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?