Reflections and Insights of the Conference in Mysore, India

By Mohanakrishnan Raman, India
IODA Conference Chair 2016

Organizing an international conference is always a huge challenge. Especially being the host of an event as professionals are participating from all continents. One has to face several challenges including registration to getting visa clearance so that everyone will be able to participate in the conference. Though organizing an event is not new to me as I used to be an active participant since my schooldays. An IODA conference is always a special and outstanding annual event since one of its purposes is to invite and connect members from across the world. I had many challenges from different quarters in terms of keeping the registration cost at the minimum, forming a conference team in place such as Mysore, locating the right venue and finding sponsors for the conference etc.,

The preparation for the conference took at least two years and I was able to put the conference theme in place one year before the start of the conference. My support team consisted of well known OD professionals not only in India but also from other countries. For India I’d like to mention Ms. Sushma & Mr. Ramalingam.

Our website was up in time and we were able to update all the necessary information to facilitate the interested participants to register and pay for the conference. We got the sponsors at the right time that gave us the confidence to proceed followed by almost 30 students’ registrations from the Assumption University in Thailand. This all gave us the confidence to plan for the conference in full scale including evening entertainment and cultural programs.

My personal highlight of the conference was to confer the IODA Life Time Achievement Award to Prof. Abad Ahmed. It was the second time in my life I could facilitate such a wonderful honor as a Conference Chair. The first one was none other than our beloved and respected Late Prof. Udai Pareek, who was also my mentor. Together with Prof. Udai Pareek we launched the Asia OD Network (AODN) in 2006 in Mysore, India. It was such a great excitement to me, my team and IODA Executive Committee to ensure that the conference went smoothly.

I felt very sad when IODA’s President, Suzanne Zaldivar had to return to the U.S. at an unexpected moment, after coming all the way from U.S. to Mysore, India. IODA’s Executive Committee responded so quickly to fill the gap of her absence and the conference continued while I and anyone else were thinking of her. Suzanne, I really missed you, your charming smile and motivating words in the conference. The other stressful moment for me was when Prof. Edgar Schein was on Skype call, because we were running the whole video conference through a regular wi-fi connectivity of the hotel. Leasing a line with higher bandwidth connectivity had failed unfortunately. No one noticed the tension of the professional conference IT supporter Kalpesh. Both of us were keeping the fingers crossed and occasionally biting the nails.

Though there are several emotional moments to share with IODA colleagues the page may not be enough here. I am sure the community will appreciate and share the same emotional moments with me as I strongly feel that the Indian hosting delivered what IODA was expecting. Each time I complete such tasks I always feel that this will be my last event to organize. However, the success of the conference and the enthusiasm by the delegates including new friends make me think “Why not organize another conference?” This is what IODA can produce in any member’s mind as IODA is always very dear to my heart.



Don’t miss the pictures taken during the conference in Mysore. Click HERE.

For the amazing conference video click HERE.

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