My First Tech Conference: CodeMash in Retrospect

Dara Monasch / Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Preparations

As I mentioned briefly in my first post, I have the most amazing role here at Infragistics, where I have the opportunity to assist in various departments in a variety of ways, based on the company’s needs. I’m currently assisting the Marketing Department at Infragistics, and one of the areas I’ve been itching to get my hands dirty with has been Events and Community. Events and programming within various organizations has been a huge focus of mine since my time at Ramapo, and I feel very strongly that coupling the logistics/planning of an event along with its physical execution simply exudes some insanely mind-blowing energy.

Taking all of that into consideration, when our Marketing Coordinator, Pam, approached me in November of last year about taking on the logistics for CodeMash, I agreed without a second thought. After the butterflies settled down, I got in gear and started my coordination duties. I investigated all of the details about CodeMash, made sure I joined and communicated with the CodeMash Sponsors Google Group, put together marketing collateral for the CodeMash flash drives, and of course, confirmed that both Brent and Anand, who were attending the conference to represent us, were in contact with one another. It was at this point that Pam mentioned a very important piece of information to me… “Oh, by the way, we’re sending you as our Marketing representative. Don’t forget to book your flight!”

Enter: Panic Mode

(In an effort to save you all from hearing too many gory details regarding my frantic dash to get rooms and flights and everything else in order and perfect… suffice it to say that all those logistics worked out just fine. I did, however, excessively over-pack, particularly when it came to my shoe selection... #girlproblems.)

The Conference

Monday, Day 1:

Brent and I flew together from Newark and once we checked into the Kalahari we immediately dropped off our luggage and went out to investigate the Conference Center (and the waterpark, and the arcade, and the restaurants…). The facilities were so much vaster than I had imagined – it was pretty intimidating, honestly. However, once we found the CodeMash coordinators, we set up our booth for the Pre-Compiler that Infragistics was sponsoring. Then we concluded the evening with delicious Mexican food (Casa Real, for anyone who has or will ever go to Sandusky, is absolutely amazing) and waited for Anand to arrive.

Tuesday, Day 2 & Wednesday, Day 3:

The CodeMash Pre-Compiler was absolutely awesome! Infragistics had a great location right near the registration line so I had to jump in the deep end, so to speak, and start working the booth right away. I had the mistaken impression that there would somehow be “down time” at the booth, but I was so incredibly wrong.  Although Anand and Brent both went to sessions at the same time on Day 2 (my first real day!), I felt like I held it down pretty well at our booth. At least, I hope that I did!

DaraCodeMashThursday, Day 4:

Technically this day could be referred to as “The Real Day 1”… Why, you ask? Because this is when CodeMash really kicked into gear. The sheer amount of attendees skyrocketed and I felt like I was talking nonstop to everyone who stopped by to visit us. By the time dinner rolled around I was so tired that I ended up taking an evening nap before the CodeMash-Only Waterpark Party. It was well worth it and I had a blast getting to mingle with everyone in the more relaxed atmosphere.

 

Friday, Day 5:

By this point I’d really had a chance to watch and listen to how Anand and Brent presented all of the Infragistics information, connected with visitors, and demoed our tools. I truly felt light-years more comfortable speaking to CodeMashers about the Infragistics’ brand and products than I did on that first Pre-Compiler day. I am so grateful to have been able to work with these guys at CodeMash; the two of them taught me more than I’m sure they even know or would be willing to acknowledge. I couldn’t have asked for better conference companions.

Reflection

Since CodeMash was clearly my first conference experience, I couldn’t accurately evaluate the success or lack thereof of Infragistics’ presence on my own. However, upon my return to HQ here in Cranbury, NJ, I was overwhelmed by the positive response to our performance at the event. I’m so glad to have been a part of the entire event planning and conference experience and I really hope that it’s something I get to continue doing in the future.

By Dara Monasch