Surviving Multi-Day Events
July 30, 2015
We’re already looking forward to September; are you? Cooler temps, gorgeous fall foliage around Rittenhouse Square…and a Papal visit!
Yes! As part of the triennial World Meeting of Families, Pope Francis will be coming to Philadelphia. The conference, which celebrates the potential of families, also highlights Philadelphia’s arts community: a film festival, a partnership with our city’s Mural Arts program, and a special exhibit on the Vatican at the Franklin Institute are all on deck.
Philadelphia’s going to be busy, and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone.
But large events like this can be both rewarding and challenging. There’s never anyplace to recharge (your energy, not your cell phone), and your hotel room often just feels like a literal crash pad that you see only between sessions. And with several evening events planned, when would you steal a quiet moment to reflect on all you’ve learned?
Here are three ways to beat the conference crush:
1. Don’t feel the need to see everything, or meet everyone. You’ll never retain the information you want to retain, and you’ll never remember all the people you want to remember, if you don’t pick and choose. Be conservative with your time. Don’t book meetings or sessions back-to-back. And take a half-hour at the end of each day to sort through the notes you’ve taken and the business cards you’ve collected so that you can refresh yourself with all the information. It’ll be worth it later on.
2. Fuel up–and stay watered. This is a no-brainer, but even old hands like us catch ourselves staring four PM in the face with nothing but two cups of coffee and a crumbly granola bar under our belts. Conference centers can be notoriously dry environments, and all that walking around and talking means you’re losing energy and water at a faster pace than usual. So make sure you keep hydrated, and keep eating.
3. You already knew we were going to mention this: off-site events are a great way to keep yourself energized. Walking around the same exhibits and rooms all day long for multiple days in a row is incredibly draining, and while the World Meeting of Families isn’t any old conference by any stretch, your brain will almost certainly long for a change of pace after two days or so. Have your meals in a different neighborhood from the convention. Take advantage of the off-site events that are a part of the schedule. And maybe consider that booking a quiet event for your friends and family, or, if you’re a church leader, for your congregation, will reap completely unexpected benefits. Your congregation gets a chance to talk about and reflect on events and speeches and panels they went to.
You get the idea. Gathering away from any huge event brings the camaraderie to a whole new level, whether it’s a meal, a cocktail hour, or a short meeting with snacks. Let us know how we can help.
We’re looking forward to watching Philadelphia shine during the World Meeting of Families. And we hope to see you.