Five Conferences Not To Miss

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 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!

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Was just talking with friends today about how you can start attending so many conferences that you actually forget to live your real life.

    • Yes, there are A TON of them. I am glad that my job allows me to pick and choose.

  • I’m super interested in going to Blissdom ( and Relevant 11. Not sure I can do either of them, but would love to!

    Hope we can connect at Deeper Still! Will Compassion have a booth?

    • Thanks for the great recommendations Lindsey & Kristi! 🙂

      These are the ones on my 2011 wish list:
      Catalyst West (definitely attending this one again!) and Catalyst East
      EVO Conference
      Develop (National Leadership Forum)
      She Speaks

      But thanks to both of you, I think I'll be adding Re:create and Blissdom to my list! 🙂

      I'm excited because I'll be based in the USA for most of 2011, so I'll finally have the chance to attend more conferences…if I don't go broke! 😀
      My recent post Tell Me Thursday- Your Favorite Christmas Gifts

      • Blissdom is awesome. I went last year and learned a ton and met a lot of people.

  • Jennifer

    I am hoping to get to IdeaCamp this year as well. Orphan Care is something that has been on my heart for a while now, too, and I really want to get more information on how the Church (myself included) can help.

  • Jennie Allen

    I love that South By is a conference to you! Laughing out loud! If I viewed it that way- I could write it off as a business expense.

    • The interactive part is work. Music, not so much. Hope we can meet up Austin-style.

  • Felicity

    STORY Conference in Chicago! I'm still working through all the information and inspiration I received there in September this year. Looking forward to 2011!

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  • My wife and I are planning to attend Catalyst West. I have never been before and I am very excited about the conference.
    My recent post Time Off

  • Amanda

    I can't wait to see you this weekend! I had a dream about it last night. Next year I am going to LifeWay's Dot Mom conference in September. We are also going to Passion 2011 on January 1. What an amazing way to start the year. If you know any college students, send them there!
    My recent post Those Silly Sisters Giveaway Winners

    • I have heard a lot about Dot Mom lately. See you tomorrow.

  • kevindeshazo

    I'm trying to figure out a way to go to the Idea Camp as well. It's only a few hours from here and a few from my church are headed to it. Might see you there! (unless of course there is a LOST marathon on TBS).

  • heatherehammond

    I've been reading about the Wild Goose Festival ( – thinking of taking the family & pitching a tent 🙂
    My recent post Winter Water

  • HA! Had I read this blog this morning, I would have known BEFORE I asked you on the phone.

    But seriously, my RSS feed doesn't send it until the afternoons. I'm blaming the world wide web!!!

    I'll be at two of your five conferences. And this right here: #^*&#%@($&@ <– That means I'm happy!
    My recent post memorials and monuments…

  • I'm going to Blissdom- my first blogging conference. I figured I have no excuse since it's in my backyard. Re:create sounds great- might have to look into that one!
    My recent post Thank Youand an Update

  • I will be at the IdeaCamp, and I live in Austin…so I always find a way to get down to SXSW at least once or twice. This year, they have an educator's week – REALLY want to attend this.
    My recent post prayer