unfold. It’s excruciating in its detail. It’s probably the most anal retentive thing I do. In the week before ILHC, I spent hours staring at its timeline, making adjustments, filling in details, and taking some out all while mentally watching the event play out over and over again in my head.

On Friday morning I walked into the hotel, headed up to the computers in the Club Lounge, opened the time line, and made some more adjustments before I printed it out all: 14 pages-landscaped with .25’ margins. Then I rolled it up, stuffed it in my back pocket, and never looked at it again for the rest of the weekend.

That’s not the plan I’m referring to.

My plan going into the weekend looked more like this: We have a working idea of what will happen, too many questions left to answer, and plenty things that will go wrong. However, no matter what, it was all going to be over Monday morning sometime after dawn.

The only thing I was wrong about was that we finished an hour and a half before dawn on Monday.

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1 Comment

  1. dogpossum said,

    August 27, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    I’m a big fan of detailed running sheets. I’ve found them invaluable with MLX – with so many people involved, and so many separate pieces to be put together, it’s a good way to keep us all together. I also found that printing out different parts was helpful – so a printed out version of the DJs’ sets times and types was essential for coordinating DJs. Same goes for volunteers. Then there’s another section the set up crew used.

    I find it soothing to use a running sheet. I like the order. But I’ve also found that it’s essential to remember that things will go wrong. The important part is not trying to prevent them, but in knowing how you will respond to a drama. I also like to allow for spontaneity – things that aren’t on the running sheet.

    What I really hate is an event that’s not planned with a running sheet – a sort of ‘organic’ planning approach. They’re usually seriously disorganised and a real pain to be involved with.


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