It is a known fact that I’m workaholic. Furthermore I even have a huge business crush on our conference QED … it lasts over 10 years … Do I have a problem?
It started, as a teenage love. First couple of conferences were so small, only 30-50 people. Everybody almost knew each other. On some points we would all laugh or virtually everybody danced. Although it was small, we were dedicated and eager to make it perfect. We would argue afterwards about every single presentation: was it too long , boring, maybe it was off topic? I must admit I was completely out of myself every time something went even little bit wrong. So many emotions…
One of participants once said that my heels were too loud, when I went outside during one session…I almost cried. That same evening I really cried because dinner started on completely wrong foot. Room was too small, music too loud. So we moved everybody, ad hoc, with boats back to island. Woke up waiters, had acoustic music and best party ever. From tears to joy. I couple of hours.
Who remembers that evening? Everybody who was there, no doubt about it.
Over the years conference turned out to be more serious. More people, celebrity speakers, bigger venues… and suddenly I felt like a mom who’s kids are growing and (maybe) leaving home. To be honest, I was frightened that we will lose this special kind of intimacy we were able to build. My fear was that consequently our participant won’t be able to see how our event is different from the others.
Sometimes we tend to think we are experienced, we think we’ve seen it all, we feel we know stuff… but we never really do. We always learn, and my relationship with QED helped me to understand that you can scale everything, even such delicate things like feelings.
“My” QED is nowadays more professional, bigger, international event, but we still have so many emotions. Last year we talked about failure. Almost everybody cried during the opening session, we meditated before the Conference, we ran together for disabled at Wings for Life World Run, we learned so many things and at the end we went home changed.
Why this event means so much to me? Why I keep talking about emotions? Well, I think it is very hard to change without really feeling.
Opening ourselves to change raises different kinds of emotions. I have always been part of the core team who prepares QED Conference, but I never really know how it is going to change me. What element, which speaker will make the difference… and there is always element or speaker who makes it! The difference.
We changed so many formats, and we had diverse speakers: from cyclists, to pilots, from distinguished engineers to consultants… but all of them were and still are great minds, open people and humble individuals who always strive for something new. Similar like people who prepare the Conference… our team. We still play, we still enjoy every step, and every year for us is LIKE THE FIRST TIME.
Last year during the retrospective immediately after the Conference, we talked about how we are almost sure we cannot top up this one. It was a sunny day, and we were sitting in front of the hotel. Suddenly the hotel had a fire drill so we were forced to walk around the hotel. When we got back on the terrace, we already had so many ideas what we can do next year. So this year we bring you HARMONY… we want to balance between your personal needs and your organization’s needs. We will talk about harmony between your body and mind, between your joy and joy of the community. Rich Sheridan, Yonatan Raz-Friedman, Phaedra Boinodiris, Pavao Vlahek, Mislav Brečić … what a line up!!!