Even though these last few months have changed the way many of us go through our daily lives, there may be a few changes that have been good things. Some of us find ourselves spending more time and checking in with family or those were closest to. In other cases, people have been forced to take steps back from work or change up their routines to reexamine the way they live their everyday lives.
Maybe hour-long meetings got changed to emails, commutes became an office walk, or routines and life plans changed altogether.
One thing that I’ve noticed has completely changed for all of us, whether or not we take advantage of it, is the accessibility of conferences and larger events. Over time, it’s become a greater opportunity for people like me who truly want to learn or attend some of these events and never had the access before. Maybe you’re one of those people too.
Let me tell you why:
Have you ever wanted to learn something from a really large company, maybe attend one of their cool conferences or see someone speak, but it just wasn’t going to work out for you? There could have been countless barriers in the way, from bad timing to ticket prices. In a lot of cases, there are incredible events happening around the world and for one reason or another, people cannot access them.
When the pandemic first began, a lot of those events began to get postponed. Think back to the empty toilet paper shelves and the anxiety around not quite knowing what would happen or if things were going to change. Most people could only know that a lot of things felt like they were changing, and quickly. As more store shelves emptied out and restrictions on people’s activities tightened, more events got cancelled.
That’s when those in change of such events decided to not cancel them, but instead, change their medium. Just like some work meetings went from hour-long board room settings to quick emails, events transitioned from in-person to podcasts and video streams.
Because not only did people no longer need to travel to attend these events, several of the prices for attendance either got marked down or cut altogether. Despite the circumstances, many of those who had a story to tell, knowledge to share, or research to show decided that they would roll with the punches and find a way to do it anyway and to a larger audience this time.
After all, they put too much work into what they did only to give it up at the last minute. It would be like learning a craft, studying for a degree, or developing a personal routine, only to let it fall by the wayside when something else gets in the way of what you imagined that craft or degree or routine would look like by the end of it.
It’s a necessity to adjust. As for us, many people have found themselves adjusting around new circumstances whether or not they wanted to and ultimately, I know some people have been feeling stuck lately. Without the same outlets they may have wanted or the path they had originally set themselves on, things are not how anyone had expected them to be right now and that can feel… awkward. Uncomfortable maybe, even boring.
I’ve been finding myself feeling stagnant or stuck these days–itching to get out for something new–and after one of my too many hours online, I found one of those conferences I had always wanted to go to but never had the money for: The Adobe Max conference. This coming week, on the 20-22nd, Adobe is holding a 3-day virtual conference for creatives with over 350 sessions of speakers, performances, art projects, and so much more that they describe as “a uniquely immersive and engaging digital experience, guaranteed to inspire.” And it’s all for free.
I don’t share this because they’re sponsoring me or anything—I wish they were, that would be so cool—I share it for two reasons. First, for the idea that anyone else might want to attend this conference and may not know about it yet, after all this is the first time it’s been free and so accessible. And second, I share this information for anyone who has been wondering what they can do to reach out into their interests or to connect with the outside world a bit more the way many people feel like they haven’t been able to lately. Just so you know, these kinds of things are out there for you too.
If it’s not a conference, it could be a class, a virtual 5k walk, or even a volunteering day. It’s October which means it’s also Breast Cancer Awareness month and fundraisers for this month can be virtual now too. If you wanted to, you could start your own virtual campaign and have friends or family join in—it’s like holding your own conference about something you care about.
Right now, I’m saying don’t limit yourself. These are times to connect with people in any way that you can. Conferences like Adobe Max, the Technology Mind and Society Showcase, and so many others are available online these days with some incredible speakers. The point is just to get started.
So don’t hesitate.
If you’re ever going to get to not have to go somewhere and still to see these things, when else could you? Carpe diem and all—give it a chance. And if anyone has a conference or interesting webinar, virtual show, concert, or anything else they’ve gotten to go to online so far, I want to hear all about it. It might be the closest thing some of us get to traveling for a while and I think that’s okay.
Make the most of it and have a wonderful weekend. For those of you headed to Adobe Max next week, I’ll see you there! Happy Friday.