10. The people who need to be there the most will not be there. Their excuses will be the most bizarre and pitiful.
9. If the budget is met, about 20% of people in the room will be those who met it. They will be the ones who put in more than the average cost of the conference per person into the offering. Of the others, most could afford to pay – they are bootlegging your conference!
8. The most appreciated “big shot” preacher at the conference will be the one that travelled furthest to be there. Change the geography, change the big shots!
7. People will ignore how well you weave the speakers and topics and ministry together, and come to the conference they invent. The one where they come to the sessions they want when they want.
6. There will be people blessed, inspired, encouraged, challenged, and transformed who will never let you know. They will never write a thank you note or email. This side of eternity there will always be an element of faith to knowing if your conference had an impact. On the other hand, those who want to complain will definitely let you know. Loudly.
5. You will get an unauthorised percussion section. Generally, snuck in tambourines, maybe a wild rain stick might turn up. If you are super blessed, a shofar. The truth is the less sense of rhythm someone has, the more likely they are to unofficially join your band!
4. Some people will come who do not go to local church, they will be the loudest and most needy people in your conference. They will hog and monopolise the time of your guest speakers and try and drain the conference as much as possible. They will have a bag full of any free product but buy nothing. They will rave about the conference. Within two weeks it will be like the conference never happened to them, and you will be to blame (somehow). If you suggest local church to them they will call you a legalist.
3. Some people will be there looking for a handout – either spiritual or physical. They will use guilt to try and get you to pay for their petrol, their hotel room, product. The more blatant will simply just ask for cash. Or they will want special prayer and time with the guest speaker they perceive as most “anointed” because they have problems only that speaker can solve. They will not be in all the sessions, will not have a notepad, and will not ever be serving. They will try and invade the guest speaker’s privacy, even wait until they are in the toilet. You can spot these people as they will stand far far too close to the speaker, and are far more interested in a private word than listening to their spoken public words. It’s all about them having a special mystique about them.
2. Some people want to get close to one of the guest speakers, and because you are the wrapping paper so to speak of the conference, they will just naturally resent you. Some will resent you for spending time with the speakers, others for sharing a message at your own conference because they only want to hear their hero, others because any rules or structure are set by you and these people hate rules and structure. They forget the speaker would never even be in their city or nation without you, and don’t ever expect a thank you from them for the hours, days and weeks of work you have done for this conference to happen.
1. All of the above people need love, care, compassion and kindness. You need firm fences, no doubt, but be sweet, some of these people are confused, lost, sheep without a shepherd and they are part of the reason you are having the conference. Love the lady with the tambourine, love the speaker’s stalker, love the difficult guy who asks why you are speaking at your own conference when there are “anointed” people around, and love the people who put £1 in a conference that cost £40 or £50 a head. Love them all. Be patient, kind, sweet – a good sower sows seed on every kind of ground and expects some sort of return.