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​"Stream of Consciousness" – The Diary of a Novice Streamer at the WPP Stream in Greece.

By Daniel Edward Rosen

Day 1 – Morning

The first thing I learned about attending a WPP Stream “unconference” is that it’s remarkably easy to spot a fellow “Streamer,” even in a crowded airport.

I had just cleared immigration after landing at Athens International Airport by way of New York City when I saw one such group of Streamers (the informal term used to describe those who attend WPP Stream unconferences) congregated by a cafe inside the terminal.

I could tell they were Streamers as they were all cheery, fresh-faced and showing not a trace of jet lag, despite having just landed from a 9-hour redeye flight. Another telltale sign was that they were among the 15 percent of the passengers on our flight who weren’t members of AARP (there were a lot of octogenarians on board, suffice it to say).

There I met man named Dave (editorial note - some names and company affiliation are being withheld). This is his third Stream, and telling from how anxious he was to see everyone (and they in turn) it was clear that this was a tightknit group whose relationships were borne out of previous Streams. I met another man, Matt, who was, like me, a first-time Streamer. He didn’t know what to expect, except that he had heard that it is somewhat impossible to predict what exactly will happen.

We, about 50 of us in number, boarded the bus at the airport headed to the Golden Coast, the resort where the unconference was being held. The bus itself was not unlike a bus on its way to a summer camp — each passenger knew one another like old bunkmates from camp, and the chatter amongst them was loud and lively, so much so that it remained as such throughout the entirety of the 45-minute ride to Marathon. Few people were on their smartphones and not a single person napped.

This enthusiasm carried over to the check-in line at the resort. Ella Weston (my boss at this event, for disclosure) went along the line and gave each person a warm hug. She is the materfamilias of WPP Stream, and everyone on that line was a good friend of hers —or if not, likely will be by the end of this Stream.

In not-terribly-felicitous timing a brief rainstorm hit the resort just after all of us had checked into our rooms. There was a queue for a golf cart that was driving people around to their hotel rooms. As I was impatient and as Shenan, a woman who was in line with me, had an umbrella walked to our rooms, getting thoroughly soaked in the process (the umbrella did keep our laptops dry — a priority in these parts).

I finally made it to my hotel room, knackered and drenched, and still curious and excited to see what these next few days at Stream have in store. 

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