Preparing to launch

It was a bit of a wrench for me to look at the website yesterday and see that countdown clock on the top right flashing 5 Days and 8 Hours until HydroVision International 2015.

Where did the time go?

Preparing for the HydroVision International conference each year is a bit like deciding to have a child and then watching that child grow up. Bear with me here and I’ll see if I can pull this analogy together.

First is the “conception,” when we begin putting together the steering committee for the panel presentation sessions.

Then comes the “delivery,” when the steering committee meets and we walk out of that room with panel presentation sessions that cover the gamut from asset management to water resources and are intended to present information on the hottest/most current trends in hydropower, as well as some mainstay topics.

There is a second conception when we begin putting together the technical papers committee and a second delivery when they meet and choose the abstracts that will be presented during the technical papers portion of the program.

From there, it is all about growing the baby.

We work to recruit great moderators to guide development of the panel presentation sessions, and we set in place technical paper session chairs and co-chairs. The moderators recruit qualified panelists to present the information.

Along about February 1 comes our first big developmental milestone, when we hopefully have the bulk of the presenters in place for the panel presentation sessions and we have finalized all the abstracts that will be turned into technical papers for presentation at the conference.

This allows us to send out a “big announcement” bragging about how awesome our baby is, which we call the Preliminary Event Guide (not a very glamorous name for such an important achievement).

In turn, recipients acknowledge how special our baby is by signing up to attend HydroVision International.

After that, we work on refining and polishing the program, helping our adolescent grow into an independent, productive adult.

Around May 1 we reach another important milestone, which is kind of like our “baby” getting a driver’s license or a first job. The baby is now nearly big enough to stand on its own two feet, to graduate and go out into the world.

We announce this by publishing our Show Guide (also not a very glamorous name). No response to this is required, it is circulated to a very exclusive group, only people who have already shown their appreciation of our child (by registering) and intend to attend the coming-of-age event.

And now here we are, helping our “baby” pack for college. It’s a bittersweet moment, a lot of pride mixed with a twinge of nostalgia and a dash of reflection on the hard work that got us to this place.

But our baby is ready for launch, and we are excited to see that happen. So join us next week in Portland, Oregon, and help us celebrate the culmination of a year’s worth of guidance, hard work, dedication … and rapid growth.

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