February 2, 2011

Massage Conventions

When was the last time you went to a massage convention?

That was the question on my recent massage professional association survey. It seemed pretty standard, and it got me thinking.

When I went to my 2010 state convention I was struck by how small it was – no students, few exhibitors, - missing faces that I attributed to the economy. A slump, I assumed. Most people can manage to get to Palm Springs, especially for a write-off weekend. Where was everyone?

The classes were excellent. Education is the main reason I go to and to spend the time and money for a convention. I’m sure there are other reasons for other folks, but that’s why I go. I thought about not going – the last two conventions had some fairly repetitive classes from people who had presented before and I thought the content was a bit thin. Seeing new faces and perspectives got me in the door.

My member survey got me good when it asked about the last time I went to a national convention. Egads, it was 1999.

The meeting was in San Antonio, a destination that required a more expensive airline ticket. The venue was a Hilton, a large hotel that required a hefty outlay despite the “convention” rate. The classes were very good – a great mix of modalities and ideas and techniques. Otherwise the meeting was disappointing in terms of time and money spent. Most exhibitors skipped the venue, and the national leadership was wrestling with something that put a damper on the social events. I recall looking at the bill and thinking if I go again it had better be worth it.

Funny, I hadn’t gone to a national meeting since. Every year for some reason I have bailed. It might be the host city location, the weather, timing, the classes, whatever, I haven’t gotten there.

Do we really need conventions anymore? I can buy my supplies off the web, from the Find Touch store, pretty well ordering what I need in a few minutes. Classes are great, but for many education needs I can do on-line classes. Do I really need to lose the time, pay the expense and go somewhere out of the way to get in a few classes? If I’m going somewhere, what about those courses in Hawaii or Costa Rica? Beats Toronto in November…..

No comments: