I had the opportunity to represent Findr at this year’s GEL Conference held at the Times Center late last week. For those of you who aren’t familiar – Gel ("Good Experience Live") is a conference and community, founded in 2003, exploring good experience in all its forms - in art, business, society, technology, and life. The bulk of the conference is spent on listening to speakers with one afternoon spent doing workshops (I learned, among 15 others, how to juggle 3 balls within an hour).
Since I’ve turned my life over to being a huge proponent of the digital realm – I’ve been a little wary of spending two solid days away from work and watching speakers that I know will eventually be posted on a website for me to pick and choose (think Ted Conference or Fora.tv). But I’ve flip flopped. The power of listening and engaging as an audience member in the flesh outweighed the comfort and convenience of a computer chair and ability to choose speakers based on popularity/theme. Not only did speakers become more persuasive in any argument given, but I also felt compelled to take action and change my behaviors, perceptions and approaches to what I do. And I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. The conversations with attendees during breaks surged with inspiration, optimism and talk of change.
The gap of persuasiveness between digital communication and in-person communication is still vast. And as a digital entrepreneur at Findr, we need to continuously seek solutions that close that divide and allow individuals to connect and make change with greater ease and passion.
Recommended speakers you should look for that will be posted at gelconference.com:
- David Bornstein – capable of grabbing the attention of 300 people without powerpoint, imagery or props. He simply told a great story about the power of self-starter entrepreneurship
- Olivia Fox Cabane – you’d typically find Olivia in a corporate setting with her Malcolm Gladwellian insights on the power of first impressions and impact of how we make others feel in conversation, but her speech should be viewed by everyone. Can’t wait? Check out her website here.
- Kevin Roose – took a year off of college to attend Reverend Jerry Falwell’s “Bible Boot Camp” – this is like the doc Jesus Camp in the flesh. His stories are funny and insightful, but always through the lens of optimism versus cynical
- The Gregory Brothers – They do the Auto Tune News – something John Stewart surprisingly missed out on