The National Collegiate Ministries Summit starts in Nashville Wednesday, April 29th. Through the years it has been one of my favorite events. All of us go to conferences and sometimes invest a lot of money for registration, travel and lodging. So, how do we get our money's worth?
1. Set a couple of goals before going. I want to learn about.....
2. Decide in advance someone you want to be sure and visit with and set up an appointment in advance.
3. Don't just attend the seminars and breakouts of all your best buddies who think just like you do. Make sure you attend something led by someone who is on the opposite page from you in style or philosophy. It will challenge your thinking.
4. Look over the program in advance and plot your strategy. Yes; two of the things you most want to attend will be offered at the same time! I have often missed something I wanted to attend because I did not have in my head when it was offered.
5. Make a pact with a friend to share notes and handouts from different seminars...especially those happening at the same time.
6. Make 10 copies of your updated resume to take with you....you know, just in case. Just kidding! Maybe!!
7. Think of someone you admire and could learn from. Send them a message and offer to buy them a meal.
8. Hallway visiting is wonderful and valuable. But, don't do it mindlessly. You may miss the thing you most wanted to hear.
9. Many conferences are small enough that you can shake the hand of one of the "program personalities" and have a word with them. You can ask your particular question or thank them for what they have meant to you.
10. Remember; the best snacks always go first at the breaks!
11. When attending the National Collegiate Ministries Summit in Nashville this week, be sure and meet Mark Whitt, Southern Baptist's Head Guru for College Ministry.