There are SO MANY conferences these days…blogging conferences, “get your creative juices flowing” conferences, leadership conferences, womens conferences, church conferences, “talk about changing the world” conferences. Seems like every time I turn around there is a new one launching that peaks my interest. And then there are the “old faithfuls” that I feel compelled to attend year-after-year.
It is so difficult to choose. But I must be intentional and choose the handful that make the most sense for me professionally. (Conferences where I represent Thomas Nelson, conferences where I can connect with like-minded individuals, conferences where I learn about technology and how it is changing our lives and our business, and conferences where I am inspired to think differently.) And then I must look at what conferences have sparked my personal interests.
Anywho, these are the ones that are on my radar for the first half of 2011…
Re:create Arts Conference – (February 7-10, Franklin, Tennessee) Re:create began as a dream by Randy Elrod in 1998. He longed for a conference where like-minded creatives could gather for a time of refreshment, encouragement and diffusion of ideas. This year speakers include Michael Hyatt, Patsy Clairmont, Ken Davis, and Dan Cathy. This years artists include Ed Kowalcyzk (of the band Live), Andrew Peterson, and Matt Maher.
Idea Camp: Orphan Hope – (February 25-26, Northwest Arkansas) The issue of the orphan and our call as Christians to care for them has been on my heart since Catalyst did the 143million.org project last year. I want to dig deeper, learn more, and figure out how I can help. That is why I am hoping to make it Arkansas (of all places) for Idea Camp: Orphan Hope.
Catalyst West – (March 2-4, Irvine, California) I love all things Catalyst, but I have to admit Catalyst West is my favorite Catalyst event. Set in usually sunny Southern California, the event which sells out at 3,500 is more intimate than their fall Atlanta extravaganza. It is a great place to connect and get inspired. This year’s line-up is killer. I can’t wait to hear from Britt Merrick, Jack Dorsey, Matt Chandler, Soledad O’Brien, and many others.
SXSW Interactive – (March 11-15, Austin, Texas) How do you say no to five days of good ol’ Austin goodness, compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders, the incredible new SXSW Trade Show and an unbeatable lineup of special programs showcasing the best new digital works, video games and innovative ideas the international community has to offer? You don’t.
Q Ideas – (April 27-29, Portland, Oregon) Q was created by Gabe Lyons as a place where church and cultural leaders could come together to collaborate and explore ideas about how the Gospel can be expressed within our cultural context. It is a conference where influencers gather and share ideas. It is a conference that can truly change the world.
What conferences are you thinking of attending in 2011?
PS – Speaking of conferences, this weekend I am headed to Birmingham to meet-up with some friends and Compassion Bloggers and attend Deeper Still. Let me know if you will be there, I’d love to connect!