*Not a real conversation. I am totally making this up.
Caller: So I heard a friend of mine talking about CMEpalooza, and I’m interested in attending. Where is the meeting being held this year?
Me: Same place as last time and the time before. On your computer. Or your tablet. Or your cell phone. It’s all online. This is not an in-person meeting.
Caller: Really? I’ve never heard of such a thing.
Me: Have you ever been on a webinar? It’s kinda like a whole series of those scheduled back-to-back-to-back, but much more interesting.
Caller: Um, OK. So do you provide lunch for all attendees? And a coffee break? I find that unless I have something to eat and drink every 2 hours, I start to doze off.
Me: No, not really. Since we’re not technically there with you, food and drink are on you. But really, feel free to get up and refill your pumpkin spice latte and grab an apple cider doughnut whenever you want. We even build in short, 5-minute breaks between sessions so that is a good time to refresh yourself.
Caller: That’s weird. So if you don’t give us food and drink, what exactly do we get for our registration fee?
Me: There is no registration fee. CMEpalooza is free for everyone.
Caller: Come again.
Me: It’s free. F-R-E-E.
Caller: Very funny, smart guy. But really, my employer puts aside a certain amount of money each year for “professional development.” Just tell me where to go to pay. It’s not a big deal.
Me: Sorry, but there is nowhere to go to pay. CMEpalooza is free. Always has been, always will be. But if you really have money you absolutely, positively need to spend, you can just send me a personal check. Here, let me spell my last name for you. K-O-B-
Caller: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So this CMEpalooza thing is all online and free? Who exactly wrote the business plan for this event? A 4-year-old?
Me: Something like that.
Caller: Whatever, it’s your deal. So where do I go to register?
Me: There is no pre-registration.
Caller: No pre-registration.
Caller: So then how exactly do you know if people are going to show up?
Me: We’ve been doing this for a little while now. We’re pretty sure we won’t be speaking to an empty room.
Caller: Room? What room? I thought you said this wasn’t a live meeting.
Me: It was an expression.
Caller: Stop trying to confuse me.
Me: Sorry. I’ll only use words with less than 3 syllables from now on.
Caller: So no meeting room, no cost, no pre-registration. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I mean, why would anything about CMEpalooza be, you know, normal?
Me: That’s sort of the point, actually. We offer something very different for the CME community. We make it as convenient as possible.
Caller: Since you seem to have all the answers, what do I do when I wake up on October 21?
Me: Optimally, you’d brush your teeth, put on some clothes, that kind of thing. But hey, if you want to watch CMEpalooza in your bathrobe, you can. All you need to do is go to the LIVE tab on our website at 9 a.m. ET to watch the first live panel broadcast. Every hour, refresh your screen at the top of the hour and the next broadcast will begin. Really, it’s quite simple.
Caller: Says you. I’m kind of an idiot when it comes to computers. I used the CD-ROM drive on my old laptop as a cup holder for 2 years before someone explained to me what I was doing wrong.
Me: Seems like an honest error.
Caller: Now you are just patronizing me. But with all the things I don’t have to do to watch CMEpalooza, why exactly is it worth my time?
Me: Ultimately, that’s your call, but we try our best to put together an interesting agenda of topics and speakers that will resonate with people who work in every aspect of CME. One area where we don’t skimp is in the quality of our education. We’re as excited as ever for this fall’s agenda.
Caller: Did you mail out a brochure with the agenda? I didn’t get anything!
Me: No, it’s all online on our website. There is no brochure and there was nothing mailed. You got exactly the same amount of material in the mail as everyone else – nothing.
Caller: OK, I’m looking at the agenda. Seems interesting… I know this woman, she’s good… Huh, I like that topic… Wait a minute, what the heck is pecha kucha?
Me (rolling my eyes): Call Derek.