The UK Hypnosis Convention 2016
An Organisers Perspective
Not normally lost for words, I am genuinely stuck as to where to begin in writing this, my own review and perspective of the UK Hypnosis Convention.
This hasn't been helped by a number of beautifully written reviews and blogs that people have shared over the last few days, all of which have already succinctly described many of the feelings I have had about the convention.
I hope you agree with me that it seemed to be a huge success overall?
There is a great deal of preparation that goes into such an event and being my first convention, the extent of this preparation often presented itself as a steep and sometimes, unending learning curve in the months building up to the big day. However now I can finally and calmly reflect upon the end result, I am happy that on the whole, I learned the lessons well throughout the year and people were satisfied with the end result.
Before I continue any further though, it must be said that without the polished and friendly professionalism of the ladies welcoming and assisting guests over the duration of the weekend, all the planning in the world would have been inconsequential. They worked tirelessly (including re-organising many aspects of my ill thought out preparatory work) to make sure that the process ran smoothly. Thank you ladies you really did flatter my contribution with your own superior one!
Those in attendance at dinner on Saturday night would have also heard me thank a number of people who were very supportive during the months in the build up to the convention, but for those that didn't or had to leave before the speeches eventually got underway (yes your comments have been heeded for next year), here they are again; Mrs Ebdon for listening to me sitting in the offices swearing (I do very occasionally you know) and reassuring me that people would appreciate the hard work, Melissa Tiers for offering her guidance and mentoring (including improving my capacity to swear) and routinely checking in on how things were going, Bob Burns for his straight talking and wonderful anecdotal advice when it was very much needed and Adam Eason who not only cajoled and encouraged throughout, but totally nailed the tone of what I was trying to achieve, played out in his perfectly balanced keynote address. Obviously there were a great many others who I would like to thank and will endeavour to do so, but it was these four who most motivated me when the inevitable doubts were creeping in.
Next I would like to thank a lineup of speakers that took a chance on the UK Convention and in doing so made it the success it was. For people to take the time and go to the expense of flying in from around the world to contribute to an event shows an incredible generosity of spirit (more on this later) and to do so in such numbers was incredible. As I tally up the feedback and presenter ratings it is very clear that the global expertise and international diversity has played a fundamental part in the triumph of the convention. Our friends from overseas really graced the convention both in their level of knowledge and presenter skills, but also in their enthusiasm and friendliness. Then there are the UK based hypnotists and hypnotherapists who took a chance on some fellow they'd probably never heard of and didn't hesitate in saying 'yes' to throwing their support behind the convention. I've already mentioned Bob and Adam, but I must also include the likes of Karl (who has been a fountain of ideas), James, Anthony, the list goes on and on and I apologise for not mentioning each and every one of you, who also said that they would be there with their A-game and were.
Maintaining a professional head when people you admire and who's successes you wish to emulate are giving your project their full support isn't always easy, but the fact is there were a large number of speakers present, both from home and abroad from whom I have learned so much and flattered me with their contribution to the convention.
It was this collective generosity of spirit that I took most from the event.
What a generosity of spirit it was. It was no secret that eyebrows were raised when the eclectic mix of presenters was finally announced in the build up to the convention. A number of people questioned my judgement even and I am sure expected a few fireworks come the event. But for the convention to be an open and inclusive convention that transcended cliques I felt that I needed to put perceived opponents in the same rooms together and have faith in the outcome, my own judgement and most importantly of all, in them as individuals. Kudos again to Adam Eason who, through his popular hypnosis-weekly podcast has consistently demonstrated that this is possible and made me think that if there were any risks in putting these big, contrasting personalities together over the course of a weekend, then they would undoubtedly be worth it. The level of politeness and generosity from everyone involved both speaker and guest, was palpable all weekend. Everyone had time to watch other peoples presentations, to give constructive feedback, to take time to stop and chat and to acknowledge and appreciate one another.
For me, Freddy Jacquin epitomised this generosity of spirit and enthusiasm. Despite arguably being the most experienced hypnotist there in terms of experiences and therapy room hours, he got stuck in from the get go, listening to presenters talk with the same open mindedness and inquisitiveness as a newly certified rookie, stopping between presentations to talk, network and share his experiences, joining in during Anthony's presentation and participating in other peoples presentations with a genuine curiosity and enthusiasm and then, continuing to play and educate long into both nights, seeing off many friends half his age from the bar and still being first up for breakfast wanting more! At one point on Saturday , briefly sitting unaccompanied at the front desk, I must have cut a lone figure as I watched Freddy come into the foyer and take a detour towards me. He came over, looked at me and said 'you've done a great job' and then continued on his way to his next presentation. Shortly after Mrs E returned to the desk and asked me 'do you think its going well?', 'I do now' I replied. That little random act of generous, thoughtfulness from Freddy framed the whole weekend for me in one short sentence and took all of the pressure away.
Lastly, thanks to all of the convention guests and attendees and on who's opinion, the real success is ultimately measured. As I thumbed through the feedback forms last night I felt relieved that for the people who's opinions matters so much, it was clear I had for the most part got things right. What a completely lovely and warm bunch of people to share a weekend with and I hope it is the start of many. I normally hate the notion or rather the expression of being 'part of a family', but there was so many smiles, so many moments of camaraderie that it's hard to find a worthy expression of how else to define it. I hope to see you all again next year and you have my word I will take every bit of feedback, every comment, every suggestion and do my best to make it bigger, friendlier, more fun and an even better investment of time and money for you all.