I've been speaking at this conference for years and I'm amazed with the quality of people who attend. You're in good company.
Many of you are at WFX for the communications' component; and since that's who I usually speak to, let me chime in about how to make your conference experience the best.
Here are 3 best practices (after taking a deep breath and picking up your badge):
1. Be Self-Aware while Room-Aware.
Know what your strengths and weaknesses are so that you can know where you need to grow.
Take time to consider what God's doing in your church and what needs to be accomplished through this conference. Then identify others in a similar scenario: listen for questions that resonate with you and connect with the person after class.
The strength of a conference happens by growing your network. Meet people before sessions, at lunch, around the expo, and in the halls! Start with questions like: "Tell me about the church you're in" and "What's the best thing you've heard so far today?"
2. Understand the relationship between the presenter and you.
Most conference attendees choose their sessions based on the topic. This is good; however, spend time researching the presenter.
Discover their world-view and ministry-view by reading some of their social media posts or blogs (are they focused on small ministries or large ones; are they rural or urban; are they seasoned or just starting out, etc.). Are they saying the same thing as you? Are they going to challenge you?
Understanding their vantage point can lead to a deeper experience in their session. Connect with the presenter on social media and consider connecting in person at the conference! We're all just real people looking to expand our network too.
3. Don't become overwhelmed.
You're excited about the opportunities at a conference. Then after the first keynote and session you'll start to feel like there's too much being pushed at you.
There's so much to learn. It's true. You'll hear 100+ things that you'll find interesting and thought-provoking. So prioritize. Make sure you're not only taking notes, but determine the key points you're hearing.
Near the end of the presentation I try to write the biggest takeaway at the top of my notes. Then, while it's still fresh in my mind (before I leave the room), write a to-do list of 2 or 3 things that you want to change or start doing. I assign the lower right of the page to those things.
Later, I know that I'll have a practical guide for what I've learned.
Have fun. Learn lots. And use the information to change your ministry. WFX is going to be fun. And if you’re in the Communications Track, make sure we connect!