The Conference Lobby

 A while ago, friends of mine went to a music conference for the first time. The goal of conferences is generally to meet people, and let them know what you do. You know, networking. A person is given a name tag and set loose on awkward cocktail party of people all looking to make the right connections.   

My friends approached it a little differently. They found there wasn’t a lot going on in the main lobby was empty most of the time. People milled around, rested on the couches, or merely passed through.   They grabbed their instruments and started playing. For lots of musicians the opportunity to join in a a jam is better than milling through an awkward meet and great. Those musicians would join in. Concert promoters would pass and sometimes stop to listen. By the end of a weekend of doing that, lots of people knew who they were and what they did. 

A few years later they’ve gone from leaders of the song circle in the lobby to leaders of the community and the conference itself. Merely starting a song circle in the lobby didn’t make they leaders, but it’s an example of how they consistently looked for spaces where something could happen, something that would be fun and help others and simply started doing. When others got interested, or wanted to take part, they invited them to join. What the empty space you see?

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