A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about the 500 + “giant” teachers and directors I met at a conference in Austin. Last week I had the privilege of delivering two keynotes to 458 teachers in the Dallas area and working with a dedicated group of directors. Again, the venue was perfect with great microphones, large projection screens, teleprompters and an excellent sound system. Thank you to First Baptist Church Lewisville for opening your doors to education organizations and providing beautiful meeting spaces, a warm welcome, and delicious food. I hope more churches will partner with education groups to provide excellent meeting spaces.

All of the small group sessions were filled and the presenters came out of their rooms highly engaged with the participants. An event planner’s and a conference speaker’s dream.

What made this conference a success? The event planner. I am giving Mary Ann Bradberry a new title, “Event Planner Extraordinaire.” Her board members, registration team led by Rosie Cardona, and the teams of volunteers in the green tee-shirts took pride in meeting the conference goer’s needs, from signage to refreshments, from lounge areas to dining halls.

From my perspective as a keynote speaker, I had adequate contact by the event planner prior to the conference. And, prior to my arrival, I was provided the name and description of a volunteer driver to my hotel and enjoyed dinner with interesting other speakers. We were all assisted throughout the day by a host, who knew how to assist, but not intrude when review time was needed for our presentations.

To have the vision to lead and organize the conference around a strong theme, yet have enough of a planner’s mind and attention to details so that the event was sure to be a success means Ms. Bradberry is worthy of her new title. The true tests were that the speakers and the conference attendees were welcomed, assisted, and the conference participants rated the content highly. Mary Ann Bradberry, the leader of the conference, is an event planner extraordinaire, a role model worth emulating for all event planners.