Fort Worth Convention Center
Fort Worth, Texas
Exhibit Hall Hours
Sunday 10am - 7pm
Monday 9am - 3pm
Exhibit Hall closed on Tuesday
Welcome to the Texas EMS Conference blog, where you can find the latest information on what’s happening at conference – and a little peek into why things happen the way they do. Check back here periodically. We’ll be posting tips for getting around the convention center and other things you need to know. Plus, we’ve got someone looking out for the best bargains in Fort Worth in entertainment and dining. We’ll post those, too. And finally, if you have any questions, you’re welcome to email me. – Kelly Harrell
What we’re doing…
Gee, is it really the first of November? I don’t know how the time flies so fast. We are busy finalizing locations, audio-visual requests and catering for the 18 preconference classes held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The next thing I’ll tackle is trying to fill all the facilitator and staff slots that need a live body to monitor things during the conference. And we are still working on the catering for the convention center. Last year that document alone was 92 pages long! It’s enough detail to make you really, really crazy. Really.
We are also working on the program, which we have to get to press by November 4 to have it printed in time. That means if there are any changes after that, we’ll have to insert a supplemental page. I know that’s a pain for you to keep up with but believe me – we like it even less!
Changes in exhibit hall hours
By now, I hope you know the exhibit hall hours have changed. We’re opening the exhibit hall much earlier on Sunday and staying open all day Sunday and all day Monday. At 3 pm on Monday, the exhibit hall closes and exhibitors move out. There will be no exhibit hall on Tuesday or Wednesday, but there will be classes as usual. The new hours actually give attendees many more hours in which classes do not conflict with the exhibit hall. It saves the conference money by cutting out exhibitor lunches and additional exhibit hall rental on Tuesday. And that lowers some of our costs – even as others rise. But the bottom line is that we can keep our registration price the same, and that’s a good thing in this economy.
And speaking of the economy…
I was a little nervous (a lot nervous, actually) about how the economy would affect the conference. We are a break-even affair, and we simply can’t lose money. The conference itself is entirely self-supporting except for part of our salaries. I’m happy to report that we’re on pace attendee-wise with last year. Whew! The news with exhibitors is not so good, but I think we’ll be close to filling the exhibit hall again.
Have positions you need to fill? Free recruiting!
Why not bring some brochures to Room 103 on Tuesday from 2 to 4 pm
We’d like to make this an annual thing – bringing employers together with job seekers. And it’s free – to both the employer and job seeker. Come on, what have you got to lose?
Oh, give me a hotel room…
Still need a hotel room? The Marriott Courtyard/Blackstone (http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/dfwms-courtyard-fort-worth-downtown-blackstone/) is located right on Sundance Square. They’re offering an $85 single rate and a $115 for double/triple/quad. Their phone number is 817-885-8700. The group code is EMSEMSA.
Soft drinks and Starbucks at the convention center
Included in your conference registration are coffee breaks, afternoon snacks and two lunches. For those of you who want soft drinks or are Starbucks addicts, there will be soft drink and special coffees for sale at kiosks around the center. I wish we could provide fruit juice and soft drinks at no charge (many of you ask) but it’s just too expensive. The caterer charges about $3.50 per soft drink or juice, and we’d have to increase the registration price too much to cover those folks who consume several carbonated beverages a day. And no, we can’t cheat and bring in our own. The conference is contractually bound to use the caterer and not to bring in outside food. Believe me, I’ve asked.