Please bear with this stream-of-consciousness post.
I’ve come to a crossroads and have put off making a decision long enough. I could really use your help deciding what to do about Family Travel for Real Life.
To be honest, I’m of two minds about the future of the conference and am trying to determine when, or if, I should plan another one. When I need to make a decision I usually make a pro and con list, so I’ll give it a stab here.
I’m extremely proud of what FT4RL has accomplished. Four years ago I could count the family miles/points writers on one hand with fingers left over. Now the family viewpoint, if not prevalent, is at least well represented.
Now at most larger conferences more family points of view are represented. Is the family viewpoint well enough established that the community doesn’t need a dedicated space anymore?
Selfishly I take some credit for that as many of the successful people in our community were among the first to sign on to FT4RL. I can add my own voice to the larger conferences if I want to be sure the points drive home.
The conference is fun for me. I love having an excuse to get together with old friends and new. I learn from you more than you learn from me. The intimate size means FT4RL feels more like a weekend-long party once it’s begun. I also selfishly take credit for the positive tone and the genuine likability of the people who choose to attend.
Getting there is a helluva lot of work. Finding speakers, a venue, and a date that works for enough people is stressful, as is worrying about selling enough tickets to break even. It’s a labor of love, but I have other labors I love that are much more financially rewarding.
So now that I’ve laid bare I’m asking for your two cents. I’m NOT looking for “Dia, please don’t go!” ego-boosting, but genuine reflection.
Have you found FT4RL to be of value? More importantly, would you find future FT4RLs to have value as well?
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