In My Write Mind
6.15.2005

Ready to 'Roc' N Roll (Call)...



"BLOGS FROM THE BEACH"--DAY FOUR, WEDNESDAY 9:28PM

Opening Night at the 2005 BEEP Leadership Conference.

The Cotillion Ballroom inside the Eden Roc is abuzz. For just as Sammy and Frank and Dean and Lucy and Ricky carried on traditions here at the hotel, here we are...ready to carry on a BEEP tradition that's been in existence for the past 36 years. Ready to "roll out" the welcome mat to all first-timers and to officially re-acquaint ourselves with one another.

We're ready to say "Hello" the BEEP way...by performing the mighty, mighty Roll Call.

Let's give a little background, shall we? It all takes place during the conference's opening session, right after all the dignataries give their remarks, after all the "Welcome to [insert host city here]" takes place. In past years, all the conferees would get signs with their company logos on them, and it would resemble the floor of the political conventions, with delegates standing near their signs, ready to hear their state name called. Recently, though, technology has reared its head, and Powerpoint has taken over, displacing the signs and the convention feel of the event. (Technology...gift and a curse, I tell ya.)

The Roll Call master has the hardest job, pronouncing all the difficult names and keeping the crowd into it as the session goes past the one hour mark. To compare the Roll Call master to a circus ringmaster wouldn't be too much of a stretch...they both have a lot going on around them and have to keep things moving.

With that said, there are no real tricks to this. It's fairly simple. Just wait for your company's name to be called, and you stand up and represent. It could be a quick name, rank and serial number-type deal, or you could drum up a skit to really let people know you're in the house. And ummmm...BEEP stands for BLACK Executive Exchange Program, so yeah...you know how WE do. LOL

The most creative call came from the fine folks over at the CIA, whom I adore (in case they're reading this, and really...can we ever be sure? LOL). They are one of BEEP's major new sponsors, providing financial and physcial backing to the program the whole year round. And man, do they know how to have fun. Some of my best times on campus this past semester came when I was hanging out with some of the agents. I feel like they've got my back now. I...just...won't...ever...know...it. Anyway, like I was saying, they like to have fun. And the Roll Call was no exception. When their names were called, Their contingent stood up--caps and dark shades covering their faces--and belted out a rendition of "Secret Agent Man." It was self-mocking, it was fun...it's what the Roll Call is all about.

That's just a taste of what went down about an hour ago. The conference is officially open and the crowd looks great. This year's event is jam packed with workshops, plenaries, breakfasts and luncheons, giving every single conferee options and the information they need to become more effective leaders. LOL...as if coming to Miami Beach wasn't enough of a draw.

Tonight, we have a BBQ with a live DJ and a drawing for airline tickets anywhere Southwest Airlines flies. Ummm, yeah...I'm gonna have to go now, get some ribs, and make sure those students stay out of trouble. Sigh.

Yup, the work day is never over. But now that the opening session is done and in the books, the 2005 BEEP Leadership Conference is officially set to roll.

Peace...

scribbled by Will at 6/15/2005 09:34:00 PM
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Mind Droppings

I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. (Joan Didion)



The Write One


Will. Lefty. Since Summer 1971.
Over the next six months, I'll be saying some hellos, some goodbyes. Living, laughing, growing. Don't.miss.a.word.
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