My team had a meeting just yesterday, attempting to cover the nitty-gritty details on what’s going to happen and hopefully – what should not happen – on the days ranging from 6 – 9 Sept.
The European Higher Education Fair!
Now, as you might’ve known and read, I rarely talk about work (and politics) here, especially after seeing real life examples on what happened to people who dare to bare. But really, I needed to put this down somewhere. Need to release a bit, and also document this so that I could read this back when everything’s over.
So, that explains why this post is password protected.
Anyway, although we have experience in dealing with exhibitions, this time it is a bit different. Why? Well, mainly because it is not within our control and we do not call the shots.
Those people (in UK) who are supposedly the main organisers could not do their job well, and thus, made life difficult for all of us here. They ae so disorganised that no information is channelled down to us, or if there are, wrong information. Details still change until this instance, that is, about 2 weeks away from the actual event.
How could any event organiser in their sanest mind would allow participants to cancel a week before the event?! I have been arranging and rearranging the position of booths for thousands of times already due to this.
And as if that is not enough, the so-called officer there had made so much mistakes on the participants list that we are now doubting whether the final list he gave us is really correct.
What if, out of the blue, an insitution turns up on that day, and claims that they are participating and because they are not on our list, do not have a booth? Construct one? Impossible!
The main headache we are having now is this symposium that is goign to run a day before the exhibition – Friday, 6 Sept. This event will be attended by all Heads of Missions (HOM) from all the participating EU countries and what does this spell out? VIPs! To deal wiht these VIPs mean careful planning and more careful planning, lest we do something wrong and be doomed forever.
And on the day of the exhibition itself, we are going to have an opening ceremony, involving the Deputy Prime Minister! Another VVIP! Everything, ranging from what we wear, who is going to usher him, how he is going to walk from the entrance to the press conference room to the exhibition hall, to direction of reporters and civilians need to be taken into account. Aaarrgghhh…
And heard of this news from my boss (didn’t know about it myself) — someone from the EU made a not-so-nice remark about M’sia and that someone is attending opening ceremony and care has to be taken that both tour DPM and this guy should not be put together into a room. Sighhhh….
Besides these VIP headaches, we are also cracking our heads over the number of temps we need over the 3 days (70 in total, with with extremely, extremely limited budget), how to brief them and also, during the opening ceremony, enough people to fill up the hall (350 people) becaude, according to protocols, if the ministry people were to attend something, there should be at least 350 attendees!
Where are we going to find 350 people at 9am (be there at 8.45am latest) on a Saturday???!!
God, please help us..