A few tips for those of you attending Catalyst for the first time this year, or maybe it’s your 2nd or 3rd time, or maybe 14th in a row!!. Hopefully these are helpful and allow your Catalyst experience to be the best ever! 1. Arrive early. Especially on Thursday morning Oct 3. The pre-show starts up around 6:55 am, so we’ll try our best to entertain you while you wait for the doors to open around 7:50 am.
2. Attend LABS. LAB sessions occur on Wednesday, October 2nd, and are a great way to dive deeper into practical topics. We still have a few tickets left for LABS (and pre-lab with Reggie Joiner on Wednesday morning), so you can register online or walk up. Labs officially start at 11:30 am on Wednesday with the opening session featuring Henry Cloud. Can't wait!
All of the LAB sessions will be great, and I recommend every session that we’ve created. But just want to give you a few names of some of the LAB speakers you may not know but will definitely want to hear:
** Bryan Loritts, Shelley Giglio, Jenni Catron and Sherry Surratt, Rebekah Lyons and Bianca Olthoff, Tyler Wigg-Stevenson/Bethany Hoang/Peter Greer, Leonce Crump, Dr. Raj Shah, Eugene Cho.
3. Listen to the Catalyst Podcast Roadtrip Edition on your way to the event. The episode includes clips with Andy Stanley, Judah Smith and Priscilla Shirer, as well as helpful tips, entertainment, and even recommendations on how to get to KNOW your team on your drive in. Download here.
4. Bring food with you. Because parking is free, and there is now plenty of it because of a new parking deck, you’ll be able to get to your vehicle no problem at lunch and dinner. So with that in mind, plan to tailgate! Bring the grill, or just an ice chest and some extra food. It’s really a pain to drive somewhere for lunch or dinner, so just hang out and soak up the sun! We will also have food for sale onsite outside, so that is also an option.
5. Attend the evening session on Thursday night. Do not miss Thursday night! Judah Smith, plus the Passion band. It will be a great time. You’ll be tempted to go back to the hotel room and turn on the baseball game or Thursday night college football, but stick around!
6. No reserved seating. Because there is no reserved seating, you’ll want to arrive early. And if you are attending Catalyst with a big group, make sure you bring some 5 x 7 cards or paper (and tape) to be able to tape on the seat so that you’ll remember where you are sitting!
7. Sing loud. 12,000 voices together worshipping our God is epic. Don’t stand (or sit) idly by with arms crossed and lips closed. Join in. Stand up, Hands held high and voices raised.
8. Catalyst Backstage- if you can’t attend, no worries. Join us on CatalystBackstage starting on Wednesday afternoon at 3:00 pm EST, and then on Thursday and Friday mornings at 8:30 am EST, all day long on both days. We’ll have interviews with speakers, behind the scenes footage, and several LIVE look-ins for some of the sessions.
9. Purchase t-shirts and jackets early at the resource centers. If you plan on buying a t-shirt or jacket, purchase them at the first break. They sell out fast, so don’t wait. And it will be a bit chilly in the mornings this week, so you'll need a new tee or jacket anyway!
10. Bring items to give back and help others. In partnership with ATLANTA MISSION and CONVOY OF HOPE, we are asking EVERY Catalyst attendee to bring PAPER PRODUCTS, including TOILET PAPER, PAPER PLATES and NAPKINS, and PAPER TOWELS, along with GIFT CARDS, to give back to those in need in the city of Atlanta. Please stop on your way into Atlanta and the Gwinnett Arena and pick up these items. We want the collection bins to OVERFLOW! There is a Kroger right across the street from Gwinnett Arena if you forget!
11. Bring an extra bag for all the Catalyst swag. There are lots of great partners at Catalyst all around the lobby and concourse. Bring an extra bag to collect all the goodies.
12. Hang out in the Reflective Prayer Tent- allow yourself some time to hang out in the reflective worship tent. And, we’ll have a prayer team available the entire conference that will pray with you, for you, and over you. Some of us just need a fresh dose of God’s provision and goodness, so take advantage of this area.
13. Hang out in the upper concourse Lounge area. Thanks to our partners at NIV Bible Live!, we have an upstairs Lounge area (upstairs on concourse level opposite of front doors) where you can chill out, have conversations, charge your phone or computer, and just relax on some comfortable furniture!
14. If u tweet, use the hashtag #CATALYST. And follow Catalyst on Twitter @CatalystLeader.
15. Purchase the Catalyst Experience Kit. Every year we try and put together the best of the best so you can take the Catalyst experience home with you. This year is no exception.You can purchase it before you get to the event and then pick it up onsite without having to mess with the lines. I highly recommend this! Includes all kinds of great stuff, including the talks from this event, plus brand new resources, and my book The Catalyst Leader and the accompanying DVD curriculum.
16. Engage. Meet other leaders. There is an incredible amount of wisdom and influence gathered in one place at one time, so take advantage of the other leaders who are present. Many of us go to leadership gatherings and conferences and never really connect. We get distracted by things going on around us. This year we want you to truly Laugh. Listen. Sing. Pray. Engage. Connect.
Can't wait to see you there!