7 Reasons You MUST Attend a Conference in 2019

Jan 11, 2019

Nancy and I are definitely addicted to learning.

We signed up for seven conferences last year.

They have fundamentally changed us in amazing ways.

We want this for you!

So here are 7 reasons you MUST attend a conference in 2019:

1. Inspiration: Fresh perspective, amazing speakers and memorable quotes abound at the best conferences. 

Guy Kawasaki, Chief Evangelist at Canva, inspired us at Social Media Marketing World. Guy gains 900 new connections on LinkedIn every day. How? He takes a stand - on politics and everything else. He believes that standing up and standing for something matters, in life and on the internet. 

Kawasaki shared this inspiration from Elie Wiesel:

"We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."

We were so blown away by Social Media Marketing World, we wrote this blog about it.

2. New Ideas: 6 months or 6 years into fundraising, you always always need new ideas!

At a CASE presentation, we asked a room of 200 fundraisers if they'd had formal training. Only 2 raised their hands. 2 out of 200 fundraisers were formally trained!

With little to no training, fundraisers are extra-hungry for new systems, new ways to get organized & new ways to get in the door with donors.

Find us at CASE VI in Denver from January 13-15! We'll have a booth and we're presenting 3 sessions chock full of new ideas: How to Make Your Boss <3 U, Work/Life Balance for the (Super!) Busy Fundraiser & Recipe For Success: How to Thrive as a Development Director

3. Validation: Am I doing this right? As a fundraiser, I asked this questions a zillion times. (Usually with an expletive in there.)

In this lonely job, there's nothing more satisfying than realizing YES - you are in fact doing at least one thing right.

We met our podcast mentor, Pat Flynn, who shared his secret to great interviews: genuine curiosity. Amen, Pat! We preach nonstop about the power of genuine curiosity for the very best fundraisers.

4. New People: I'm a bad networker. I'd rather be in the corner with my wine and the one person I already know.

Conferences have taught me the beauty and power of meeting a new tribe.

The Annual National Conference for Growing Community Foundations was full of insanely warm people - super passionate about service, philanthropy and making a difference.

5. Motivation: Burnout is real. Fundraising requires massive energy and self-discipline. There's a down for every up. There's little celebration.

A great conference is the burnout antidote.

SHAMELESS PLUG: If you're a lady looking for motivation, register for UPLIFT!

UPLIFT is our very own retreat just for women in development.

Come for two days of doors-closed, candid conversation to help ambitious women:

* Connect with like-minded colleagues and find new mentors

* Identify concrete ways to achieve work/life balance and stay excited

* Map a fantastic, satisfying career in development

* Leave with a 90-day action plan to jump-start new levels of achievement

Read more about UPLIFT here.

6. Brain Space: You work hard! You deserve a little retreat. Your brain deserves a few hours (days!) to think things through.

We spend so much time forward-focused. Great conferences give us time to process where we want to be in our career, what can we do to get there and what else do we need to succeed.

Our time with online teaching guru, Amy Porterfield, left us relaxed, energized and full of smart plans for the next year.

We also had mimosas over lunch in San Diego...you can never go wrong.

7. Re-Fall-In-Love: With the busy day-to-day, the travel, the constant go-go-go, it can be easy to forget why you do this work.

You could do anything, but you chose nonprofits.

You are mission-driven. You want your work to mean something.

The best conferences help you remember your why and re-fall-in-love with your mission.

Bottom line: For new ideas, inspiration & motivation, get yourself to a great conference in 2019!

Wishing you so much success!