By 2020 Earth Will Have Run Out Of Chocolate

EziTag Epistler

EziTag Epistler

22 Aug 2014

I recently read an article on my way to work at EziTag that said the world will run out of chocolate on October 2nd 2020. Ok so no big deal. The staff will cope, although the Easter Bunny may be in trouble.

So I arrived at work and headed for the kitchen for my morning heart starter cup of coffee when my worst nightmare was confirmed.

We were out of coffee!

Now I’m in real strife. How can I get work finished or even started without my morning shot of caffeine? And how did this happen? EziTag has been using computerised inventory systems for more than 20 years and we can tell within 4 decimal points of a metre how much raw material lanyard fabric we have in stock and when it’s time to re-order. Also, we know - because our computer system tells us - that we have 252,678 Name Tag Holders Product Code NCH004 in stock and based on existing sales trends and production lead times we’ll need to re-order in 67 days.

So with all this technology and planning, tell me how the computer allowed us to run out of coffee, which is clearly more important than a name tag or lanyard?

Now imagine this was a Conference. The PCO has arranged the venue, the program booklets, the registration system and networking, the lanyards and name tags, the session scanners, exhibitor booth allocations, seminar scanning, Wi-Fi access and booked the gala dinner and social functions. In short the PCO has ticked all the boxes. Or have they?

Has anyone double checked the venue has enough coffee? Because it doesn’t matter how much work a PCO puts into the conference planning and presentation, if the venue tells you “sorry we’re out of coffee” then the delegates are not going to be happy campers. In fact you’ve probably got a riot of G20 proportions on your hands, minus the grenades.

Often it’s the little forgotten items that we assume will be in place that can bring us unstuck and ruin all our good work. Coffee is just one small example. But there are others. Does the venue have a backup generator in case the power goes out? What happens if the venue’s Head Chef calls in sick for the day? What’s your plan if half the delegates don’t turn up because a hurricane prevents planes from landing (this happened at a Conference in North Queensland earlier this year) Your major sponsor told you they’d bring 1,000 lanyards to the conference, but on the day had to tell you they didn’t arrive on time (another real example as I got a phone call at 7AM asking me if I could get 1,000 lanyards to the Melbourne Exhibition Centre by 8AM. We got them there on time. Just! Or one of your Speakers loses their laptop with the only copy of their Power Point presentation?

But back to coffee and ensuring coffee is on hand may be futile because they (whoever these experts are) predict that the world will run out of coffee in 70 years due to climate change, which is 50 years after running out of chocolate. Now I’m trying to imagine a conference without coffee or chocolate and I’m stumped for ideas. Any suggestions?