An interesting thing happened at the Evo Conference in Park City, Utah this week. Okay, that’s not really fair – a huge number of interesting things happened at the Evo Conference this year. Amazing speakers, great parties, smart sessions; Evo had all that and more. Not to mention the setting; you don’t get much more beautiful than Park City. I miss it already.
But what was particularly remarkable was on Saturday night, around dinner time, the power went out.
It wasn’t just out at the resort; all of Park City lost power thanks to a passing storm. But what that meant was, well… the restaurants were closed, so no small groups for dinner. The hotel rooms were dark and hot, so no one wanted to hang out there. It was the end of the day, so smart phones and lap tops were low on power – not to mention the wifi wasn’t working.
So guess what happened?
We talked to each other. ALL of us.
Everyone put down the phones, closed the computers, and looked each other in the eyes. Of course this happens at conferences; we’re not ALL slaves to our devices (or should I say YOU’RE not a slave to your device, ahem). But there was something different about the shared comraderie of “lights out” and there was much sharing, laughing, and good feeling.
Of course, Barbara Jones of the One2One Network claimed that she arranged the power outage to get everyone to attend her party:
— BarbaraJones (@BarbaraJones) July 16, 2012
I like Barbara, but I don’t think she can call down lightning.
It would be interesting to see other conferences institute “no devices” periods at conferences; it really spurred conversation! But no real power outages, okay? I like my air conditioning.