Returning to the real world after a professional conference is always a little bittersweet. The conference atmosphere is electric, exciting and supportive – in other words, it is the perfect place to encourage critical thinking and the development of new projects, goals and strategies. This doesn’t always translate when you get back to work on Monday.
In the conference-world, everything moves smoothly. You slip into an alternative universe where there is unlimited time, unlimited budgets, and perfect relationships. In the conference-world, you feel invincible. Sure, I can do [x], [y], [z] in addition to my regular job. Sure, I can write up weekly progress reports and communicate with this nifty informal group we just put together. But then. . . Monday comes and your email is already overflowing. Time and budgets are bending under the pressure of huge demands and you have to navigate the lava field of not-always-perfect working relationships.
It can be a bit of a let down. I’m especially prone to the post-conference-blues, as I can’t help but get all worked up when surrounded with like (or similarly) minded people. This is why I don’t attend protests.
The fact is – I’m sitting on my couch on a Sunday evening and I’m already starting to feel it. This time I’m going try to avoid it by being more deliberate in my post-conference plans. I will spend a little time gathering together my notes (handwritten and digital), handouts and even the swag. This will give me a chance to organize my thoughts and really get a good plan going. I will also take this opportunity to pursue a new professional development educational opportunity – something that has been on my back-burner for a while. Nothing wrong with a little artificial extension of the conference high.