Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What Makes A Conference, A Conference?

"The idea was, if you got a group of smart, engaged individuals together in the right space that great things would happen, even in the absence of a conference structure," cofounder of YxYY, Ann Larie Valentine, tells Mashable in an article about finding a way to love conferences again. Not a bad way to transform conferences, in my opinion. Lose the stress of structure and give your attendees a whole new perspective!

In 2009 Valentine and fellow cofounders Hillary Hartley, Amy Muller, Willo O'Brien and Deb Schultz decided to launch YxYY, after a particularly stressful and time consuming SXSW experience in Austin, Texas. They found themselves completely tied up with no time for each other and that their stress started before the conference; perfecting their agendas and packing in as much as possible, to maximize their time in Texas. And that's how YxYY was born.

The No. 1 rule of YxYY (pronounced "Yes and Yes Yes") is to attend the conference with no schedules or expectations whatsoever. New to the scene but going on their second year, YxYY attendees will meet in Palm Springs, California. It's a four-day gathering for "thinkers, futurists, nerds and weirdos," designed to foster informal bonding and intelligent dialogue. The topics vary and can relate to really just about anything.

But what really makes this conference unique? Probably the fact that it takes place in a pool, surrounded by booze and piƱatas. Beach balls, floaties, and good conversation. This setting breaks down any stress and builds up excellent communication, team building, and new ideas. It'll be interesting to see if this "structure-free" trend catches on and how well YxYY will do attendance wise this year.

Read more here: http://mashable.com/2014/02/24/yayy-event-palm-springs/

YxYY has found a unique way to devour the details, now it's your turn!

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