What makes your OWAA conference an adventure?

And are you up for it?

By Pat Wray

September 10, 2019

Do you know the difference between a conference and an adventure?

The answer: Attitude.

There are plenty of people who make their decision about attending conference based on convenience. “I only go to conferences held within a day’s drive of my home,” is one explanation I’ve heard.

“I don’t want to change planes. I only go if I can get a direct flight to the conference city,” is another.

The first approach will ensure that you attend conference only once every four or five years, based on OWAA’s time-honored commitment to moving our conferences around various parts of the country. The second will limit you to those conferences held in large cities.

Folks who impose those sorts of self-limiting restrictions probably missed recent conferences in Chena Hot Springs, Alaska; Kalispell, Montana; and McAllen, Texas, all wonderful experiences offering extraordinary sessions and outdoor opportunities. And they may miss one of the finest conference venues (not to mention agendas) to come along in quite a while at the Jay Peak Resort in northern Vermont in June 2020.

Although every conference will be an adventure if you have the right attitude, some transform into adventures a little more easily than others. Here are a couple hints to help you recognize the adventure-centric locations:

  1. Explore areas surrounding Vermont. If one of the two preferred arrival airports is in a foreign country…and it’s just as close to the conference location as the one on U.S. soil, you are in for an adventure. My wife and I intend to fly into Montreal and rent a car, then explore New England and Quebec after the conference. If you choose to do something similar, don’t forget to update your passport. Or, you can simply fly into Burlington, Vermont, and avoid the border crossing experience.
  2. Bring your whole family. If your conference venue includes a ski lift and massive water park, you are in for an adventure. You couldn’t find a better place to bring your whole family than the Jay Peak Resort. The late June timing works in your favor as well. School will be out.
  3. Get outdoors. If your conference venue is surrounded by beautiful, timbered mountains and is crisscrossed by popular hiking trails, you are spring-loaded for adventure.

We’ll provide the conference, an outstanding agenda and an unbelievable venue. All you need to bring is a great attitude and, if you want to cross the nearby Canadian border, an up-to-date passport.

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