I am going crazy!  Half of my Facebook feed is covered with posts from CPC East.  All month long I was getting messages from friends and colleagues across the United States asking me if I would be there.  And sadly, I am not.  Instead, I am watching from a distance.

So what do you do when everyone else is at conference?

  1. Follow the Hashtags – Nearly every conference that you can think of usually has a hashtag on Twitter and Facebook associated with it. Search for the hashtag on twitter and follow along. You won’t be able to hear the whole session but you will catch the highlights.
  1. Be Friendly with Facebook Friends – Your friends at conference will be posting pictures, commenting on new products or concepts, and highlighting great breakout sessions. Grab a note card and jot down questions you want to ask them once they return.
  1. Request the Recording – Most conferences today will offer recordings of their general sessions and breakout sessions. If you know someone who is headed to a conference, look ahead on the schedule to see who is speaking and ask if they can pick up the recordings for you while they are there.
  1. Start Planning – Conferences offer a unique opportunity to not only learn from top leaders in the field but to also network with others who are serving in the trenches with you.If a conference visit is in your future, start making plans now so you can find the one that best fits your needs, your budget and your ability to travel.  For more tips on finding the conference that’s right for you, check out this post on planning your trip!

Conferences have been an integral part of my growth as a minister to children and families and while I am disappointed that I am unable to attend CPC East this year, I am excited to be hearing all the wonderful reports from friends who are there.   And I am excited about the conferences I’ll be attending later this year.  Maybe I’ll see you there!

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Christina is wife of Pastor Luke and mom to Hannah, Naomi, and Caleb. She has been serving in ministry since 2010, first as a director of children's ministry and now as a family minister near Lexington, KY. She is passionate about helping churches transition into family ministry and equipping parents for discipleship in the home. She is currently completing studies at Wesley Seminary at IWU for a Master's degree in ministry with a focus on children, youth and family, with the desire to help churches grow their family ministries.