With the conclusion of the Desiring God conference recently and the popularity of the go-and-listen-for-three-days conferences, it is important to get your time and money’s worth. If you are like me, you are a bad conference attendee. Normally, a good conference for me is to get a couple of tidbits from the lectures, hang out with some friends, make a new contact, and review my plans for next summer.
My wife, on the other hand, knows how to get the most from conferences. Looking back, I believe that the conferences that she has attended over the years have had as much impact as anything on her life.
She just returned from another one. Here are the principles of conference attending that I’ve gleaned from her.
- Go with the anticipation of learner (her); not the anticipation of eating out every meal (me).
- Take careful notes of the content of the lectures (her), not mentally reviewing a project that I’m working on at home (me).
- As you listen, mark key insights in your notes (her), not plan your week (me).
- Each day review your notes and record personal applications (her), not think about whom to talk to at breaks (me).
- When you get home, share your insights and applications with someone (her), not stash the conference book into the conference book file (me).
- Take some extended time to go outside and reflect on the nature of God (her), not take extended time to get caught up on your reading (me).
- Buy the book offered by the speaker and try to get a more complete understanding of his or her message (her), buy a cup of coffee and hang out with friends (me).
Learn from a master (my wife) and get the most out of your next conference.