They connect us with other like-minded individuals. They provide us with space to reflect, learn, and discover more about a topic or ourselves. They remind us of the value of just relaxing. They let us interact with colleagues or industry peers in a different setting than in a boardroom, a store floor, or a lecture hall. They sometimes feature pretty wicked speakers that make us go “hmmm.” They surprise and delight.
The punch a great conference or retreat can provide is not to be taken for granted or devalued. The “post-conference high” is absolutely brilliant and sometimes even a game-changer in attendees’ lives.
This got me thinking though. Why do we wait for one event, once a year, to achieve this “high” – this development – this connection – this hit of holy-crap-this-is-amazing! What is stopping us?
We have social networks, active airlines, and Skype to connect us with like-minded folks around the world. We have the ability to dedicate time each day to reflection, or reading, or sweating – whatever helps us uncover new areas of our selves or a subject. We can do yoga online to relax when heading to a studio just doesn’t fit into the day and our sneakers are always ready for us to take them out for a run. We have access to brilliant presenters and their ideas worth spreading at TED.com – all at convenient time increments too! (A 5 minute hit of inspiration? Don’t mind if I do!) We also have the ability to surprise our colleagues by inviting them over for dinner, or a drink after work, or to a local market to do some holiday shopping. A different interaction can come from simply adding in a different location.
Determining the rational we tell ourselves that stops us from connecting, developing, and reflecting on a daily basis is probably more valuable than determining the next conference we should attend or the outline of our next team retreat.
Why not make everyday a friggin rad conference? We’ll call it life.
Pick of the Post: Chris Assaad – Pave The Way