It’s been a few weeks now since HTAi2012 in Bilbao, Spain. I went on a little holiday afterwards and it was a whirlwind trip. I am back at work now – back to winter – and back to reality. I arrived in Bilbao after a 30hrs or so flight from Melbourne. My luggage remained in Berlin for some reason and was delivered to the hotel the following evening. I had a meeting that afternoon so I had to rush out to buy some clothes (I will always think of that outfit as my emergency clothes). Thank goodness for hotel toiletries! I was so thankful that my luggage arrived when it did because I was leading a workshop on Sunday. We had a small audience but the program and audience participation was good. I was told by the organisers that there were only 2 breaks – a lunch and teabreak so the chair-elect and I worked out the workshop schedule around that. However, there was afternoon tea available so with last minute changes, we shortened the workshop so people could have afternoon tea and then go back to their hotel rooms to recharge for the busy days ahead. The workshop materials are now available on the IRG section of the HTAi website. Monday was the day of the IRG lunchtime AGM, the first time that I have led one. Lunch was delivered to the room and we didn’t get through everything on the agenda because of food distractions. Next year we will try having lunch for 30mins and then have an hour for the AGM. Less time will mean more focus (hopefully). Monday night we had our annual dinner at El Kasko in the old part of town and quite a few IRG members attended. We booked the restuarant for 9.30pm (the HTAi AGM finished at 9pm so it gave people who attended time to get to the restaurant) but we waited outside until 10pm until we could get in and dinner started 30mins after that! We all had a good time though and there was lots of laughter and chat. We all finished up at midnight and walked back to our hotels. I had a 7.15am breakfast meeting the following morning which merged straight into the conference day. The conference dinner was at the Guggenhein that evening and finishing up at 7.30pm, Janney (the lady I shared a hotel room with) and I had some time to unwind before the open gallery session and conference dinner. The dinner was followed by a cocktail night at our hotel which went until 2am or so, but I didn’t stay for that because I had another breakfast meeting at 7.45am. In the next post, I’ll write about the sessions I attended and what I learnt along with take-home points.
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