I think I was secretly hoping the Beyond Jena forum would be a bust. I’ve never been involved with organizing something on this scale before, and it was a little challenging, a little demanding, a little stressful. I knew if it was successful I might be tempted at some point in the future to try something similar, or even more ambitious. On the other hand, if it was a disaster, I could wash my hands and say “Never again!”
Alas, I wasn’t so fortunate. Much to my chagrin, the forum was a screaming success.
You can download the audio here. I’m particularly happy with the panel I moderated, so be sure to give them a listen.
Of course there were a few hiccups. Mostly they don’t even bear mentioning, but one of my panelists was a no-show! Paul Beaulieu, what happened to you, man? No call, no e-mail, nothing. I called and left reminder messages for you on the run up to the event. I called you the morning of. No response. What happened? It’s not so much that I’m personally insulted, but I think it’s a shame that our audience didn’t get to hear your voice. As a talk radio host, you would have rounded out that first panel perfectly.
I also regret that I failed to find a local Vietnamese blogger for that first panel.
But probably my biggest regret is that we turned people away because we’d hit our registration cap. As it turned out there were plenty of people who registered but didn’t show. We had room and more than enough food.
There’s always room for improvement. For now I’d just like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone who helped make bring this forum together. Y’all did a great job.
A strange, sad footnote: A lady showed up and started distributing this flyer. She was asked to leave.