Sunday, November 6

Women of Faith: Imagine Tour

This past weekend I got to attend the Women of Faith Conference. It was quite an experience, and I've tried to organize all the thoughts I want to share into a couple basic categories:
Things Worth Knowing

Let's jump right in to Content!

Being a Type A personality, I looked up a few of the books published by the keynote speakers various places before going to the event. I didn't see any that looked impressive... and I now think that everyone who wrote the summaries I read needs to be fired!  

Sheila Walsh, Dr. Henry Cloud and Lisa Harper were phenomenal. They literally made you both laugh and cry (and if you're like me, take lots of notes so you wouldn't soon forget the powerful truths they had to share). I will now be systematically reading ALL of their books - I can't wait to hear more from these sweet, hysterical and genuine individuals.


The arena the event was held in did many things well. They converted all the men's bathrooms (except one) to ladies' rooms to try to handle to massive traffic flow, they set up multiple identical sales tables, there were several food vendors on hand to supplement or replace the lunches included in the ticket price, and the event was nursing-mother friendly. 

That said, with between 8,000 and 10,000 women at the event at any given time the place was mobbed. The lines for the restrooms were always excruciatingly  long, the line to pickup lunches actually took you outside the building (which could be a nightmare in bad weather) and those of us who don't tend to like crowds to begin with started to feel rather claustrophobic.

It's also worth noting that the event website clearly states that the venue has the right to search your bags and refuse to allow any outside food or drink. Fortunately, our venue opted not to exercise that right, but since I'd been unable to get a response from anyone about special dietary needs in the weeks before the event, it could potentially have been a problem.

When You Go: Things Worth Knowing
(1) 85% of the women who attend a WoF event come in groups of 10 or more. If I were going again, I would definitely try to be one of them. The group attending from one of the local churches made available maps complete with directions, the best parking option and its pricing. They also provided maps of the arena with seating section numbers so you knew where you were going to be and where to look for friends coming with other groups. Those were invaluable resources!

(2) Many church groups made a weekend of it, staying in local hotels and doing the adult version of a slumber party - this definitely added to their flair and fun. If you have to travel to an event, make the most of the trip!

(3) I was pleased to find out that WoF does smaller-scale, single day events, usually in cities not hit by the main tour. If you're not a fan of crowds or can't quite budget weekend event ticket prices, I highly recommend checking out these alternatives. (See the main tour page for more info.)

(4) Talk to your other half about your budget before you go. There are lots of great package deals and shiny extras at the sales tables, but they start at $50 and run up from there. The event also features partners like World Vision and encourages participants who can to consider sponsoring a child. All that is good, but if budgets are a big deal in your house you'll want to do a little thinking or extra saving ahead of time.

Have you been to a WoF event? What would you include on this list that I've overlooked? 

Note: I completely spaced bringing my camera to this event which, if you know me, is not the first time... So sorry! There are tons of awesome pictures and video at the WoF website, and I encourage you to check them out!

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