Reverberation 2016, a wave of celebration hit us all with beautiful memories! 4th November 2016 was probably just an ordinary Friday for a lot of people. But, it was a weekend with a lot of memories, especially for a group of students in this small town called Vellore at this college called VIT University.
It was a day where we got to organize an amazing conference called Reverberation 2016. Now, many people would have seen the glamour and the fare with which the event was organized, but let us for a second take a step back and look at all the sleepless nights and efforts put in to ensure the grandeur of this conference.
20th March 2016, was a seemingly ordinary day. A Sunday, where most people would have spent with their family and loved ones. But, at the campus of VIT, Vellore, it was a day when students were busy proving themselves, proving that leadership doesn’t depend on age, but on the fire within. A day when the students of VIT organized a division conference. It was a conference that was so good that it led to another huge opportunity for us, the opportunity of a lifetime for us students in VIT. An opportunity that gave us a chance to represent not just TI-VIT, not just our institute, but a chance to represent students from all educational institutes from all over Asia. VIT was decided to be the venue for Reverberation 2016. The chair, the youngest DTM in South Asia, Navaneeth V Ganesh, A student doing his MTech in Software Engineering.
Now, for those who may not know what Reverberation 2016 is, it is the Semi-annual district conference of District 82, which comprises of Tamil Nadu and Srilanka for Toastmasters International. The place where people from all over Tamil Nadu and Srilanka come together for witnessing amazing speakers, and also to witness the District Level Evaluation and Humorous Speech contest, that too, with amazing food.
While holding a district conference is no easy task, especially for final year students who would be having placements and projects, it did not stop them from taking up responsibilities in the district conference, the main reason being that, being a part of this was not a responsibility for them, but a privilege. Now, the work began right from the month of June, where the initial work was to find sponsorship and PR for the event, after all, a conference of this magnitude would require a lot of money. It wasn’t easy when there wasn’t much sponsorship to be got. But, in came Sriram Srinivasan, a toastmaster who had just joined the organization 6 months ago. Despite being a college student with no contacts, he was the one who got the most sponsorship. Such was his dedication and passion, that DTM Navaneeth decided that he had found his Co-Chair. This was announced towards the end of September, again a testament for how much Toastmasters International values leaders for their skills, and not for their age, as DTM Sastharam had said, “Toastmasters gives to you how much ever you give for it”.
Now, coming to PR, there were some worries initially, because of how VIT was isolated from the rest of Chennai, But, that was easily tackled by the PR Chairs, TM Lekha Sri and TM Ishan Desai, as they brilliantly coordinated, and managed to use the beauty of social media to bring about some fantastic PR stunts, not to forget, the Design Chair, TM Abhishek Satish, who helped them day and night with coming up with new and innovative posters. This was just a tip of the iceberg, the PR team, who were mostly students of VIT, despite their exams and quizzes, still came all the way to Chennai almost every week, so that they could publicize the event at OTP’s and also at Division Conferences. Just something that shows how much this meant to them.
Finally, the district PR team also came up with a really cool initiative, a live blog. Where members of the PR team would give a live update as to what was going on during the event for those who would miss the conference. The task entirely went on to Social Media Chair, TM Arivarul, TM Amruth Varshini, TM Shaik Dawood, webmaster TM Navaneeth Krishnan and the PR Chair of Reverberation 2016, TM Lekha. Now, this was an initiative that was ably aided by some amazing coordination with the students at VIT.
With all these incidents, things soon went to 3rd November, the day before the conference. That day, DTM Navaneeth said this, “Guys, the success of these 3 days doesn’t depend on what we do in these days during Reverberation, but it depends on the work we did over the past 3 months that will define how the conference will go”, and a success it was.Ranging from the attractive Delegates kit to the hospitality, to the transport, the speakers ranging from Mr. Prakash Rohera, Ms. Anu George, DTM Nagaraj Rao, TM Manoj Vasudevan, and most importantly, the food.
As a student, I feel privileged that I had an opportunity to be a part of this fantastic team. Reverberation 2016 will forever be one of my most cherished memories, as TM Sriram, the co-chair said,
“Reverberation for me was personally a great opportunity not just in terms of experience but in making friendships that will last a lifetime. I can definitely say that I am a better person now because working for this conference embodies the core values of Toastmasters – communication and leadership.”
So, thank you for all those who believed in us for making this happen. Thank you for showing us that anyone can be a leader and that all they need, is a vision. Thank you, Toastmasters International for helping us show that it’s not the age, but the fire to do something amazing that can lead to something staggering.
Now, to end it with something DTM Navaneeth has always believed in,
“Whatever you want to do, do it, because you have nothing to lose but lots to gain.”