Getting up early wasn’t a real issue, though I didn’t sleep well the night before the conference, feeling a little like a child waiting for Christmas, when the alarm went off at nearly five in the morning, I leapt from the bed and started my final preparations to go.
The train boarded just before departure time, and being awake at six thirty in the morning started to feel really early. In two hours I would be in Toronto, and walking towards the conference. I would miss breakfast, but I am not a big breakfast eater anyways.
Going to nextMEDIA in Toronto is rather exciting for me because I am still new to the conference scene. A friend of mine online let me know that going to conferences would get old as I continued to travel around, but I enjoy traveling, despite not taking the time to enjoy each place.
Like this Toronto trip. I got up at five in the morning to go, and I will be coming home tomorrow right after the conference is finished. I could have probably arranged to stay another day, but my wife would miss me too much or at least that is what I like to believe.
I also try to find the least expensive ways to attend events, while I believe going to conferences is a valuable experience, being in what amounts to a startup environment compels me to try to be as inexpensive as possible with such trips so that we can allocate money for more important things, like my monthly pay.
One thing I am glad about though is that I am not taking the bus. I am so sick of traveling by bus, so the train is a welcome change. This will be my fourth major conference since I started blogging and so far, each conference I have attended has been better than the last. I will have more on if nextMedia continues that trend, though I think Mesh Conference in Toronto will be very hard to beat.
As we slowly shuffle forward in the train, the snow is getting thicker and thicker, until we hit the metropolis of Toronto, with its heavy pollution, and thus no snow.
I am very happy I brought my laptop on this trip, and while I didn’t take advantage of the expensive WiFi on the train, ($10 for 24 hours, $4 for 15 minutes) the multimedia on my laptop was more than sufficient to keep me entertained for the two hour train ride. Even better, they have power outlets for laptops on the train, which allow me to not run my battery down.
I am still slowly waking up, and already the conference doors have swung open by now for the breakfast eat-in. It’s a shame I am not already there, as during the Norther Voice conference in Vancouver last year, the breakfast was a great time to meet people.
Thankfully, I will be arriving before the opening speech. I hope to see James Cogan early on in the conference as having a friendly face nearby provides a fair bit of confidence in meeting people, while also giving a safety net when you just want to relax and enjoy some sessions.
Conferences are a thousand times better when you have someone there with you. I highly recommend bloggers and blog networks send two people to conferences.