The past couple of conferences I attended felt more relaxed. Of course, “relaxed” is a relative term in relation to conferences. I am so very grateful that people want to see me, talk to me, meet with me, dine with me. Don’t go away! Without you, I wouldn’t be blessed with this career. Thank you.
But I talked to a couple of people at ACFW who admitted to me that they had turned down one or two meetings and obligations so they could recharge. And though I didn’t intentionally do this, I found myself with a couple of unfilled time slots. I took a deep breath and used those times to recharge, too.
No one understands the urgency of the conference experience more than I do. We all only have one chance to meet and greet people who can be key to our careers. Five minutes can be lifechanging. But are we really doing ourselves a favor if we cram every moment for several days to the point we can hardly think? Will we be our best at key meetings — or any meetings — if we appeared disorganized and incoherent simply because we overscheduled?
Granted, we are all going to be tired, a bit bleary, overly excited, and inclined to misspeak or make other mistakes during any conference. I can’t recall a single conference where my hair did what it was supposed to every day, all my shoes felt great, and I gave the perfect answer to every question. But feeling a little less tired gives us all that much more confidence as we go out into the conference world. And for that matter, in our world any day.
I’ll speculate you have guessed the word. The word is “No.” Turn down the non-essentials so you can be at your best at the essentials. You’ll be healthier and happier for it!
What is the do-not-miss activity for you at conference?
What is the one obligation you may now consider saying “no” to?