NTC Week – And I’m Stuck in Pittsburgh this Week!

Road Construction - common in Pittsburgh - by http://www.flickr.com/photos/harry_nl/

I have to admit – the past two years I have been spoiled. I had my first taste of the NTC two years ago in Atlanta. I liked it so much that I even presented during the NTC that was held last year in Washington D.C.  Things were looking good for this year until I didn’t have a session selected for this year’s NTC and budget cuts along with state regulation changes put the landing gear down on any hopes of flying out to NTC in San Francisco this year. I know that I could do the online NTC – but I know unless I could lock myself in a closet with no phone and no email, the money spent for the online NTC could potentially be a wash.

So I know now that I have to plan tho handle this week. I have to battle the depression that I have. The past two years the NTC came at a time that I needed that ‘shot-in-the-arm’ to be excited again about my job. I came back with ideas and energy. Now I have to find a way to reenergize without attending the NTC. (I don’t have this one figured out – so I’m looking for great ideas on this one!)  Without a plan, I will cringe with every Tweet, Status Update, and Pinterest that I see related to NTC.  So, here is my plan to survive while dodging the orange construction cones that seem to be multiplying in Pittsburgh this year.

1. Make a buddy get the important information for me – I have a good friend who does get to go. I’ve already given her a list of vendors that I would like the information back from if it’s good. She knows what my job has been focused on lately and I explicitly trust her to do a good job.

2. Filter, Filter, Filter – I now will know how it feels to be on Twitter and not be at NTC. I am following so many folks that are involved with NTEN and NTC, I know that my Twitter will be exploding. I am going to have to find a way to find the relevant information that gives me pertinent information that I want to grab hold off and not the tweets about things that I miss, but aren’t really relevant to my job (last year it was about the Super Moon the last night of NTC and about a food truck with crab rolls).

3. Roll out new functionality  – Nothing like real work to keep my attention off of what I am missing. There is a lot of it going on at work right now. Starting tomorrow, I start several weeks of migrating my phone system software from one version of Cisco Call Manager over to Cisco Call Center. I’ll get down and dirty with all the change management tricks I have learned from the keynote last year. Anyone try to switch their automated attendant on the phone system knows the politics that erupts and all the chaos that can occur. I need to be ready to direct that elephant and get this project done. In the end, I know the new capabilities will make the caller so pleased and that has to be the focus.

4. Work on presentation for All Aboard! Don’t Leave Your Users at the Tech Project Station – I may not have a session this year – but I do have this wonderful opportunity to discuss Tech Projects in this webinar for NTEN. In ways, I am more excited about this opportunity – I can do the presentation in my jammies if I need too!

5. Connect with my fellow nonprofit techies – It will almost be like a smaller version of NTC when a group of us get together for Bagels and Bytes. The topics will be determined on Wednesday morning and it could be a wild bunch – but they are all in the same boat as I am – and we will all still be in Pittsburgh.

I am going to miss NTC this year so badly. Now it is time to start planning for next year. I can’t miss next year!