The conference bonus is, you get to recharge with your colleagues. You get to sit at dinner and share stories from the past year, hear their stories, celebrate joys and commiserate about the challenges you are all facing.
My first music conference was the Atlanta IAJE Convention of January, 1996. 5 sessions per hour from 8am-11pm, exhibit hall, concerts: I was immediately hooked and basically ran from one opportunity to the next. The phrase “kid in a candy store” doesn’t cover it.
At the same time, I saw my mentors and their colleagues making appearances at certain presentations and lectures, but also taking long lunches & dinners, missing concerts and one-of-a-kind lectures in the process. I didn’t understand how they could pass up the smorgasbord on offer!
Now I understand.
I love conferences and love being exposed to new ideas from masters in my field.
But I also love the times in between. A quiet moment to talk with a trusted friend. A question answered from a mentor. A word of encouragement for someone you’ve mentored.
It’s all part of the the experience of a conference. And sometimes the bonus is the very best part.
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