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The Monday before AU may be my favorite day of AU. A ton of people arrive on Monday and as of right now 7203 (77%) have checked in. It is great to see everyone, and particularly the presenters, many of whom I have worked with over the last 9 years. As for others, it is just nice to put a face to those hundreds of emails we exchanged since the “Call for Papers” got AU 2008 started, sometime back in March. This evening, we had the Speaker Social and approximately 250 speakers were thanked by Chris Bradshaw and Lynn Allen for all their hard work. Chris mentioned that one of the greatest challenges to having an equally successful AU outside the US will be to find as many dedicated and hardworking presenters. The Speaker Social was held outside on the Bouchon Terrace—Las Vegas evening weather was great—and the only disturbance was planes trying to land at Las Vegas Airport. We have had very few cancellations up to this point. One speaker from Germany was in a car accident and had to cancel his session. We had a few mix-ups with lab assistants—but otherwise we are good. All class changes are being tracked and attendees are being informed via email. We are also using the AU Daily to keep everyone up-to-date on cancelations and changes. Today I also met John from Cut&Paste who will produce the AU Design Slam. I believe the AU Design Slam will be one of the most exciting events happening at this year's AU. I did run into a few of the competitors and they seemed to be just as excited as I am. Last week the competitors were given their design challenge at a very high level, and ideas are brewing. Tomorrow, John and his team will do final rehearsals and setups, and we all expect a great show on Wednesday and Thursday. Last week, we also announced the competitors and judges.

by Joseph Wurcher December 2, 2008 2:13 am

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