Fun, inexpensive, green ...

Alternative DAC

by Peggy Aycinena

It's nothing short of a breakthrough. I was finishing a glass of wine, folding the laundry, poking around in email, all at the same time, and there it was ... another survey asking about my attendance at DAC.

Why? Why do I need to confirm, again, that I attended DAC? Clearly I was there. Is someone worried that the numbers are wrong? Do they think I didn’t really show up? My gosh. Somehow, we just need to get past all of the obsession with this conference. And then it came to me …

We need to have a picnic!

That's it. Just a picnic. In a park, a Big Park, with lots of grills and picnic tables and sand for volleyball, and maybe a pond for paddle boating, and umbrellas, of course, lots of room for parking, and well ... that's it. Just a picnic!

California needs money. It needs money bad. The State's working towards closing down some of its parks, and this would be a Big, Big Money Earner. It would be …

Alternative DAC!

It would be at a State Park. One of those Big Parks, where there’s lots and lots of room for, say, about 5000 people.

Just think about it. People would come in their RVs, or pick-up trucks, or vans, or station wagons, or even their (high-priced) sedans. They’d bring their own food -- hamburgers, or polish sausages, or chicken, or eggplant, maybe some charcoals and tongs, some potato salad, big bags of chips, veggie platters with dip, some wine, some beer, some iced tea, pie, cookies, cupcakes.

People could bring Frisbees, they could bring mitts and bats for softball, some soccer balls, some nets and volleyballs. And, of course, their laptops. Plus some kind of poster explaining their products, pasted on foam core, with something rigged up on the back to make it stand up on the picnic table.

It could start in the morning. People could set up their tables, play with their kids, talk with each other, mingle among the various (hundreds) of picnic tables, check out each other's posters, the software running on everybody’s laptops -- all the while, being outside and spending, like, just a few dollars. A hundred, at the most. Not thousands, or tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, or for you-know-who, even millions of dollars because that's what their Industry Tax comes to.

Oh my gosh, why didn’t we think of this sooner?

At Alternative DAC, some people would put on sun screen, some would not. Some people would spread blankets out on the grass. Others would bring lawn chairs. Some people would bring iPods and speakers, and there'd be music. There’d be foot races, and ... wait!

There could be croquet! There could be Croquet Tournaments! And Volleyball Tournaments! There could teams from one company playing against teams from another company. Or ...

It could be, like, all of the Simulator Guys against all of the ESL Guys. Or, all of the DFM Guys against all of the P&R Guys. The possibilities are endless! And so much fun! And ...

So cheap!

So cheap, in fact, that we wouldn‘t have to pay registration, or unions to set up big, kludgey booths, or have bazillions of dollars spent on conference bags, or painting big staircases purple -- how much did that cost?? -- or lanyards with company names, or a Press Room, or Security, or have to run surveys after the fact just to figure who the heck came.

Nobody would need surveys, because everybody would come! And, if they didn't, oh well ... they'll make it next year.

Plus, it would be so fun! And relaxed! And No Big Committees for this or that, or politics, or who's mad at who, or who got to do this or that, or saw them or heard what, or did what, or ... whatever. Can you imagine?

Things would get set up and started in the morning. There could be a big stage where the Picnic Chairman could welcome everybody, and then people would mingle around all day long. They’d look at each other's software, or even their hardware, and by late afternoon, after the tournaments and everything, it’d be time for wine and cheese and beer and pretzels, and more veggies. And then, people would start thinking about dinner. Lunch was hours ago, so they‘d be hungry again.

The sun would start to go down. People would go off to their cars or vans or RVs or trucks to get their sweaters and jackets, and then they would make their dinner, or open up the cooler and break out the cold fried chicken. And then, as it got dark, everybody would gather around their fire(s) and start to roast marshmallows! S'mores!

Again, so cheap! And, so much fun!

Everybody would be in one place. It would be super relaxed. Not thousands and thousands of hours setting everything up, and then breaking everything down, and then paying for everything -- the hotels, the catering, the badges, the meeting rooms, the coffee, the conference bags, the chotzkies. It would just be a Big, Big Picnic! It would be ...

Alternative DAC!

Why didn't we think of this sooner?

August 19, 2009


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