Monday, June 30, 2008

FEMA: Hire these People!

Friday through Sunday, June 27-29, I was at a conference (aka jamboree, which reminds me of hayrides and square dancing) in Burbank put on by the Southern California Genealogical Society. At one presentation, the bulb on what I guess is still called the projector sparked out -- the projector was hooked up to the speaker's laptop to put up the power point presentation or whatever it was. In two minutes or less, one of the Society's members was there with a new projector! I've never seen such a response.

It made me realize something else they had been doing: each of the conference rooms had a holder outside its entry door(s) giving the title of the session. At some point after a session began, the members were taking down the sign for the one going on, and putting up the sign for the next session. That meant that as soon as you left one room, you could easily find the room for the next session. (And yes, the daily schedule also had the room name and number, but the titles of the sessions helped too.)

And as a third great thing, the daily speaker schedules not only showed the time, room name/number, speaker name, and title of session, they also showed the page number in the syllabus (200 plus pages, I think) for the speaker's handout. On top of that, the person introducing each speaker included the page number for the speaker's bio page in the syllabus. (And was nice enough not to read the bios in their entirety -- each intro took only about two minutes, including a request to turn off cell phones.)

That sociey could teach FEMA a thing or two, or one thousand. Put them together with a cadre of Eagle Scouts and they could revolutionize the world.

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