I have a Pittcon story to tell that isn’t really that exciting but a lot of people have a hard time believing it. Most people can’t fathom it.
But first, let me tell the story about a previous Pittcon: the last time I was at Pittcon, I was overscheduled. I was meeting with all the magazines, leading a networking session, giving a talk or two, invited to evening receptions, and having coffee/lunch/etc… with various people. I didn’t say “no” to a single one of them and I was so packed with activities that I could barely get to them all. One problem was that I was accepted for everything that I put in an abstract for, which I didn’t expect, and that tipped me a bit over-the-top on the whole thing.
That was a learning experience for me and, for the following year, decided to attend Pittcon but to volunteer for just one single thing. The networking session I’d led had gone so well, people liked it so much, got so much out of it, all said they wanted to do it, again, that I decided that would be the event I would volunteer for.
Here’s the part people have a hard time believing – it wasn’t accepted. I was just blown-away people all the attendees were so positive about it I just wasn’t prepared that the idea would be turned-down. Pittcon said something about running out of space. In any case, I suddenly found myself with nothing at all scheduled (on top of that, no-one I knew seemed to be attending, either, that year, by some odd coincidence).
The outcome was that I didn’t attend. There were so many conferences, for a while, that I had made a policy that I wouldn’t attend if I wasn’t somehow involved in a conference. With that in-mind, I did not attend Pittcon, that year. In fact, I have never returned. By the way, I’m not upset and boycotting Pittcon, it’s just by chance that I never saw a good reason to return, since then. And, now with a W-2 job as a customer, there’s no reason I’ll ever be back (but thank you to the kind person that suggested we might see each other at Pittcon, this week).
Anyway, we all think that you can’t be turned-down at Pittcon. It’s not true. I’m the only person any of us has come across that was turned-down. It can happen. But if you don’t believe me, I’ll understand.