Me relaxing at The Supperclub, Amsterdam

I went to Amsterdam earlier this month, with the Gridiron gang, to attend IBC 2009. I had several meetings to attend, demo’s to do and an interview or two to give. So I packed my suitcase with all my usual accoutrements, everything I would need for a business trip in a distant land! I get especially nervous when packing for a trip like this, what should I bring, and what is it OK to leave behind?

These seem like life-threatening decisions in terms of the anxiety they produce. The bag mustn’t be too heavy, otherwise I may aggravate my old shoulder injury. On the other hand, I mustn’t be caught short in front of my colleagues by forgetting a vitally important piece of equipment. I need to make sure I have backups of every item in case a cable stops functioning, or a hard drive breaks down so I usually pack two of each small item. Bigger items, like my Macbook Pro cannot be duplicated so they are packed in my carry on bag along with other fragile items.

Then there’s the bloody palaver with liquids to contend with! Do I take shampoo, or do I use the crappy ones the hotels provide? And what about conditioner? I’ve just had a fresh bleach-job done on my hair so I’ll need that too. So I pack all the lotions and potions I could possibly need, end up using a very small percentage of them, and then over-packing my bag for the journey home with more bad-quality toiletries pilfered from the hotels, it’s craziness. Plus, I’m always tempted by those cute little 100 ml containers of essential gunk that they sell to us in the airports – Listerine have made a fortune out of me in the last six months!

Anyway, after a day of decision-making, un-making, then re-making. Irritating my partner with “do you think I’ll need this?” every two minutes. I finally decide on the perfectly packaged selection of items and board the plane with a sense of relief. Time for my customary British Airways G&T, I can finally relax. “I’m sorry Madam (I hate being called Madam!) we no longer serve ice and lemon in standard class” I’m told by the air steward. So, my one solitary treat that I allow myself to make the ordeal of packing and flying bearable has now been removed by British Airways and their continual penny-pinching ways. That’s it, the straw that finally broke the camels back, I’ve flown with BA regularly forFlow Demo years but that’s it, no more am I paying a premium for a service that’s no better than the budget airlines. Sorry, digressing but had to get that off my chest! I mean, it’s not a G&T without ice and lemon, really!

So, finally I make it to Amsterdam and the RAI where I’ve attended IBC, and other events for the last 12 years. I love this city, and it’s people. In fact if I was to live anywhere else in the world than my dear, dear Brighton, it would be Amsterdam. IBC was really good for us at GridIron, we were partnering with Apple on a few events and briefings at the Miranda Pavilion which were very well attended by an excellent, highly qualified group of individuals. We showed Flow and had amazing responses from them. Apple also hosted a party for us at the pavilion where Mark Coleran gave an excellent presentation on his journey from Screen Designer on Holywood movies to becoming the graphical interface designer of Flow.

I also saw some cool stuff, I was impressed by JVC’s HM series of cameras (and I’m a Sony-girl!) These cameras record direct to SD cards in MPEG (for ingest through Log and transfer) or Quicktime for direct drag and drop into the Final Cut Pro timeline. Very nice indeed. Adobe Story looks like an interesting product for scriptwriters, a new market for Adobe, interesting to see how it fairs. Object Matrix is a compelling product that you must see if you’re at all interested in affordable, scalable, secure storage, they make it a piece of cake. And of course the improvements made to Apple’s own Final Cut Studio and Final Cut Server continue to impress.

The rest of the GridIron Gang at IBC 2009

So, of course I came home with a much heavier suitcase, packed with brochures, receipts, giveaways and all sorts of other flotsam and jetsam. That was two weeks ago and I’m only just unpacking now! In fact I’ve done two other events since returning, have stayed in two other hotels and now have two suitcases to unpack! It’s a sorry state of affairs when you have to have rotating suitcases – two cases, each with enough clothing, toiletries and other essentials so that you can leave on a second trip before you feel like you’ve completed the first. I really am a trolley-demo-dolly!

Angie’s shuffle track of the day – Another Girl, Another Planet, The Only Ones – Listen free on Last FM

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