My Grouse: Accessing Conference Venue with Lanyard…

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One thing I have come to understand is that every human venture that is not fraught with errors. That is why we are humans after all. I have since been telling anyone that wishes to hear that I would continue to give the NBA-AGC 2017 Planning Team the benefit of every doubt. I kept to this promise. I ignored human lapses and gave credit where necessary. Since the beginning of this week, I switched to conference mode. I resolved to go to the conference, and thought of how much I could learn from the array of world class speakers—aside the bunch of fun that would come with it! May the enemies of my village not rob me off this resolve.

Painful as it is, I am left with no choice than to complain again!

In my very high spirit, I went to my collection center—my name was on the list, my pack was ready, no crowd, airtel staff very friendly, I was politely ushered to a corner to register my Airtel SIM. There was a problem, I discovered I had a lanyard inside the Innjoo pack; an orange coloured lanyard with NBA 2017 Conference logo and the usual NBA logo inscribed on it, ok something else I saw, it also has an inscription: “Premier Lotto.”  I checked well, nothing else! Ok  I am not understanding,  so I smiled at the cordial Airtel lady, and politely:

“Is this the access?  I asked pointing at the lanyard on my pack, she smiled back and said:

“Check your pack, there’s a card like an atm card,

I checked again, but nothing, then came the bad news, still politely:

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 “Then the access card was not included.”

 “ What does that imply”, I asked,

“Well, you need to contact the NBA Secretariat,” was her response.

My vent antenna was up, but then, I remembered the mantra; “it is a human endeavour, and there is bound to be lapses.” So, I calmed down. In any event, how could I even vent at her, it’s not her, and she has been very nice. I calmly finished my registration, paid 4k for data,  the whole time, thinking of whether I have seen any official notice regarding this type of lapses from the TCCP, but none came to mind.

Out of Airtel office in less than 20 minutes with my tab and without my access card, I had mixed feelings. What next? I made a few calls to colleagues and I was advised to send an email and try to call. For the rest of my Wednesday at work, I kept calling a number provided by TCCP, and it was switched off. I sent and resent emails and they returned undelivered after a few minutes. I let it rest for Wednesday, and Thursday, early in the morning, I resumed the routine—still to no avail.  I became agitated, but then I vowed not to complain. So I got thinking, I remembered the social media handles published a while ago by the TCCP. So, when I got to work, I sent DM on Twitter; on Facebook I sent inbox— and I kept calling the numbers and resending the emails. Nothing happened. It is Friday, I learnt the card is my access into the venue, and still nobody is responding to my messages; emails are not going through; and phone lines permanently switched off. Is this some kind of legal joke? What do I do now? Nobody seems to be saying anything about Access Card.

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So few hours ago, the first day of the conference, with  several unresolved issues there is an announcement advising those without Access Card to proceed to Law School on Sunday; what happens at the Law School is left to imagination. I have all the ‘what ifs’, but I am minded to recall the mantra, “No human venture is without errors.” But when there are better ways of handling the errors it leaves much to be desired.

I am not venting!  I am wondering; rather than these hundreds of tweets and Facebook updates about the arrays of speakers, whom we already know are world class, methinks the information desk of the TCCP should have been accessible by every delegate at a dial for 24 hours information and advice at least one week before the world class conference.  We cannot start well and end in a rouse. It would defeat the whole aim if I have decided to travel to the conference and up till this moment I am not sure of how to gain access to the venue or I do not have my tab, and someone is flooding timelines with things that are not really very critical, then I am justified to complain.

Why were the phone lines all unreachable? Why was the emails returning undelivered? Why are Twitter DMs, Facebook messages left unattended to?  24 hours help desk is not out of place for a world class event, even if all you do is give comfort, that way , we justifies human errors when we fail. We can have as much phone lines as would work. We can have emails that receive 11,000 messages without being filled up and without bouncing the messages. We can tweet the problems as we receive them with general solutions. We can have crisis desks few days prior to the event!

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I haven’t vented o!  And I still don’t have access card! I will be at the Law School on Sunday. Hoping for the best!

On a final note, I must say that some people collecting conference material before the conference is commendable but, we should not rest on our oars! If there are people doing it better, we should strive to do better too, the capacity to do the best is inherent, no one has the monopoly!

In all Kudos to the TCCP for daring to do it differently!

I will be back!

My Grouse – venting my frustrations!

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