The good news was the group that was in our room finished early so we got access to the room at about 5:00 pm. Evan called Maria our AV contact and she told us that the crew was not going to be able to get there before 7:00 pm. We asked her if we could start setting up without them, and we were told no.
In the mean time, one of the Doctors who was supposed to be the trainer for the meeting first thing in the morning, called in to inform everyone that the Airport in Tel Aviv had gone on strike, and that he wasn't sure if he was going to be able to get on a flight. So, we had to work out a solution using Skype to video conference him in and still get his presentation to the attendees.
We went to a computer store and picked up some speakers and a web cam and did a test with skype. It all worked just fine. Even though we were struggling with the AV Equipment side of things, the one thing that was really good in Moscow was the bandwith at the hotel. There was 15MB Download and 17 MB Upload. So it was a really fast connection and skype looked great!
We waited around till 7:00 pm and checked in with Maria. The crew was stuck in traffic. Big surprise....
8:00 pm rolled around and no sign of the crew. Evan told Maria, we were going to start setting up without them, and to please get the hotel to unlock the room with the equipment.
She agreed, and about 30 minutes later, we finally started getting some equipment.
Just after 9:00 pm, over two hours late, the crew started showing up. The setup went pretty well though. All of the changes that we had asked for had been made, and we ended up with close to the right tools to do the job. We finished about 11:00 pm and said good night to the crew.
The next morning, everything went well... the show started at 1:00 pm and finished about 45 minutes early.
I went back to my room and took a 30 minute nap. It was really hard to get out of bed to meet the guys for a little photo excursion, but how often are you in Moscow Russia right?
We walked down to Red Square and started getting ready to shoot some photos. I immediately got stopped by the Russian Police for using a tripod in Red Square. Apparently you have to have a permit to use a tripod there. So we walked on and shot out of our hands.
After about 45 minutes of shooting and walking down to the river past the Kremlin, we were all starving and went back to a cafe in Red Square.
After we got a bite to eat, it was dark and as we walked through Red Square, there was a guy shooting photos with a tripod, so we decided to take a chance and get a shot.
I walked out to the middle of the square and extended the legs of my tripod, put the camera up on it and was just about to take my first shot, when I heard vehicles reving up and turned around to see the cops...two of them in two different police cars racing in my direction from each side of the square.
I quickly and as discreetly as I could, popped the camera off the tripod and started heading for the exit, doing my best to make it look like I was just holding the tripod and not using it to shoot photos.
Evan had rushed over and we both thought it best to double time it into the crowd and try to get lost. The cops drove past us and went over and started yelling at the other guy we had seen with his tripod.
My heart was racing a bit, and I think I dodged a bullet.