Last year, I was unable to attend the Orange conference for a variety of reasons as lamented in this post on my blog. I couldn’t go for the same reasons I rarely attend any conferences. However, I committed myself to still gaining from the conference, just in a different way. I recognize that I once again may not be able to attend Orange. I asked my pastor about it and he laughed when I told him the price. I’m going to try, but it’s not looking good. Many of you are probably in the same boat, especially if you are a volunteer.
Even if you are unable to physically unable to attend Orange, there are a variety of ways to benefit from it.
I think the most valuable resource available is the live stream. If you have any way of catching the streamed sessions, do it. During the majority of the conference when the sessions were not being streamed, they had a live stream featuring interviews with many of the people in kids’ (and student and family) ministries that we all know and love.
The second most valuable way I got information from Orange 2010 was Twitter. Instead of having to sift through an enormous amount of content, the best statements were shared with me in 140 characters or less. It was actually because of Orange that I even joined Twitter. Now, I can’t imagine not being a part of that community. If you have Twitter you can follow me @pastorjaredm. If you do not have Twitter, you should get it. Unfortunately, you miss a lot of the context in this method, but it is still a very valuable tool.
The gift that keeps on giving from Orange is the blog posts that have come from it. During the weeks following Orange there were a surplus of blog posts. If someone took the time, you could easily gather information from every session and breakout available, often from multiple viewpoints. Even orangeleaders.org shared a variety of follow-ups. To this day, six months after Orange, there are still follow-up posts coming out, such as Henry Zonio’s newest blog series.
Many of the people who have been to Orange will tell you that one of the greatest benefits is the networking that happens. While it certainly isn’t the same, both Twitter and blog posts provide opportunity for discussion and should be utilized by those who are unable to attend.
To read about WHAT I actually took away from Orange 2010, please check out the other half of this article at kidmin1124.com.
What did I miss? How were you able to get something from Orange even from a distance?