Notte Bianca lost files #2
We are currently working on a proposal for this year’s Notte Bianca (October 1st 2011). While browsing the old posts, we discovered that two entries have been lost. They seem to be removed or deleted somehow from the blog. We are unsure how that happened, but for the sake of the proposal they have to be up again. We apologize for the inconvenience, for those of you who have already read the *lost* entries. Those of you, who haven’t had the opportunity to see what was done last year, please feel free to scroll down and read. We had to re-write the entries as we do not had a copy. Perhaps, its time to actually start saving all the entries.
It is quite impossible to establish how many people passed through the Old Market building on Notte Bianca. But it must have been hundreds through all the night. The restaurant was open in front of the site, and a silent disco (where people had headphones on and each was listening to their choice of music). A climbing post was organized on the first floor of the building. So much was happening and it was really hard to keep track. However we are thinking that between 700 – 1000 persons came to the exhibition.
There were moments especially at the beginning when we thought nobody would come. The escalators leading to the 2nd floor broke down years ago and it’s an effort to climb them, especially for the elderly. And the climbing wall was taking a lot of attention from us. We had to advertise.
We borrowed a big blackboard from the restaurant downstairs and some chalk. We wrote huge message about exhibition and free wine (we had some anyway for the first customers) and put it downstairs. We also put posters on the entrance.
Within minutes poor Pauleen was running among a crowd and serving the wine. A good sign attracted over 50 people just at once. We were surprised but extremely happy. It went up from there.
Not only friends and colleagues arrived that night (Artur, who exhibited with us, came with a whole group of people from the office and boasted that he could also give tours around Valletta, Mal was totally surprised). We had a pleasure to speak with tourists and locals alike. A Polish couple who travelled the world came and had a chat with us. A Danish woman who was on holidays in Malta told us how much she wanted to retire on the Island. A group of Chinese school girls, in their uniforms (!) came giggling and gossiping. An old Maltese gentleman came with two mischievous grandchildren who would blow out all the candles on purpose until we told them we would tell the grandfather 😉
People from all sorts of walks of life came to see the display, which was extremely nice and but it was also a humbling experience. We received some really good verbal comments and some words of encouragement were left in two guest books for us.
At two points in time we had a blackout because the crowd was so big that somebody stumbled on the cables and the lights went out on the whole floor. It was thanks to the efficient Nexos technician who would patiently fix the lights for us. But during the blackout periods, the people who operated the climbing wall would switch out a snow machine and produce an amazing show filing the whole space with artificial snowflakes. It looked magical.
Due to crowds we could only start to take things down at 2:30 in the morning. We had to leave some things behind and come back for them next morning. We haven’t slept for around 16 hours and barely had time to sit down. But we had fun and we were proud to achieve what we did.
Despite the weather, change of location and multiple other things that worked against us, we managed to deliver and to maintain a good show. That’s the most amazing thing in event organizing. Once it’s over you say never again. By next morning you already make plans for the next time.
Thank you for wonderful night we will remember