I love an ah-ha moment — it’s one of the main reasons I like attending and organizing events. Conferences are (hopefully) full of those moments during the day, the times that you perked up, laughed, understood something clearly, got a fantastic new idea, or really connected with someone.
I had a number of those moments at Press Publish Phoenix on Saturday. The one that sticks in my mind was when I was listening to Katherine Fritz speak in the opening session, and she said something about how her blog made her feel less alone. I empathized strongly and found myself nodding my head, and happened to see another attendee nodding too. Our eyes met as we nodded, and there was this great moment when we were connected, listening to a speaker talk about connection online… and it was really great. I even choked up just a little — because I am a big softie, in case you did not know — thinking about how blogging helped me feel less alone too, and how connected I felt right at that second with the person on stage and the people in the audience too.
What was your favorite moment at Press Publish Phoenix? Share it with us in the comments!
I noticed at Press Publish Portland that we had a real mix of conference experience amongst our attendees. Some attendees had been to many different kinds of conferences, some were experienced conference organizers, and some were attending a conference for the first time.
I remember attending my first conference and feeling really overwhelmed. I didn’t know anyone, and I wasn’t sure I belonged there. At first, I wandered around by myself, avoiding eye contact and feeling like an imposter. About halfway through the morning, I attended a talk that really connected with me and saw other people nodding and laughing at the same things I was nodding and laughing about. It finally occurred to me, “Oh! Some of these people are just like me!” And then I was able to strike up a conversation with someone at lunch, chatted with some one or two other people before/after sessions in the afternoon, and left the event with some great new ideas and feeling pretty pleased with myself.
If you’ve attended a conference in the past, what’s the best experience you had — did a presentation inspire you? Did you make a new friend, learn a skill, or have a great conversation? If you have a conference coming up (Press Publish Phoenix is on April 18, to take an example completely at random), what do you hope to get out of it?
Conferences are filled with so many great moments — that a-ha moment when a speaker says something that just clicks, the moment when you meet someone who shares your interests and goals, the moments (or moments!) when you suddenly are filled with a thousand great ideas for what to do next with your blog.
I had a few of those moments today! One of them was getting to see and catch up with speaker Ariel Meadow Stallings when she arrived. As we reminisced about our early blogging days in the 2000s, there were a lot of funny memories I got to relive. Another was at lunch at the table with Doctor Who as the discussion topic. It went from Doctor Who to companions to Fringe to acupuncture to privacy vs honesty in blogging, and a few other places that were just as interesting, with mostly people I’d never met before, so that was pretty fun. And getting to see someone’s face light up when they learned about a feature in WordPress that they hadn’t known about, but had been wishing existed, was awesome, as it always is.
Did you have a best moment today? Tell us in the comments!