I was determined we would be at the venue this year, and even though attendees were dropping like flies, I had already put in place an opportunity to live stream so we could connect with everyone who wanted to be part of the experience. Just three weeks before the event, with Covid numbers rising, Boris popped up again and moved the goalposts, even I could not stand the stress of the unknown anymore. It really is no joke when I tell you about the sleepless nights, stress and tears I experienced, then out of the blue, the venue called and gave me an opportunity to cancel without penalty, and at that point the decision was made, we would cancel and my greatest fear was about to happen …… we would go fully virtual.
As I said in my opening intro (and a thousand times more) I have NEVER sat through a virtual event. My attention span is that of bored gnat, so it is not for me. I have no idea what happens or how they are run, so just three weeks to pull this together …. eeerrrrmmmmm I can do this …. can’t I? I decided the only way this would work was to keep as close to the structure of my physical event as possible, yes that would work.
I literally did not know where to start, what I did know is that I did not want a Zoom conference, it had to be more than that, I pride myself on the decadent structure of the UK Tarot Conference, and if I was going to cock up virtually, then I would do it in style!
My first contact was our wonderful Mary Collin who I knew ran events and was particularly familiar with online options, she directed me to Paul Spicer from LNP Sounds and everything started to come together. I was recommended the Reattendance Platform which gave options for the speakers to offer logo’s and links, breakout rooms etc, so that option was purchased, my daughter in law Zandri took over the reins (thank goodness for young brains) and we now spent every waking minute trying to work out the system, liaise with speakers who were amazing in adapting their workshops to fit the new schedule, sort out logo’s, promote the event and try to explain how it would work when I was trying to get my own head around it. Three weeks became two very quickly!
We offered VIT boxes (Very Important Tarot) as an additional ticket option, each one was packed by me and posted, I obviously didn’t have enough to do ha ha, we are releasing more of these as so many of you have been asking, info below. Plus, Issue 3 of The Esotoracle went live as we normally launch October issue at the Conference, so I had magazine orders coming in, and yes it is just Steven and me, so I was that constant annoying person in the Post Office queue sending post to every corner of the world holding everyone up. (I can laugh at this now 😊 although I do remember hyperventilating at one point).
Literally the evening before we went live, bookings were still coming in and I was up most of the night trying to ensure everyone had their invite for the next day.
Friday morning, Paul was reassuringly waiting for me in the virtual studio, talking me through what would happen, the countdown started, oh my goodness, I am going to throw up, 3, 2, 1, and ping …. There I was looking back at me (another big fear lol), talk woman talk … and I was off. I could see the chat with people unable to get in alongside the hello’s, emails popping up with a few attendees not sure what to do, in my head I knew Paul was working like a trojan sorting out the background stuff, so I switched off and concentrated on what I was meant to do. I did not know my PowerPoint went skew whiff, as on my screen it looked fine, by the way I have added the PowerPoint presentation here for you to download http://tarotconference.co.uk/tarot-programme/ but as I ended I could see the chat live with positive comments, I knew we would be ok.
All the workshops were beyond expectation, I am so glad this first virtual conference was propped up by such a stellar line up, the speakers professionalism shone through. Everyone was brilliant. I must just mention Neil Kelso on Friday evening, how much fun was that. I loved the banter before in the chat, a vision of everyone in their Pjs with a drink and chocolate waiting for the show to begin.
I know virtual is not for everyone, I am still not a fan, but it is a way to reach out to every corner of the world and bring our community together. Thank you all for your kind words and patience, it really meant a lot.
And just one last thing, please support our independent traders and publishers we need them!
Until next year 8th 9th October 2021, at the venue and possibly streaming live! Read on ….
Esotoracle Issue Three https://esotoracle.com/issue-three
Don’t forget Liminal11 scrap book competition by 16th October and send to email@example.com
Buy your Tarot of Light and Shadow via The Atlantis Bookshop for a signed copy http://theatlantisbookshop.com/
VIT Boxes (Very Important Tarot) we have made more available due to demand contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Oracolarium deck https://www.oracolarium.com/shop use your code UKTCMAGIC for a £5 discount.