by Matthew Richter
I have to say that one of my favorite activities every year is attending the ATD (formerly ASTD) International conference and working our expo booth. It is such a pleasure seeing old friends and making new ones.
This year, however, I was both sad and delighted when I found out Thiagi couldn't join me. Sad, because we always have fun working the booth together and I know countless people love seeing and talking with him. Delighted because he was doing a workshop in Valencia, Spain... which meant both good times for him and a means to pay for my good time in Orlando (I say moderately kidding).
However, without Thiagi, I was all alone. Thankfully, Glenn Hughes, our PhotoJolts friend, said he would help out again this year. And our friends from ImprovHQ, Zoe Galvez and Betsy Crouch, joined the team to sell books, cards, and games. People were much more forgiving of Thiagi's absence with Zoe and Betsy there.
During expo hours, the booth never saw the light of day. We had so much fun doing magic, playing cards, and talking design and facilitation. We met so many new friends... Sonia and Nicholas from Portugal, David from Korea, Michelle from Tallahassee, Anne from Touch Point, Joan from Nazareth, PA, Ligo, Wally, Christiann, and so many more.
I also ran a pre-conference session called FLOURISHING WITH STORYTELLING. While it was a small group, we had a large international contingent covering four continents. While folks were kind enough to say they learned a lot, I really learned a tremendous amount from them. I think I can safely say the favorite activity was when we told six-word stories.
Below are a few more pictures from the festivities. Thiagi and I will definitely be back next year in Denver. Betsy, Zoe, and Glenn will be joining us in the booth again. Can't wait.