In my 25+ years of self-improvement ventures, I can count on one hand the memorable conferences I have attended. They were the ones that actually made me better at what I do and challenged me to try some new things.
And the older I get, the ones that impress me are becoming even rarer.
I have heard speakers who have very little of a concrete nature to share. They are usually the ones with a lengthy bio, but whose main (and rather obvious) purpose is to sell their latest book.
At one writing conference, the organizers closed (and locked) the auditorium exits and proceeded to hard sell an add-on program: an inner circle “club” with a hefty price tag. Being a little claustrophobic anyway, I experienced the sheer panic of knowing I couldn’t escape if I wanted to.
At another, we were presented with Native American Dreamcatchers, wands we were encouraged to wave around with our eyes closed, as we whispered our deepest and biggest wishes. (Okay teachers’ conferences can be a little woo-woo.)
But somewhere around cruising altitude on the way home, passing over the Rocky Mountains, the magical fairy dust would begin to melt and I wondered what I really got for all that money.