Thursday, August 22, 2013

What Kind of Conference??

I was reading through a bunch of different blogs the other night, and two very different writers mentioned conferences; one was about an incident that happened while she was at a conference, and one was about the author having to overcome her fears of crowds and public speaking to go to a conference that she really wanted to attend.

I was struck by the fact that there must be conferences for everything - the one mentioned was a conference for DIY/Home Bloggers, with tracks both on DIY instruction and on blogging and social media.  I guess there are a whole lot of people out there who are interested in both... I browsed around and found lots of different kinds - academic conferences, Christian conferences, blogging conferences...

I have been to Youth Quake (a youth conference at Briercrest) and Breakforth (the largest equipping and renewal conference in North America), and two years ago now our church put on a great one day women's conference/retreat, but it's been a while since I've had to slap on a name tag for something like that.

Of all the ones I've noticed recently, the one that caught my eye the most was the Declare Conference.  It's a blog conference to encourage women to keep sharing their stories, and to equip them to share those stories effectively.  "God’s use of many voices for one message [in the gospels] resonated with our desire for Christian bloggers to share the unique story of God’s good news in their lives" (from their website.)  It's in Texas, though.  That's a little far.  And it was last weekend.  And as of last weekend, N was not weaned, so leaving for a weekend was not an option.  (As of next weekend, well, we'll see...!)  Maybe they will hold a fourth one next year...

Then there's the whole retreat angle - often as inspiring and motivating, but more hands on, maybe?  Where a conference fills you up with ideas and motivation, a retreat is more an outlet to unwind from everything else and focus on one thing, and get something accomplished.  A friend of mine goes on a yearly painting retreat with her sister, and some friends and I have gone on a scrapbook retreat for a number of years now.  Either one - a retreat or a conference - can be a great getaway, inspiring you in areas of your life that you feel strongly about developing.  I am looking forward to going on our scrapbooking retreat again this fall after missing the last ones, and I will begin to keep my eyes open for conferences that may fit with my passions and see if I can make something work one of these years.

Have you ever gone to a conference?  What kind?  What would you go to a conference about?

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