Lights, Please. No, Really.

When life gives you lemons, hope the power comes back on soon. Or something like that. Here's the deal: It's half way through the first day of the MOGO media InDesign conference and the power went out. Completely. Not coming back on for a long time.

Under other circumstances this would be a minor annoyance, but this is event is loaded with people from several countries that can't just come back later. So what do you do? Think on your feet, that's what.

The conference organizers mobilized the instructors and set up impromptu question and answer sessions in the halls -- luckily there are plenty of windows for light. Sure, there are some people that are totally bent out of shape. Not that their anger is going to make things any better.

Most people are totally digging the face time they are getting with the instructors that they came so far to see. There are clusters of people around each instructor, and there are several other groups springing up where people are sharing their experiences and issues. This has become an on-the-fly self help event on a big scale.

This is exactly what I love seeing when something that is completely out of our control happens. People are coming together, helping each other out, and breaking out of their personal safety zones and meeting their fellow attendees.

Yes, it totally sucks that power is out, the scheduled classes are off, and there isn't anything that can be done about that. On the other hand, this is giving everyone a chance to learn in a new way, a more community-focused way. Even better, most people are taking advantage of this new learning environment.

Now, if we could only get that power back on. It's over 80 degrees outside, and it's getting hot in here.

Update: The power is back on, well, at least for now. We are picking up where we left off before the power conked out, a little hotter, and with a little more community education that we would have had otherwise. A tip of the hat to the MOGO gang for taking what could have been a disaster and creating a more personalized learning experience.