Saturday, June 16, 2007

Staying out of the dark at GPD

—By Matt Slovick, editor-in-chief, Glass Magazine

This is my third day in Finland, and I've yet to see darkness.

After attending GPD sessions and writing in the press room last night, I made a stop at the welcome reception in the large tent outside of Tampere Hall and then headed to my hotel.

Cumulus Koskikatu is a 15-minute walk, and I realized it was nearing 11 at night—make that 11 p.m.—and it was still light. Sunset was 11:10, and the sun rose at 3:42 this morning. The sun will set at 11:12 this evening.

The non-session related events have experienced a few snafus. The welcome reception continued well past 10:30, when the Hall was closed. That means some attendees had to look for restroom alternatives. I had left my laptop in a locker outside the press room. I held up my key, and someone did allow me to pick up my belongings. And today, the luncheon ran out of food. However, the organizers quickly informed those of us who missed the meal that we could eat in a restaurant on the second floor of the Hall free of charge. Minor glitches in an otherwise smooth-operating event.

Even with the few issues, I've gotten a lot out of the conferences so far, including a complimentary messenger bag. The GPD bags are a glossy, shiny red and look like the bags used by pizza deliverers. They are kept closed by Velcro, and you keep hearing that distinctive sound as people open them up during the presentations. Today, when attendees were leaving the Hall to go to the tent, it looked like hundreds of pizza delivery people leaving at the same time.

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