Before reading the bad things about the JCI World Congress in Antalya, read the good things. They are a lot more important and more influential in my final decision.
Now, the bad:
1. The weather
Someone said, jokingly, that he should ask for a refund, since the package received said something like “sunny weather”. Unfortunately, we only had sun for 3 days and I only got to swim in the sea just in one of these days (when the water was still warm – for my standards, anyway. Some friends of mine still thought it was cold). The other days it was freakin’ cold.
More, we had a lot of rain and, in the last 2 days, it was quite windy and stormy.
Well, this wasn’t so bad, after all, come to think of it, since we were forced to stay inside and, thus, get to know each other more (who knows, maybe I wouldn’t have bumped in the right person(s) if it wasn’t for the bad weather).
2. The trainings (the canceled ones)
Actually, I only attended two of the trainings, so I cannot speak about the overall quality. I enjoyed “Positive Persuasion” a lot, since it is the first training I’ve been to with an US trainer (Patrick Knight) and it was everything I thought it would be and more. I also enjoyed “Leadership Cocktail”, Niko Kleinknecht’s training, because I had the chance to talk in front of people (I always feel it is really great to get used to things like this. I do workshops and trainings in Romania, about blogging – business and corporate – so it helps).
Still, the problem with both of these trainings: I didn’t want to go to any of them!
Yeah, I wanted to attend the Management and Entrepreneurship trainings and
ALL OF THEM GOT CANCELED! (Later edit: someone told me not all of them got canceled, but the ones I wanted to attend did – and there were 4 or 5 – , so I am sorry if I mislead anybody). If I only knew so many trainers would cancel, I would have told the Turkish organizers to tell me to have a blogging and online communication training, along with a “How to become and Internet search power user” taste. I am sure a lot of people would have come (really, a lot of the people I talked to seemed genuinely interested).
Back to all the canceled trainings. Really, this is one thing I would have enjoyed doing a lot (we actually paid some money just for those, didn’t we?) and didn’t have the chance. Management (personal and project) is something I can really get a lot better with and I have had high hopes.
3. The Gala Night
The two rooms. On different levels. Decorated differently. I know, I understand, there were more people than initially registered, there was no bigger room. I know all the reasons, but it still made me feel bad. One good thing about it is the fact I had the chance to get to talk to Anthony Blenman, one of the JCI senators, without disturbing the speeches, a talk that gave me a lot of motivation to continue with JCI.
Back to Gala Night: I hope future congresses will think about this and reconsider separating the groups. Really, I didn’t feel anything glamorous about the night. And I would have wanted to.
4. Shadowing day
This is my personal pet peeve. As a first timer I got the chance to shadow a senator (a lottery at the First Timers Briefing). It didn’t happen. Reasons unknown to me (I suppose what they are, but it doesn’t make me feel any better). And I woke up at 7 am for it – I usually sleep until noon, so I only slept like 3 hours.
Still, I proposed that senator that at 2008 World Congress, he should shadow me, get an idea of what it was like back then, when he was new in JCI and would have really appreciated a talk from one of those that made senator. Fortunately for me, I had the chance of talking to Anthony Blenman at the Gala Night (as already said previously) and really got the surplus motivation and enthusiasm I needed. I will let you know how it went.
All and all, it wasn’t a bad congress. I heard better things about other congresses, worse things about others. Being my first one, I cannot tell.
I am glad, though, I waited almost 2 weeks for the things to cool down, because if I would have written all these things exactly when they happened, they would have been a lot more aggressive, and undeservingly so. The good things about the JCI World Congress surpass the bad things a lot of times over, especially for me.
So, final words? I liked it. A lot. With all the flaws. I will be in Turku, in Finland, at the JCI European Conference, in June 2008, so let’s meet there :) Antalya 2007 already went into our memories.