Tuesday, July 24, 2012

evo'12

There is so, so much to be said about evo'12. The gist of my experience is this:


It could not have gone better.

This was my third year as a volunteer for the evo conference so I arrived a day early to help with preparing the overstuffed swag bag with samples from the generous sponsors. I also, though, was a presenter, so I had quite a bit of preparing to do before the conference - for two presentations. 

Earlier this spring I applied to be an Ignite speaker. I mentioned before that Ignite's slogan is 'Enlighten us but make it quick,' and an Ignite presentation is meant to be five minutes in length with twenty slides which automatically advance every fifteen seconds. Preparing for Ignite requires mastering what you will say along with your series of slides and it is INTENSE. Somehow, though, with enough practice and the immediate preparation of remembering a few key words, when it came time for my presentation, I felt ready. Humbly and completely ready.


I had a second presentation to prepare for the conference. In April, at a lunch appointment with Jyl, I was asked, "Don't you think it's time evo had a flashmob?" I knew I was ready for this. I had participated in a flashmob at BlogHer in San Diego and was preparing to learn a flashmob routine for Kacy's 40th birthday. The song was chosen, the choreography was made up (mostly in my kitchen), participants were invited, and videos were made and posted in a private facebook group to be learned in different areas of the country. The night before evo began, and on evo's first day, a few rehearsals were had to put the finishing touches on the dance and build excitement and confidence that we would DO this thing.


I don't think many people realize that my Ignite presentation and the flashmob were created as two separate entities. As it happened, the wise women in charge of evo determined that the flashmob would best fit into the conference's schedule immediately following my Ignite presentation. And I tend to agree:





The conference had so many high points for me, and for all attendees, and I actually feel I would be remiss if I didn't share two other specific parts of the conference. 

The first occurred on Friday, when the morning's keynote introduced us to Derreck Kayongo. Derreck is a Ugandan refugee who shared stories from his childhood of horrific scenarios in his homeland and took us on a journey, showing how we can find hope in the smallest of amenities. Specifically: soap. In short, Derreck founded the Global Soap Project, which collects used bars of soap from hotels, reprocesses the soap to make new bars, and distributes the soap to areas of the world where a simple washing of hands literally saves lives. There is so much to Derreck's story. I count myself to be lucky to have had lunch with him that Friday, to learn more about who he is, where he came from, and the change he's certain to keep making in this world. My kids, however, are currently most impressed with this, our new favorite song:


The second was what happened during the keynote on Saturday morning. Hearing from representatives of Real Simple and the UN Foundation, a fantastic new initiative was announced. Taking into account that the UN Foundation recognizes that power comes from 'Finding The Mom,' and that people like, and including, myself have sufficient credentials in Being A Mom and Having A Community, as well as the fact that Real Simple figured out that those of us in the blogging community use comments as our currency, I cried like a baby when I learned about the Shot@Life Campaign and Blogust.

Blogust? Yes. A blog relay during the month of August. Where comments make a difference. A REAL difference.



I can't wait to see the good that comes from this campaign.




The sponsors were great, the volunteers and attendees, the organizers, the host resort (Cheers to The Canyons when Park City was without power for six hours on Friday evening) -- all first class, as has come to be expected from evo. My suitemates are talented and inspiring, hard-working and kind women and it was my pleasure to spend time and space with them.

My most sincere thanks to everyone who has been so kind and generous in their feedback of both my Ignite presentation and the flashmob. Thanks to Jyl, Rachael, and the entire evo team for the opportunities, and for the abounding potential shared throughout the conference.

17 comments:

Aimee said...

Looks like it was a fun time!

Lucrecer said...

Oh, woman. The impact you have had on my life the past few months with the flash mob, then finally meeting you, I knew it was worth the wait. I am so thankful for you and I appreciate how amazing your spirit is. Love, love, love.

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

Evo was terrific as always. It really is the highlight of my year. This year, I connected with some great causes like the Global Soap Project and Shot@life and the Protectors and anti. Ullying movement. These causes really touched my heart and I plan to get involved with them to make a difference. Awesomeness!

The Mid Life Guru said...

Meeting you and seeing your never ending enthusiasm was definitely one of my evo'12 highlights!!!

mrs. r said...

Greeeeeat recap. Loved hearing Derreck sing again too.

LOVES!

Jess@Coxs Corner said...

EVO looks incredible! I hope that Ican go next year! So cool!

Gina said...

I am so glad you posted that! That song ended up being perfect for Evo in more ways that one, that is for sure!

CKW said...

I'm so proud of you!! It was fabulous (as I was certain it would be!) Well done.

Kacy Faulconer said...

Very cool. And you look super thin.

Tara said...

Sounds like it was a blast! Hope I can make it next year!

Queen Scarlett said...

I love you. I'm grateful, so grateful that Carrie introduced us, way back when. Your friendship is valuable to me, forever.

ps. What Kacy said too. Oh, and dude, I'm washing the car, after I whacka whacka.

basquegirl said...

You killed that! Good for you!! I am redefining as I type!!

Nicole said...

You did amazing Jenny! It was so fun to watch you!

Catherine said...

Girl, you are a light! I am thrilled to read about you and to be able to hear your awesome presentation and dance (through this blog). The evo experience sounds incredible. Thank you for bringing this into my awareness and for letting your light SO shine!!

La Yen said...

Every time I watch your Ignite I cry.

Vanessa Brown said...

I finally got to sit down and watch your presentation. It made me just so happy for you. I cannot even explain how much :)

Naomi said...

Jenny, I finally got to see this (my phone doesn't play the video!) and you made me cry lady! You did a great job on the presentation and your dancing was on FIRE!