Monday, June 7, 2010

Winter Conference and March Madness "look-ins"

The Winter Conference evangelism post from last week got me thinking about another idea for the conference:

What if we did live "look-ins” on other regional conferences as a way to give vision and a sense of scale? There are 10 regional Winter Conferences in addition to the different context conferences (International students, ethnic students, etc.) around the country. Why not have our mc's interact, at times, with those from another conference that runs concurrently? Or just stream the conference sessions online and have one conference occassionaly "look -in" at the other?  Technology not for tech’s sake, but to “get the people in the room” that would ideally be there. If we could get the same number of students to meet in the middle of the country for a “mega-conference” we probably would, right? (Explo, KC '83, CM 2007, anyone?). But time and expense of travel is too much. So why not try to merge the best of both worlds…especially now that technology is making it possible? We've done this on a small scale with teams of students that are overseas during the conference, but never with a whole other conference.

And while nothing beats being physically in the same place, there still is power in knowing others are in the same place emotionally. Think of "selection Sunday" in the NCAA tournament. Part of the fun is knowing all these other peope are watching and engaging the same thing. I got to go to WSU basketball selection Sunday a few years ago (2007) when they were projected to be in the tournament for the first time in many years. It was an amazing experience. Partly from the people and energy in the room (500?), but largely from knowing the whole country was watching and that dozens of other schools were all simultaneously waiting for their name to be called. If CBS flashed a picture of the room we were in (a "look-in"), it made everyone go crazy. We felt like a part of the madness when we saw the bigger picture and realized this was going on all over the country.

Here is a clip from the next year (2008). Check out the announcement of the seeding at the 1:25 mark.

So doesn't some of this translate to our conferences? How could it impact some of the things we try to do at our conferences? Could it work? Should it work? Would it be worth the coordination required? Has this already been happening?


  1. I remember my first winter conference and how I felt when I saw 500+ students there that believed the same thing as I. I wonder what I would have thought if I could have seen something from another conference (especially since I didn't know that others were going on at the same time).

    What if some of the breakout sessions were done this way?

  2. Yes, I remember not even knowing that Campus Crusade was on other campuses when I was a student at OSU. I think it's hard to error on the side of too big when it comes to vision.

    What would be done in the breakout session? What do you envision, Jack?