27 years of peer conferences

27 years of peer conferencesGood things come in threes. Though I usually overlook anniversaries, I noticed one this morning. The first peer conference I convened and designed was held June 3 – 5, 1992 at Marlboro College, Vermont. So, as of today, the community of practice that eventually became edACCESS has enjoyed 27 years of peer conferences. [That’s 3 x 3 x 3. I told you good things come in threes.]

Twenty-three people came to the inaugural conference. At the time, I had no idea that what I instinctively put together for a gathering of people who barely knew each other would lead to:

  • a global design and facilitation consulting practice;
  • over 500 posts on this blog, which has now become, to the best of my knowledge, the most-visited website on meeting design and facilitation;
  • three books (almost!) on participant-driven, participation-rich meeting design; and
  • plentiful ongoing opportunities to fulfill my mission to facilitate connection between people.

However, none of this happened overnight. For many years, designing and facilitating meetings was a vocation rather than a profession, usually unpaid. Furthermore, it was an infrequent adjunct to my “real” jobs at the time: information technology consulting, and teaching computer science.

27 years of peer conferences. From little acorns, mighty oaks. I would never have predicted the path I’ve traveled — and continue to look forward to the journey yet to come. Above all, thank you everyone who has made it possible. I can’t adequately express the gratitude you are due.

2 thoughts on “27 years of peer conferences

  1. Well done and congratulations to you and your team, Adrian! *thumps up*
    Looking forward to conducting the first peer conference in the Nigerian Tourism industry in 2020 *fingers crossed*
    Already digesting the ‘Conference that Work’ book for more insight on how to host a successful one.
    Wish me luck! *smiles*

  2. Adrian, as someone who attended the second edACCESS in 1993, attended edACCESS 2018, and helped plan a few in between, thank you for taking me along for the ride! I learned a lot from you, and I’m not even a conference planning professional.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *