Behind the Scenes with IPC Technical Conference Coordinator Toya Richardson

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As part of the Technical Program Committee for IPC APEX EXPO, I have known and worked with IPC’s Technical Conference Coordinator, Toya Richardson for quite a few years, but we have never had an in-depth chat about her job at IPC. Anyone who has attended the conference sessions, and especially the speakers, is no doubt familiar with her—especially if you had a problem of some sort. Toya is the go-to person and can seemingly perform miracles by obtaining anything from a new projector to an Ace bandage (which she produced for me once when I sprained my ankle).

Patty Goldman: Hi Toya. It’s always good to see you and especially nice to sit down with you for a chat. Tell me a little bit about your role at IPC and how long you've been there.

Toya Richardson: I am the technical conference coordinator at IPC and I've been in this role for about nine and a half years now.

Goldman: Wow, I had no idea it’s been that long. How has the experience been for you overall?

Richardson: It's been exciting. It's been different. As time has gone on, there have been a couple of minor tweaks and changes to the show process to make it better. I've had a lot of help from different people. That's why the process changes as well.  We've also had changes with our technical conference director and we've had changes with the technical program committee. A lot of that brings about change in terms of the technical conference.

Goldman: How do you like it? What do you see coming down? We've got APEX EXPO coming up in a few months. I know you're hard at work at it.

Richardson: Yes, actually, I love it.  I really enjoy what I do. I enjoy working with IPC members, the attendees, the speakers, etc. I love the interaction. I love trying to do the best that I can to make sure that our attendees have the best technical conference experience that they can have.

It is a very challenging job. I'm making sure that I get all of the speakers together, and from there, that I have all of their up-to-date information, that they comply with our policies, etc., so that everything kind of gels and comes together for a smooth conference.

Sometimes, right at the conference is where challenges occur. We have drops right there on-site, with speakers who can't make it so they'll send someone in their position, or they don't send anyone, or someone gets sick and we have to get a new moderator. All of it is challenging. But I'm at the point (now) where I know what to do. When it first happened I was like, "Oh my gosh! What's going on?" Now I know what to do and I try to make sure that I communicate that to anyone who is helping me, to make sure that they know what to do when these changes happens.


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