2011 European Mensas Annual Gathering
The 2011 European Mensas Annual Gathering was held in Paris, France, from 3-7 August, 2011, immediately following the francophone Gathering FMAG. also in Paris. The conferences were held in the Unesco building. About 220 members attended.
This gathering came under some criticism for lack of organization, as attendees had difficulty making it to events because their locations were not always clear; sometimes the venues changed at the last minute, and even the people at the registration desk didn't always know the correct facts. Also, the main venue (UNESCO) was only open during daytime business hours, and even the after-hours meeting spot (a cafe across the street) closed at 8 PM, leaving no place to go for information and to meet up with other attendees afterward unless you happened to find out what clubs or restaurants people had gone to. Facts weren't always correct in the official website, and Internet access could be difficult to obtain (there was free WiFi in the UNESCO site and some other places, but protected by login screens that required one to find out the access codes).
The official days of the gathering were Wednesday through Sunday, but in fact the icebreaker event was held Tuesday (before some attendees arrived; it was also one of the events which had a last-minute venue change, to the confusion of those who had just arrived in town and attempted to attend it), and there were few events on Saturday or Sunday although more people were actually present then. The "Gala Dinner" consisted of hors d'oevres-style foods, served in a room with few places to sit; it was more of a mix-and-mingle party, a style which some attendees said would have been more appropriate as the icebreaker at the beginning.
In the end, many attendees simply ended up exploring Paris on their own, and often had a good time despite the failings of the gathering, due to the many interesting things to do in the city.
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