By Mary Word
So did I tell you the conference was in Los Angeles? No? So I guess I also didn’t tell you it was actually in Beverly Hills. At the Beverly Hilton. And that my talk was given from the same stage they use to present the awards at the Golden Globes. Pretty cool, huh? (cue: ¯ Hoorah for Hollywood…)
I kept that Beverly Hilton water bottle from my speaker podium and the slim, elegant red pen with the BEVERLY HILTON in white logo letters. I enjoyed going out on my balcony overlooking the pool and the outside tables from Trader Vic’s. I could have done more – I did not cruise Rodeo Drive which was close by, or look for the stars in the sidewalk, but I could have.
I did not leave the hotel during the conference, but I had plenty of time on those infamous freeways getting to and from there. That is a lot of concrete. But pictures of concrete aren’t fun, so I will show you a few of the sights from the conference and hotel. Here is a night view from my balcony, and another angled down at the pool.
Looks like a postcard, doesn’t it? The magic of Hollywood.
The weather was a little cool to think about swimming, but the view was very cool to look at.
A confession. I was so impressed with the ladies’ room off of the International Ballroom where I spoke, that I made a video tour of it with my phone, while no one else was in there. But really, all that pink and black marble, and the completely mirrored entrance so you can check every conceivable angle before going out to all the photographers… impossible to resist. There was a large room in there with counters and chairs and plugs, and I am geek enough to have first thought, “What a great place to come charge your laptop and work,” when I realized it was for stylists with blow dryers and curling irons.
And here is the hall of mirrors – an octagonal entrance room to the ladies’ room, complete with a tiny selfie in the background. I was standing in the entrance but I can’t tell where the other door is!
OK, that was fun. Actually, there was a lot of fun going on at the conference. A great deal of information and learning as well, but the Lectora team really embraced the venue and had fun with it. There was a costume contest as part of the opening night party, and it was won by two women—a really wonderful Lucy and Ethel in the pink uniforms of the infamous chocolate factory episode, complete with trays of chocolate hanging off their necks. I did not get a picture of them, but you can find them on the Lectora conference site. When I voted I just wrote on the ballot – I Love Lucy. They were so good the Lectora team decided to award 2 prizes, and they both got an iPad mini.
There was also a big closing party on the roof and penthouse, with a blues band and a distant view of the Hollywood sign. In between were some hard choices of where to go during each session. There were three to five choices for each session timeslot, designated from novice to advanced. I did generally pick the advanced sessions, but it could be hard to decide. I finished off the conference with an Extreme Lectora class which I really enjoyed, and learned about some ingenious ways to leverage the functionality of the program.
One of the best things for me was that my session was in the first time slot. I could get it over with and enjoy the conference! I did not have time to fret over it during other presentations. When I arrived at the hotel, I had time to check in, get to my room, and go down for the equipment check. Then I had the rest of the afternoon to review quietly in my room and get in one last practice before show time the next morning.
Next time: The Big Moment