Confessions of a Big Omaha emcee
Antonio Neves welcomes attendees and live stream viewers to the second day of Big Omaha 2012.
Let's get this out of the way. Big Omaha isn't just a conference. It's much more. Big Omaha is a family. This is not hyperbole.
"Who makes you better?" This is the question I posed to attendees as we kicked off an amazing two days of speakers, best practices, laughs, tears, hugs, high-fives, shoulder shakes, relationship building and more.
To answer this question all we had to do was look around the lovely KANEKO. Lucky for us, we were surrounded by those who regularly empower, support, challenge, push and hold us accountable to be the best versions of ourselves that we could ever hope to be.
As a family we made a commitment to make each other better, not just during the conference, but moving forward. My inbox practically needed new supports as it was flooded by emails from people I met at Big Omaha asking, "How can I help you, Antonio?" I'm equally showering mailboxes asking the same question.
And it feels good.
Here's the deal: all conferences aren't made equal. Whether as an emcee, speaker, panelist or attendee, conferences are a major part of my life. Some I look forward to, others I dread. Most, I'm indifferent about.
But, here are 10 reasons I'm already looking forward to Big Omaha 2013:
- Conversations tend to start with high-fives instead of, “So what do you do?”
- Speakers got real. Talks extended far beyond, “Why my company is great.”
- There's no hierarchy, secret rooms for speakers or egos (Believe me, my journalistic self scoured for them!) We all kicked it together.
- It was great to see Marc Eckō in attendance just because. (He wasn't actually speaking)
- Road trip! I met some of the most amazing people from across the country whose couches I’m sure to sleep on in the near future.
- Omaha is pretty frickin' fantastic. If you haven’t been to Omaha yet, you haven't lived.
- It's the first conference that I ever became a meme.
- The live stream welcomed people from all across the world.
- Cotton candy was served.
- The Silicon Prairie News team is on another level above top notch. Not sure what that is but it’s high up there.
Big Omaha reminded me of why I started my company THINQACTION: To help make young professionals better in their careers. Long story short, Big Omaha has made me better. Thank you.
About the author: Antonio Neves is the founder of THINQACTION where he works with young professionals to produce exceptional results in their careers. In his free time he’s an award-winning business journalist, speaker and professional high-fiver. He’s contemplating a move to Omaha from Los Angeles. Find Antonio on Twitter, @theantonioneves.