Do You Conference?

guy-k-SXSWLately I’ve been thinking about conferences. I was contacted by Texas Text Book Conference for a quote on a work happiness keynote speech. They are interested in the work happiness concept. Even if they don’t hire me, I know that work happiness is taking over the business world.

One day companies will care just as much about an employee’s happiness as they will about how much money they earned. Google’s 20% Rule is an example  of a concept that fits with this type of thinking. Companies will see that when employees are happy, they are more creative and productive, which will in turn earn the company even more money. (Wow! That was a little rant that I wasn’t expecting.)


I’ve attended a lot of conferences and I’m always amazed when people act like they are a chore. Their company is paying for them to learn new concepts. That’s a wonderful gift.

Not every speaker will inspire, but almost every speaker usually has one nugget that can help you improve personally and/or professionally. The difference between a person who goes home with nothing and a person filled with ideas is curiosity. Engaged attendees enjoy a conference much more than the bored attendee, and they also find more ideas that they can apply to life and work. It’s all about attitude. The people who choose to be curious and excited about who they meet will get more out of a conference.


BlogCatalog posted an article on their blog about a contest for a free pass to the Blog World and New Media Expo. What a fantastic opportunity – Darren Rowse, Brian Clark, Steve Rubel and Chris Brogan will be in attendance. If a person can’t learn a ton from this group then they don’t deserve to have a blog.

Connecting with people is vital to working happy – from your co-workers to other people in your industry. When you build relationships, you are increasing your network. This network will help you find ways to enjoy your present job, find a new job, or find clients.

One of my favorite conferences of all time was WorldBlu Live. Every speaker was thought provoking. Alex Kjerulf the Chief Happiness Officer was just as cool in person as he is on his blog. That conference changed my life forever.

What was the last conference you attended?

Did you find any nuggets of wisdom that helped your career or life?

If you are looking to take your career to the next level then check out the Free 10 Week eCourse. You’ll get a new lesson every Monday. This focused learning will encourage new ways of tackling old problems.


Having a positive outlook  is very important to work happiness. Check out Positively Present to take our happiness to the next level. One of my favorite posts is 5 steps for setting happiness resolutions.

If you liked this post then try these on for size:


Image courtesy of Wendy Piersall

11 thoughts on “Do You Conference?”

  1. I love conferences…for the reasons you suggest – the learning and the people. The last one I attended was in April – a writer’s conference, my first one and I learned an incredible amount that inspired me greatly when I got home. This fall I’m taking a 6 week course from the same group that offered the conference and I can’t wait!

    I have yet to attend a blogging conference, maybe in 2010.

  2. Karl,
    One of the things I think conferences give you are a chance to break from the everyday norms. And in doing that, it’s just what might spark some new ideas. And if nothing else, there’s the opportunity to meet all sorts of new people. The latest conference I attended was a social media for business conference. And this was so good to see the impact of the different social media platforms within a business setting. I do find conferences highly valuable!

  3. Hi Karl,
    As a freelance writer what I wouldn’t give for someone to pay to send me to a conference! I love them and always come away deeply inspired, because I deeply engage, no matter who the speaker. My last conference, was surprise, a writer’s conference. There was only one speaker that wasn’t very engaging, so I focused on his speaking abilities, hand gestures, organization of material, etc and came away a better woman for hearing him speak. There is always something to be happily learned!

  4. While speakers are often great, so are the attendees – the diverse knowledge of the participants in the event can be staggering. One of my favourite parts of conferences is the break-out sessions when groups get together and brain-storm ideas and then share them with the rest of the group.

  5. Hi Karl!
    The last conference I attended was the I Can Do It! Conference in San Diego, which is put on by Hay House / Louise Hay. I got so much out of it. Every speaker inspired me in completely different ways, even those whom I didn’t expect to have much impact. Now I think I would want to attend this conference, or one very similar to it, every year! It’s like a spirituality check-up!

  6. Hi Karl,

    I haven’t been to any work related conferences for a couple of years, but I used to really enjoy going to some of the national and international symposiums/conferences hosted by various professional organizations. I always appreciated the opportunities to hone my presentation skills–sometimes in collaboration with a colleague–if I was presenting a paper, learn how other organizations deal with similar kinds of issues whether it be collecting data or submitting data, meet new people, and visit new places. Conferences are great for building camaraderie with others in the same field or professional organizations in the same region.

    I usually tried to add on a couple of vacation days before or after the conference so I could spend some time exploring the locale–and I made a point of taking some breaks in between sessions to walk around and let all that information “digest” if I was getting to the point of information overload. Since I usually take my camera with me when I go traveling, I’ve also managed to get some visual mementos of these various conference trips.

    The last conference I attended for my personal interest was the “Be the Change. The Great Turning Unconference” in my home town, in May of this year–and this is how I became interested in volunteering for the organization. The conference I would love to go to but that is a bit out of reach financially and logistically at the moment (and a bit ironic considering the topic) is the “Economics of Peace” conference, coming up mid-October in Sonoma, California. Oh well, some other year, perhaps!

    Have a great week.

  7. You know, I haven’t gone to any blogging conferences yet but very much want to. I’m always eager to learn new things, even if at first, they don’t resonate. Almost always the information I pick up hits me at a later date, and is something I can put to good use.

    I was reading some comments about spirituality conferences. THAT would be good, too. I need to add those to my vision board, I think!

    On the other hand, I did attend tons of conferences in the corporate world. You’re right – attitude is everything. I was getting paid to be away from my desk, mingling, and learning. Not a bad way to spend one, two, or sometimes five days at a time!

  8. Karl,
    I do love conferences but for a while I was going to too many. I realized I needed to put what I learned into practice. I did and have 12 CDs of interviews with experts that I sell. The temptation for me is to not put into action what I learn and go to another conference instead

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