A few tips for those of you attending Catalyst for the first time this year, or maybe it's your 2nd or 3rd time. Hopefully these are helpful and allow your Catalyst experience to be the best ever! 1. Arrive early. Especially on Thursday morning. 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 5th, and are a great way to dive deeper into practical topics. 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 we'll want to hear:
Lisa Borders; Nancy Duarte; Anthony Bradley; Bob Goff; Panel (with Mary Graham, Jo Saxton, Jeanne Stevens); Panel (with Charles Jenkins, Jim Reese, Lisa Sharon Harper);
3. 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.
4. Attend the evening session on Thursday night. Do not miss Thursday night. Judah Smith, plus Joel Houston and Hillsong NYC 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.
5. 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.
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. 13,000 voices together worshipping our God is epic. Don't stand (or sit) idly by with arms crossed and lips closed. Join in.
8. Catalyst Backstage- if you can't attend, no worries. Join us on CatalystBackstage starting on Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 pm EST, and then on Thursday and Friday mornings at 8:30 am EST. We'll have interviews with speakers, behind the scenes footage, and maybe even a live look-in or two 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.
10. Bring items to give back and help others. We are asking EVERY Catalyst attendee to bring DIAPERS, CANNED GOODS, BLANKETS and TOWELS, and GIFT CARDS to give back to those in need. 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 if you forget!
11. Bring a jacket and long sleeve shirt- Lows will be in the 50's this week, and if you've attended before, you know that the arena is pretty chilly inside. So bring a jacket and long sleeve shirt just in case.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. If u tweet, use the hashtag #CAT11.
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 a best of set from Dallas and West Coast earlier this year.
16. Engage. Many of us tend to 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 Be Present. Laugh. Listen. Sing. Pray. Engage. Be Present.