A Playlist for Conference Planning

Conference planning is terrible.

The past few weeks of my life (and next few days) have been completely dedicated to conference planning. As the default event coordinator in my understaffed office, this is a lot of wrangling people and offices and supplies and everything under the sun. This is also calling hotels, ordering tote bags, designing backsplashes for a conference program app, meetings with campus events, and more. Suffice to say, I’ve been exhausted.

Here are some songs that have been helping me get through the final days by reflecting what I’ve been feeling:

  • When there’s a supply issue and delivery is delayed: “Tell Me Why” by The Beatles

  • When, despite approval two weeks ago, you get an email indicating that you might lose your major event space: “Up Against the Wall” by Peter Bjorn and John

  • When tension inevitably erupts over the Acknowledgements page of the program: “Glory and Gore” by Lorde

  • When you’re on your fifth cup of coffee for the day and you’re still falling asleep at your desk with your eyes open: “Sleepyhead” by Passion Pit

  • When you need to just hammer out this last hour of editing so you can move on to the next task: “Riot Rhythm” by Sleigh Bells

  • When you get into a good rhythm of getting stuff done, when it comes to an abrupt stop due to an ill-timed e-mail, visitor, or missing detail that requires you going back to work on something you thought was done: “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen

  • [Similarly] When you’re alone in the office late at night thinking that you can finally get work done without other people needing your attention and someone one shows up in the office and wants to chat: “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” by Deborah Cox

  • When you start to panic over small things like whether you even own conference appropriate clothing: “Electric Lady” by Janelle Monae

  • When you start to contemplate why no one has found a way to time travel specifically for occasions like this, because you wouldn’t be greedy, you just a few more hours to finish these name tags, but you realize this is entirely futile: “4 Minute Warning” by Radiohead

  • When you have to find some confidence buried deep down within that well of “oh my god how could I have forgotten a proper coat check system” and other nagging bits of self-doubt in your planning abilities: “Barracuda” by Heart


By Karishma

Karishma is a twenty-something living in New York City and is trying her hardest to live out every cliche about Millennials. This involves eating her feelings, drowning in debt and mocking infomercials. She likes sociology so much that she has two degrees in it, and is still warding off her parents' questions about a real career.

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