If you’ve somehow managed to be living under a rock for the past few months then let me kindly remind you that Catalyst Atlanta is coming very soon.
Sure, it’s about a month away, but you got to get started prepping today! With an amazing lineup of speakers, some off-the-hook Labs, and a ton of opportunities to network with like-minded ministry folk, you’re going to want to be doubly prepared.
*Please note that although there is seriously valuable stuff here, there are a few “tongue-in-cheek” suggestions as well.*
So here it is, the officially-unofficial Catalyst Surivival Guide after the jump…
Before You Land:
- Bring you laptop. Period. Pack a Netbook if you care about being even more awesome. Why? Because a laptop is required for blogging, and we know that blogging is all the rage, and if you’re not doing it then you’re a loser. Just kidding (see next bullet point if blogging is not your thing).
- Mobile device (can you say iPhone?) is essential. Please don’t embarrass yourself with not having one.
- Business cards are cool. Ones with neat little links to your Digital Business Card is even better.
- Plan for massive wi-fi fail. What does this mean? You should bring something with an aircard or 3G.
- A small notepad and writing utensil still really work. Bring a few of those.
- Prep your Twitter-streams for #catalyst, #catalystatlanta, and everything else “Catalyst”. Get your software in order foo! UPDATE! The official hashtag is #CAT09.
- Blog about Catalyst. Tweet about it. Do something. Let the world know that you’re taking a huge step in coming. Ask for prayer, and while you’re at it pray for someone to let you borrow a laptop if you don’t have one (just kidding… again.).
- Read about the speakers. Memorize who they are, what they’re talking about. Create a schedule. If you waste time at Catalyst that’s your fault, not anyone elses. Read their blogs.
- Bring some meds cause you’re going to get head-knocked by awesomeness. I suffer from migraines so you’ll just know I’ll be popping Exedrine Migraine (oh Lord, can we fix that…?).
- Uh, hotel? Transpo? Got it? Good. Don’t forget your clothes and some extra underwear cause you may drop a bomb (and I don’t mean figuratively) during the keynotes. Bring diapers if you really need it.
The Big Event(s):
- Make sure you get there sober (just kidding… again!).
- Power your darn apps and devices, nothing worse then going dead. Power cords are cool but you’re not borrowing mine.
- Transportation check? Good.
- Managing the Twitter stream is essential. Find a way to do it.
- Pre-Parties? Pre-Labs? Get to them. Make sure you get to the right one, the one that’ll make the most impact in your life and the ministry you serve. Make good choices.
- Take a bag cause you’re bound to get some free loot.
- Hydration is in vogue. Nothing worse than a passed-out blogger who forget to hydrate. If you do, expect to be caught on the Catalyst Blog under category “fail” (and maybe FailBlog.net too).
- Please turn down your device’s brightness setting. That stuff blinds foo! And it’s obnoxious. It’ll also make your device last longer, so there’s utility here folks.
- Focus, concentrate, take notes. Leave no stone unturned.
- Network, network, network.
- Don’t be shy. If I see you and I know you want to say something to me and we make that awkward eye contact and you don’t man up and do something about it I’ll find out your Twitter handle and publicly call you out to 5,000+ followers as lamesauce (OMG, just kidding…!).
- Blog, tweet, do whatever you have to do to share the goodness of Catalyst love.
After Event and Beyond:
- Got a lot of loot? Sort it.
- Got a lot of ideas? Manage and sort. Focus.
- Got a lot of business cards? Take note and schedule a time to email the people who gave one to you. Connect, contact, engage.
- Compare notes with people.
- Don’t forget your luggage.
- Make sure you get home safely to share with others and enrich your ministry.
- Plan to be back at Catalyst at the next event. If your budget doesn’t include monies to attend then you should immediately draft your 2 week notice and find a ministry that does have a budget for it (OMGOMGOMG JUST KIDDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111111111111111!!!11).
And that is that.
[Image from EssGee]