Last week, the 9th edition of the Agile Testing Days took place and I attended for the second time this incredible Agile Testing Festival in Potsdam, Germany. Like last year, I have met a lot of people from different countries. I enjoyed the talks and discussions. I met new friends as well and got to know so many more. I enjoyed every minute. The festival-like conference was full of energy, positive vibes and a great community spirit. The atmosphere drew you in and made you feel like being a part of something bigger. Time moved so fast, it was hard to keep up. By the end of the conference, my brain and heart were both full and my batteries empty. But something inside me did not want to leave the Agile Testing Days. Although there was nothing left to do for me, no more pictures to take and no more cleaning up to do, I could not persuade myself to pack my stuff, get my luggage and to hit the road. When I eventually embarked on my homebound journey, I started to miss the lively, unique and warm atmosphere of the Agile Testing Days already. I missed the energy coming from every participant and the buzzing environment. When I left the venue, which has been my home for a whole week and a place of motivation, inspiration and connection and familiarity, I immediately felt nostalgic.
The feeling that I have experienced and that you might have experienced as well is usually caused when you have more fun during a conference than you usually have, when you engage in rich and thought-provoking discussions and when you make friends that you can only see at other conferences. After my first time at the Agile Testing Days I was so overwhelmed from the whole experience that, when I was back home, I shed several tears and I could not explain why I was so upset. I read a lot and stumbled over the term post-conference blues. I have never heard of this term before, the reason might also so be that I have never been to such a big conference as the Agile Testing Days before. I find that Amanda Baker’s Tweet perfectly summarizes my feelings which I had last year. (Well, except for the nickname and the toilet paper.)
If you have ever been to the Agile Testing Days, you know exactly what I am talking about. It is only natural that you are longing to keep yourself in the #AgileTD bubble a bit longer. After spending all the time in a creative, inspirational and exciting environment, it is understandable that you want to find a reason to postpone your departure any further, that you want to avoid to slip back into your normal life despite being mentally and physically exhausted. As @lisihocke puts it in a nutshell:
Triggered by a tweet by Joep Schuurkes about asking for a way to ease the post-conference blues, I want to share some tips how to overcome this bitter sweet feeling. Unfortunately, there is no universal remedy for post-conference blues, but those tips might minimize the effects.
1. Take Time Off and Rest
It’s been a journey. You’ve spent the last week alternating between excitement, joy and exhilaration. The learnings, discussions, and socializing were so intense, that you need time and space to recharge. Take a nap. Or two. Talk to friends and family. Or just take a time-out. Then slowly return to your normal routine.
2. Get the Most Value Out of It
Return to work and apply the things you have learned. Get ready to push forward some new ideas you came across at the conference and to share your newly-gained knowledge with your team mates. Use your knowledge at work and put the seed of an idea in the minds of people.
3. Relive the Conference Through Photos, Sketch Notes and Videos
Relive the best moments of the Agile Testing Days 2017 once again by exploring uploaded photographs and sketch notes, or watching the videos from this special event. But don’t feel nostalgic about it, smile at them. Get inspired, motivated and excited again. Remember the good times, the friends you made, the days of intense learning and discussion, and look forward to the next conference where you will meet your friends again.
4. Start Blogging
Blogging is a great way to share insights with others and can, on the other hand, help you to put ideas in order or develop new ones. The best thing about blogging is everybody can do it. You don’t have to be a professional writer to share your thoughts. Just write and share your story by reviewing your notes, adding points of view, or summarizing talks. Often people could not attend all of the sessions and consequently missed some talks due to overlapping. Therefore, reading about the missed session could help other people as well.
5. Stay Connected
Try to keep in touch with the people you met during the conference. Either by meeting up at times via slack channels or in person, or by calling up people to talk to them. Also use Twitter and other social media platforms to stay in touch after the conference and to continue discussions.
6. Prepare for the Next Conference
“After the conference is before the conference”. At the close of an event, more than once we tend to ask ourselves “What am I going to do after such a big conference when I get home and all the activities and people are no longer around me?” We recommend to start thinking about preparing for the next conference. Use the energy and inspiration of the conference to propose a talk.