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Show Highlights

The ol’ Graham and Ashkahn podcast duo is back at it to announce the exciting new updates to the 2021 Float Conference! Check the episode out to find out about the dual track digital and in person attendance options, the changes to bonus activities, and the new parade float format where every attendee marches throughout each conference talk (that last one may not be accurate).

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Listen to Just the Audio

Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)

Ashkahn:

Heyo.

Graham:

Whoa. I was going to say something first then you hopped in.

Ashkahn:

Yeah. Hopped in with the Heyo.

Graham:

Yep.

Ashkahn:

Yep.

Graham:

I was just going to say, Hey. All right, wait, we’re shadowed. We’ve got G & A here. Yep. We got the old Gold & Amber.

Ashkahn:

We got the old crew back together, teams back together. We both went on our sort of solo podcast careers for a while there and…

Graham:

Yeah. You may have caught the the Graham Hour. It was mainly about large-scale finance and sort of mergers and acquisitions, that kind of thing.

Ashkahn:

… and Kahn’s Cons, where I taught you all about how to take advantage of people in many situations.

Graham:

That’s right. And this series of inmate interviews as well, I think. So we’re back, back together.

Ashkahn:

Yep.

Graham:

And we got some big announcements. We’re actually going to be doing a couple episodes coming up here because we can’t even fit all of them into a single episode.

Ashkahn:

Yeah. Otherwise, it’d be like 25 minutes long or something outrageous like that.

Graham:

Who has time for that kind of thing? Watch this episode. It’s like a half an hour. So what’s the first thing we got going on?

Ashkahn:

Yeah. What’s going on? Oh, you know what’s going on.

Graham:

I already forgot.

Ashkahn:

Well, so the Float Conference is coming up.

Graham:

Oh yeah.

Ashkahn:

And we’re excited. And we just wanted to do a podcast episode because we’re excited about the Float Conference. Can I get a heyo? That’s right.

Graham:

Okay, you got it. The heyo makes sense now knowing our topic. Yeah. Float Conference is coming up in August.

Ashkahn:

Yeah.

Graham:

August 25th through 29th.

Ashkahn:

For the whole shebang.

Graham:

For the whole shebang. Yeah. It includes some extra things on the side.

Ashkahn:

And the main bulk of the conference conferences, the 27th, 28th, and 29th that sort of Friday through Sunday.

Graham:

And where’s it going to be?

Ashkahn:

Oh, baby, it’s going to be in two places. Both in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States of America, and also on the internet.

Graham:

That’s right.

Ashkahn:

Yeah. We’ve figured out there’s this whole new fangled thing out there called the internet and that-

Graham:

It exists.

Ashkahn:

… we should get hip. We should get on it. You just trust me this is going to be big. Everybody’s going to be on the internet pretty soon.

Graham:

Yeah. That and invest in plastics. Right?

Ashkahn:

Yeah.

Graham:

So it is, we’re doing a virtual component and we have a live component, which we didn’t have last year. Last year was our first all virtual conference for obvious reasons. But we decided that even though we’re doing an in-person one this year, the virtual aspect actually ended up being really good. And it was really nice being able to pull in people that maybe couldn’t travel from other spots or just had obligations that meant they couldn’t make the full conference time. And this year decided to do kind of a mesh between the two.

Ashkahn:

Yeah. And I imagine… I’m just throwing some stuff out that the conference will be obligated to do now. But I imagined that the… I think there probably would be some form of virtual component going forward. And it’ll kind of evolve over time. Things are still like semi-pandemicy. It’s just different all over the place. The full conference has always been sort of like the big international float event and people just like straight-up can’t travel here. Or if they can’t travel here, when they go back home, they have to quarantine for two weeks or whatever. So, it’s still not a normal year. And we wanted to make sure that the… I guess I should say that we’re like on the board of the Float Conference with a bunch of other people and speaking representationally for the whole group now-

Graham:

To be fair, mainly being on the board means we handle the parties and stuff like that. But yeah, I guess, yeah. Just a disclaimer, we are on the board.

Ashkahn:

But as a Float Conference group, I think we wanted to make sure that people could come even if they can’t actually come because their country won’t let them or you have other reasons. There’s still weird stuff going on out there. So, we have-

Graham:

People have babies, there’s like a nest of possums taken up in their basement that they need to chase out. There’s all kinds of things.

Ashkahn:

But it should be cool. People really seem to be signed up for both. When we looked at it, there’s a lot of people signed up to come in person. There’s a lot of people signed up to come online and-

Graham:

Fewer for both, but yeah.

Ashkahn:

… but there’s going to be I think sort of like this dual-track experience where you’ll get kind of that different flavor, no matter which track you choose.

Graham:

And yeah, the structure of the conference too is a little bit different this year, just in terms of how we’re mixing in special activities and events with the kind of main conference talks. It would normally be the bulk of Saturday and Sunday. And in the past, we’ve kind of split them up. We’ve had activities happening before the conference, usually on the Friday beforehand.

Ashkahn:

Things like workshops and discussion groups and yoga classes and didgeridoo sessions. And all that sort of stuff.

Graham:

Yeah. And then the main people standing in front of the podium, giving their conference talks Saturday, Sunday. And this time we just put them all in a bowl and shaking it around, stirring it up.

Ashkahn:

Yeah. It’s going to be super different. We’re moving into entirely like a parade-based conference now. So everything, you will be marching through any session that you’re in. There’ll be actual floats, parade floats involved, which will be a little confusing, I think for people observing the Float Conference.

Graham:

Yeah. And we’ll actually have the other floats with the speakers going counter to our parade as well. So it’s sort of like pick up what bits and pieces you can, as it happens. Not entirely sure how it’s going to go across, but very hopeful.

Ashkahn:

Yeah. I think it’s going to be great.

Graham:

What else do people have to look forward to here?

Ashkahn:

Yeah. There’s a lot of Float Conference staple activities happening, which if you haven’t done them-

Graham:

Sponsored by Staples.

Ashkahn:

… if you’re new to the industry, there’s a bunch of stuff that goes on at the Float Conference that’s great for people trying to open up or who want to get some extra info that they’ve never gotten before.

Graham:

Yeah. I guess let’s just start at the beginning. So Wednesday, if you do get here on the 25th, you could take the CPO class, which is the Certified Pool Operator class with none other than Dr. Roy Vore.

Ashkahn:

The Vorenado.

Graham:

The Vorecano.

Ashkahn:

Yeah. Roy Vore, if you don’t know who Roy Vore is, just go back and watch some of the videos of him talking at the Float Conference, but he’s essentially like the dude when it comes to recreational water, illness, and sanitation. So, pretty top-notch person to take a CPO class from.

Graham:

And legitimately hilarious and an amazing presenter. So not only one of the most knowledgeable people you could take the class with, but also probably just one of the most enjoyable at the same time. As long as you don’t mind a little ribbing, he’ll really… He’ll poke you.

Ashkahn:

And then after that Thursday and part of Friday, we have this thing called the Start-a-Center workshop. Who’s-

Graham:

Oh. Who’s teaching that?  What’s going on over there? Oh, it’s us. We’re teaching.

Ashkahn:

Us? It’s us. We’re teaching that? Okay.

Graham:

Great.

Ashkahn:

Nice. That sounds great.

Graham:

Yeah. So probably stay away from that one. I wouldn’t trust those guys. But yeah, we’ve taught this every year for I think the last about four decades or so. Since well before we had anyone to teach to and the conference wasn’t even going on. No, but every conference we have actually taught this Start-a-Center workshop and we use it just as a chance to really prime people getting into the industry on everything you need to know from construction to marketing, to operations, to…

Ashkahn:

Float tanks.

Graham:

Yeah. Float tanks. That’s a good one.

Ashkahn:

It’s basically just a day and a half crash course. Like here’s the nuts and bolts information on opening a float center and hopefully a float center that will last and not completely and totally fall apart on you in six months.

Graham:

Be eaten by the salt demons. Yeah. So yeah, that’s Thursday and Friday. And then again, the main Float Conference Friday through Sunday. There’s some other just kind of fun things mixed in, like we mentioned, there’s some activities that are scattered throughout the days themselves. But also, of course, great parties at night, Float Conference is partially known for its amazing parties, including this year, a WhirlyBall tournament at the end of the entire thing.

Ashkahn:

Yeah. If you don’t know what WhirlyBall is just go outside your house right now and just start yelling. “What is WhirlyBall?” until someone answers you because-

Graham:

The clouds open, voice of God will descend and explain it to you.

Ashkahn:

… yeah. It’s going to be great.

Graham:

Seriously, look it up though, that WhirlyBall tournament is probably one of the main reasons to go to the conference. 

Ashkahn:

And I think the conference itself is going to be… We’ve been tossing around attempts to make things more discursive and having a little more interactable group sessions, and just ways for people to do a little bit more than sit and listen to presentations and kind of have that scattered about more and a little more dynamic in terms of the kind of flow of the conference experience.

Graham:

So it’ll be interesting. I’m really excited. I think that a lot of this stuff is just based on feedback from previous conferences, right? You do things enough and also just with the big wrench thrown in things last year. It seems like a really good opportunity to try out some new suggestions and maybe go along with that more open forum feel to a lot of the presentations as well.

Ashkahn:

I’m just going to be yelling most of the time.

Graham:

“Boo! Get Roy Vore back up here!”

Graham:

Yeah. And again, all of this information is up on the Float Conference website, which is a… What was it again?

Ashkahn:

Let’s say, let me read here, floatconference.com.

Graham:

Right.

Ashkahn:

Yeah. A tough one to remember.

Graham:

Easy to forget. And yeah, you should definitely go check it out.

Ashkahn:

It’s going to be cool. You should just come.

Graham:

Yeah. Just come. Come join us.

Ashkahn:

I guess there is really no reason not to. Come virtually, come in person. Nobody leaves the Float Conference, upset that they came to the Float Conference. That’s pretty much, that’s just the end of it.

Graham:

End of story.

Ashkahn:

End of story.

Graham:

And next podcast.

Ashkahn:

All right. That’s it. End.

Graham:

Okay, but seriously, it will be really nice to see everyone again. Okay. Now, end of podcast. I just wanted to… I’ll see you guys there and I’m really looking forward to it 

Ashkahn:

And podcast. 

Graham:

It’s going to be really good.

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