Location: Sinaia, Romania.
Date: 5-7 February 2016.
Arriving at the hearth of Transylvania was much better then expected. We were warned about bad roads (or no roads at all), but had a completely different experience.
Sinaia is a mountain resort known by its Peles Castle, Sinaia monastery and even was a residence for Romanian Royal family. Very beautiful place I recommend for a quality holiday.
Friday Night Dinner : The Gathering
One of the most awesome thing about conferences is multiculturalism. Per our long time ago established practice, everybody was bringing something from its own homeland: croatian dry meat, serbian cheese pie, greek cheese, czech beer and loads of laughter, were just some of the delights that helped judges to recover from trips and fill batteries for following “anguish”.
At start, it was a little messy to find our where are the conference rooms and what presentations are held in them (yes, we were spoiled to have a conference room in a hotel where we staying), but eventually it ends up well, and Adrian and Andrei showed us how to handle stressful situations with patience and stability.
Self Review by Mihail Birsan
Mihail done a great job here being well prepared to all questions and sub-questions, knowing the topic and presented it with great confidence. Self review is a large and heavy topic, and Mihail provide us with a handful of useful tips and directives.
Body Language by Theodoros Millidonis
After writing a brilliant three-part article about body language, Theo showed us how it works in practice, and how a presentation must look in order to be good one. Major complaint was that “this is not a Magic presentation”, which I do not agree, because it can helps a lot when you make an investigation (“reading” a player), or how to appear in front of problematic player. If anybody still thinks that “this is not a Magic presentation” I suggest to him/her to think again and try to implement some of it on themselves, because this was, in first place, a self- developing presentation, and self-development is the core of the judge program.
Investigations by George Gavrilita
Another topic that is too big to be put in one hour, but George somehow manage to narrow it and to bring out the most abstract thesis in front. George also showed an enormous experience in this area by handling questions with ease. However, workshop has been a little confusing (at least for me as a spectator), it was noisy and hard to track what is happening. Maybe a way to fix this is making a “tutorial” with interaction with audience, where actors (judges) would go through scenario, and presenter would make a “walk-through” and point out the right questions, answers and everything relevant for the investigation.
After the “launch” and break the seminar continues…(yes, yes, the “Lunch/Launch” was very popular pun on this seminar :D)
Slow Play by Christian Gawrilowicz
Definitely the most useful presentation on this conference. Slow play is, except for some examples in IPG, very hard to determine and, often, very tricky to handle. Luckily, Christian’s tremendously knowledge and experience helped us “demystify” this subject, and gave us a brilliant insight in understanding, determining and handling with slow players.
Rulings by Yval Tzur
Yval is a great guy, and I had a wonderful time chatting with him, but it seems that this presentation caught him “off the guard”. Such an interesting topic, and yet we all had the feeling that we left “empty handed”. I am pretty sure that Yval can do a much, much better job, and I hope that next time we’ll see him in his full glory. In order to do so, please, do some research, make a slideshow, create a good scenario for workshop and practice, practice, practice. Oh, and Theo’s Body Language can come handy…(told you so :P)
The very first thing we all associate when someone says Quiz is Fun! It always was and it always will be. And so it was in this case. It was a little (just a little, really) messy and noisy, but it did not spoil the good time. Congratulations both for organizers and winners!
Not sure if this was planned or spontaneous, but it was definitely the highlight of the conference. L3 Council made of three brilliant judges (Christian, Giorgos and David) offered to us some very valuable answers to various questions. Many of them were concerning acceptance to GP, but also about what truly means to be active in the community. Although I have read all on that subject, hearing about it, from people who has an enormous experience in it, was much more motivational and comprehensive. Thank you guys!
Mentoring by Tomas Kriz
Another very relevant and interesting topic which Tomas made even more interesting with his quality presentation. Handful of useful information about both mentors and mentorees, interesting slideshows and good interaction with audience were just a part of it. The only objection I had is that he could done it a little bit fluently, but that is just a small spot on, otherwise, fantastic presentation.
Aaaaand…that’s all Folks! Wait! It is not…
We also had a fresh new Level 2 from Israel…David Shor. Congratulations, David!
And here we take a brief moment to mention our friends from Turkey, who had an epic adventure
Now, when the passions and excitement are calmed down, thinking about how much this conference influenced me (and all other judges, hopefully) is much clearer. Providing us with such an abundance of information, tips, directions and, maybe above all, motivation, this conference made to be a role model for every other upcoming.
Thank you all for making it such a success.