In advance of being interviewed for Kari O’Driscoll’s awesome new podcast, “It’s Relatable,” I reminisced back to when we met over 10 years ago. (Trust me, the episode of our conversation will be posted very very soon, and I’ll share it here!)
I believe our first exchange occurred over a meal or after a general session in the grand ballroom of a hotel in Midtown Manhattan during the annual BlogHer conference. Of the thousands of women gathered, I was relieved to meet a kindred spirit when it came to this particular flavor of the conference-going experience: the kind you chew on, scrunch your nose at, and wonder how so many others enjoy it.
Over a couple of days, we had some heart-to-hearts and perused the exhibit halls as I tried to digest what became the subject of my blog post about the event: the giveaways. Despite all the sessions I attended and notable speakers I listened to, nothing struck me more than the scope of the swag and product samples being dished out far more generously than candy at Halloween. (It’s not lost on me that I’m writing this as ghosts, ghouls, and pumpkins are adorning the neighborhood.)
Revisiting my post a few weeks ago provided it’s own little bit of surprise. The opening images resonate today in a way that would have been unimaginable when I wrote it: the role of and demands for disinfectants in the early days (and year) of a global pandemic.
Now that we’ve reached a point in the Covid-era where in-person events and conferences have resumed, I hope sponsors and attendees have had time to rethink the “free things” and their associated costs: personal, societal, and global. In a few weeks time, I’ll be attending the most nutrient-rich conference for me and my organizing practice: the Annual International Conference on ADHD. There will be no swag as I sit here in my home office taking it all in, and that is fine with me. Honestly, I have never really enjoyed conferences, but they are good for some things…sometimes.