We want you to get the most out of Staff Conference 20 (SC20). Here are some tips and tricks to help you conference well.
The conference schedule is full and we will have just come from Christmas holidays. Take a break!
Plan your Christmas holiday early, so you won’t be taken off guard. Create space to enjoy your Christmas plans without feeling rushed or crammed to pack and prepare for the conference.
Be aware of your spiritual disciplines and remember to practice them especially as you prepare for the conference. Do an Examen, Scripture study. Remember the Sabbath.
Prepare an Action Plan
Invite people to pray for you and for SC20 while it's happening.
Discuss with your supervisor and make a plan of action about specific areas to focus on, strengths to press into or weaknesses to shore up. Knowing what you need to look for can help you be attuned to capturing it.
In October and November ask your supervisor who are people you should meet with for your leadership development. Then send an email to the person inviting them to a meal or coffee during SC20. The earlier you send these invites, the better.
Review your work to see what questions you have. Research who is already doing what you want to do and set up a meeting with them at SC20. We get to meet face-to-face with amazing colleagues from all across the country—pick their brain!
Decide on a gathering time and place with friends and dear colleagues before the event to reconnection and process.
Review the Schedule
Review Seminars, the Ministry Marketplace, and Meet Ups to identify which ones speak to your needs.
Engage with at least one aspect of the conference that you wouldn’t typically engage with for a new (and perhaps job or life-changing) experience (e.g., attend a seminar, join the early morning prayer meeting, get coaching at the Ministry Marketplace, seek prayer through prayer ministry, ask an IVP proctor about a book on a subject you’re interested in, have a conversation with a national director or a VP about their experience in InterVarsity, etc.).
If you are a parent traveling solo with your child(ren) to the conference, ask someone in your region to help you. Travel with your colleague or coordinate with colleagues on how they can assist you.
Bring a notebook or create a special document on your phone to capture what you are learning and what God is saying. Review it before leaving the conference to highlight any themes, key action steps, or questions to ponder upon return.
Pack your favorite snack, your fave travel coffee mug, your bunny slippers.... something that will make Orlando feel like home and recharge you.
Pack a conference care kit (e.g., cough drops, gum, tissues, pain reliever, refillable water bottle, favorite candy, pens, sticky notes, hand cream, ChapStick...whatever you might want in the middle of a session).
We sit a lot at conferences. Pack workout clothes and make use of the hotel gym or bring a swimsuit and go in the pool. Physical activity can energize us and recharge our brains.
Bring comfortable clothes that represent the dress code...and bring at least one outfit that shows how beautifully stylish you can be.
Make space for doing life-giving things to help you thrive all week: time alone, silent time, time connecting with friends.
If you get overwhelmed by big crowds, try to arrive early so you have time to go to your room and rest before the conference begins.
If you love big crowds and get energized by them, check in with the Conference Office to see where you can greet people.
Give yourself permission to keep your free time free; if the optional seminar time would be better spent doing something else to take care of yourself, do that instead.
Plan to have a day of reflection in the weeks to follow the conference. Jesus will be speaking to our community, and we will need to process the material.