Then, Now, Future
When you're on the Earnslaw why not claim to be its eponymous captain? I see no reason not to (or to casually drop in the word eponymous). Captain Earnslaw appeared as part of my work for the IPENZ Transportation Group Conference for this year. I've done more than a few of these now and they are always a nice mix of comedy characters and just me being me (or a conference friendly version of me).
Captain Earnslaw appeared as part of a welcome breakfast which was a new addition this year and a great way to kick things off. Welcome functions are tricky beasts - whenever you have them quite a few people miss them. It's usually because of travel arrangements. So having the function on the morning of the Conference meant there were a few more people around. It also took any pressure off an evening function when you know you've got a big day of conferencing ahead.
What it did for me (always about me - it's my blog!) was that it had everyone primed and warmed up for the opening of the conference. Normally these can be a bit stiff and take a bit to get momentum rolling. But having people gather together and share a meal immediately before got things off to a great start. Look at those smiling people filing off the boat.
The theme was a really good one for me to play with too - because I got to be Captain Earnslaw for "Then", myself for the plenary sessions and "Now" and then I got to create the android version of me Greg 2.0 for the "Future" when we did the gala dinner.
Doing an android version of yourself is good fun and means (at least for me) getting out the make-up and indulging in drag-queen strength contouring. I got to rock out the 80s style cyclops shades too!
I've been doing these conferences for ages but glenda and her team at Hardings do a great job of coming up with new themes and giving me new characters to play with year after year.