Alliance, HEUG News

Behind the Scenes at Alliance – What does it take to put this thing together?

by Renee Riley, Alliance 2023 Program Chair

As the program chair, I often get asked, “What does it take to put all of this together?” The short answer a lot of time, teamwork, and dedication. The long answer…well let’s delve into those details and go behind the scenes at Alliance!

Conference planning team behind the scenes
at Alliance 2022

Work on Alliance starts over a year in advance (even more if you consider the site selection process that goes on in prior years). So, while everyone is in attendance at Alliance 2023 in St. Louis this year, the planning team will already be starting on things for Alliance 2024. Of course, attention is still given to the current conference as we always want to make sure you have the best experience possible.

The planning team, program team, Higher Logic staff, and others all take on different aspects of the conference to make it come together. Convention centers are worlds within themselves and getting to see the inner workings of them is really interesting. We do a couple of on-site visits during the year to walk the convention center and hotels and plan out the space. Trying to figure out what types of sessions should go where and where to place the registration booth and which room should host trivia on closing night are just a few of the things we have to consider. Have you ever seen a convention center kitchen? They are massive!

Speaking of kitchens, one of the most enjoyable things to do as part of the planning is choosing the FOOD! In the fall, a few of us participate in a food tasting at the convention center to sample some of the options for conference attendees. Even just selecting what to taste can be overwhelming, let alone making the final selections. We always try to keep in mind dietary restrictions, and of course we want to have a variety of options for everyone. This year we are hoping to represent St. Louis’s unique menu at both the opening and closing events. I can guarantee everyone will be leaving with a full belly.

Alliance 2022 registration booth

There is so much more that also goes on all year long with meetings and selecting and scheduling sessions and meeting and organizing speakers. It definitely takes a very dedicated group of people and we rely on our volunteers such as the AG members and the program taskforce to help us make it all happen. In the end though, you learn so much more about the city and feel a little more connected to it and especially more connected to everyone you have been working so closely with over the last year.

I am very excited to see everyone in just a few months – both behind the scenes and on the other side of the “curtain.”

Meet me in St. Louie!

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