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a blog by Chris Barrow

A misconception and an apology

It has been brought to my attention that a weekend post on GDP-UK made reference to the presentation given by Brendon MacDonald at The Dentistry Show and a comment I made during his introduction to the audience. I want to set the record straight on Brendon and then cover some other points made about the AV at the Dentistry Show. Firstly, when I introduced Brendon I referred to the fact that he had lost his voice the night before and mentioned that “brendon and I knew why”. This was interpreted by the individual on GDP-UK as meaning that Brendon had been carousing the night before and that he and I should have respected the audience more. Nothing could be further from the truth – my comments related to him sacrificing his voice in pursuit of the BKH cause in the days leading up to the Show. I can guarantee that Brendon excused himself from the Friday night proceedings at a very early hour and was missing and missed for the 1950’s night celebration at The Crowne Plaza. I’m horrified that, as usual, these accusations are made without right of reply and without checking, although I can fully understand the irritation of the author if such comments were true. If I misled anyone in the audience I apologise and want to establish here and now that Brendon is an innocent bystander in this conversation and unjustly accused. Turning now to AV: The Dentistry Show has suffered in this respect for some years. The format of the Show is open-forum and the various ‘theatres’ are exposed. As a speaker as well as MC for the last 2 years, I fully appreciate that the presenters and their audience are competing with each other, with the noise from the exhibition floor and, in our case Saturday, the noise of construction from nearby halls. On Friday and Saturday lunchtime the situation was made even worse by a shaft of sunlight that appeared through the skylights in the roof of the hall and obliterated the main screen for speaker slides for a period of about an hour. On Saturday I determined that the only way audience members had an chance of seeing slides was to move to the rear of the room and look at the two plasma screens provided. I made a joke of being the first MC in history to ask his audience to move back from the stage. With loss of voice and loss of big screen, Brendon’s presentation was doomed – although he soldiered on for the full 45 minutes and offered copy slides and a personal conversation with any individuals who wanted more. I suggest that, at all times, his conduct could not have been more professional – and if I’m to be hung out for one misinterpreted comment in 48 hours, then so be it. I can confirm that strong feedback has been given to the organisers regarding the overall AV experience. I am reminded that The Show presents a line-up of speakers that would normally command a much higher ticket price and that many other overseas conferences present speakers in a similarly challenging environment – that, however, is no excuse and one dissatisfied customer must be listened to. If the author of the post wants to contact me, he can do so via the contact form on this site.

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