The Hub Edinburgh stairs

Can a conference change your life?

Where do I start?

I had read quite a few blog posts since joining The Content Marketing Academy community about how #tcma2015 changed lives. Now, I consider myself a rather open minded guy but here we are speaking about changing lives?

There is little that I dismiss right away. In fact I am more likely to try for myself before my mind is made up either way. After all, I would rather experience something once, than be told about it many times over. So try I did.

Just 2 days after joining the community I bought my ticket for the conference. I was now committed to heading to Edinburgh for #tcma2016! I was told it would be the best thing I would ever do.

As it got closer, you could sense the excitement building up. That alone was something I hadn’t quite experienced for a conference or a seminar before. Perhaps that was down to me for not engaging enough, but there was something else. The community started pulling people together and making everyone feel welcome. You felt like that you knew everyone. I wasn’t going to Edinburgh blind not knowing who was there. I knew who would be there and what they looked like. I started to get a sense of who they were, what they did, what they liked and sometimes what pissed them off. Their struggles, challenges and indeed a look into their daily lives. This was due in some way to Snapchat, but without joining the community, I wouldn’t have connected with many of them. I didn’t really have reason to. I did now.

So fast forward a few weeks, 9 weeks to be exact after I bought my ticket, and up these stairs I walked and into a space. A space that Chris Marr and his team, Tammie and Hannah, filled full of awesome people, courage, amazing talks, honesty, tears, love and standing ovations. From the opening keynote from Amy Schmittauer through to the closing from Mark Schaefer, I was engaged from start to finish. And lets not forget the equally amazing speakers in between. Ann Handley, Kevin Anderson, Bert van Loon, Pete Matthew, Colin Gray, Kate McQuillan, Julie Christie, Richard Tubb, Laura Lucas, Col Gray, Alasdair McGill and Caroline McKenna.

That was a line up! And you know when you see an amazing TED talk online and feel the energy at the end? You feel inspired, emotional even? It was like that. But in real life. And much more powerful.


Will my life change? Taking from the conference renewed determination, the know how, inspiration and new friends, I think it will. The big measure will be where I am a year from now. There are things that I have wanted to do in my life and, for one reason or another, haven’t done. There are things that I have tried and want to try again. I have dreams and hopes and ambitions. This is a journey that I have started, one that feels right, and one that I will continue on.

I’ll see you at #TCMA2017



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