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When Times Change: Evolving How Community Co-Creates Events
Posted by on 24 August, 2010

Chandler Stephon ArmstrongHave you noticed a lot of changes with the Body Soul & Spirit Expos? If you haven´t, you certainly will over the next 18 months as we begin to introduce new programs, pricing and tools that better serve our communities in changing times.



Introduction

The past year has certainly been a time of shifts and changes for so many … people, organizations, businesses, climates, and economies! Like so many people, we have experienced and witnessed change occurring in the world around us. Even those who have been less than open minded about the talk of a “shift” or “awakening” have had second thoughts as they have seen both our economy and our world shaken up in the recent past!

I admit that outwardly this certainly seems like a challenging time filled with uncertainly, and insecurity that for many creates a great deal of fear and stress! I, however, a constant optimist, see this is a tremendous time for positive growth! Every difficulty - if we just change our perspective – is also an opportunity.

“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.
- Kahlil Gibran

So what can you find to be positive about when you’re having a hard time meeting their payments, dealing with rising costs of food and gas? How can deal with these real life strains?

While on an individual level these challenges can be a tremendous impetus or opening to awakening, when it happens on a much larger scale – in our communities, cities, countries and event the world – it is a pointer for the need for change on a more collective level.

Just like a major trauma, crisis or distress can bring about some of the most profound transformations in an individual´s life – so does a collective crisis of consciousness!

As more and more people stop clinging to the old ways - which aren´t working anyways - we all will start inventing, cognizing and creating new ways.

“I can´t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” -Jimmy Dean

Now before we go too far let me clarify a couple of things! I don´t propose that I have a "the answer" or believe that there is "one". As the great teacher Krishnamurti said throughout his life “Truth is a Pathless Land”, and I believe finding the “truth” or “answers” will only come as each of us learns to listen first to the heart and trust where this journey takes us.

I do, however, have some unique insights; now having devoted the majority of my life to creating events that bring our community together.

I’ve been talking to everyone who would listen in the past few years about how new way of creating amazing events was emerging... with horizons and possibilities beyond anything that has been created in the past! Sound like a lot of hype? I don’t think so!

The stage has been set, and all the pieces have been ready to fall into place… the only thing that has been missing until this point is the impetus that has been brought about by the current state of affairs in our world.

I believe we are FINALLY READY and the fear of doing things in a different way, or a fear of change has finally meet its match – the growing necessity to finally BREAK FREE!

Imagining a New Way?

What is an event? An Idea?  A gathering?  However you define it?  It’s temporary, impermanent!  We gather together as a community, share what we have with those whom are looking for what we “offer”, then it’s OVER!   Gone, never to be again!

The event itself, in my option, is an illusion!  It’s the connections we make, relationships that are formed where the true value is seen in the impact we’ve had on changing people’s lives – this is what is real and lasting!  

This has been borne out over the past fifteen years by the continuous and countless heart-warming calls, emails and letters from people that attend our events! 

Nothing makes us feel better, or provide more joy and fuel to continue in this work then when we hear from people whose lives have been profoundly and positively affected through their interaction with something or someone that they discovered at our event!

Despite this, so much seriousness, anticipation and expectations are brought into our events!   When did this happen? The purpose of these events is to create more joy, celebration, bring our community together in mutual support! 

Times are changing!  People have had enough “structure” imposed on them!  In today’s world there is so much happening, so quickly, it’s becoming virtually impossible to “organize” events in the same way!  Something NEW is needed!

"The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic. “ — Peter Drucker
 

A New Paradigm

The dictionary defines paradigm as “A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them.” Or “a philosophical or theoretical framework”

I pointed out years ago in that in organizing events for our community that our intention was to be “facilitators” and not “show organizers” or “show producers” - and in order to accomplish this – a paradigm shift was needed! I’ve since learned that a paradigm shift take much more than a declaration - it must also be meet with a substantial collective consensus to occur!

The “organizer” perception results in the perpetuation of the concept that those who were participating were “buying a product”. Similarity the assumed role of “producer” creates the impression that we are producing something to entertain people, an inviting the public as if “taking in” the show where the exhibitors and presenters are seen as one of the “acts” of a larger production.

Why does this perception persist? Why hasn’t the collective consensus needed to shift how we create our event occurred? Simply put it makes it is much easier to put the onus of success on someone that is “above” or “responsible” rather than accepting individual responsibility and participating in the co-creation of a positive outcome for all.

It’s time to drop these old notions and replace the old paradigm of the “organizer” a perception that is part of the “hierarchical model”, and replace it with a new paradigm of the “facilitator” or one who allow, and provides the “space” in which an event can take place!

A New Way – Creating a New Foundation for Working Together!

Things have changes; in the past it was possible to “organize” events! One simply sent out a request for registrations, lecture, workshop and other material many months in advance, and it those who wished to participate would comply! NOT ANYMORE!

At one time I use to joking tells people, “If all of you could just move beyond our individual subtle fears, mistrust and inhibitions, and simply decide if you wanted to join us or not… these events would only take a month to organize, not six”. Ironically I now see this is potentially what we need to create!

Rather than resist change, I believe we need to accept and move with it! We need a new way of working together that engenders trust, security and benefit for the individual, yet also create a culture of mutual support that builds the whole!

What is needed is the tools as well as the programs by which we can ALL collaborate and create all various aspects of our event in each person’s OWN TIME and in REAL TIME! A system the “facilitates” by allow each of those involved to FREELY create THEIR “part” of OUR expo, online community and magazine – while also building our community and supporting the effort of all who are involved!

All for One, and One for All

Imagine being a partner in event, magazine and online community that we ALL benefited and shared in the rewards – financially and otherwise – simply by JOINING! Could this work?

By joining, then simply inviting others to join for FREE, you will earn rewards each time someone you sponsored purchases an e-ticket, books exhibit space, advertises, or uses one of the premium services offered in our online community.

There would NEVER any need to do more than simply join then invite others - as all who sign up will be assigned to an experience representative who can help with all their needs and answer any questions. It´s really that simple!

What I am proposing isn’t new! When we first envisioned the Body Soul & Spirit a decade and a half ago, our concept included three synergistic facets - an (1) event; a (2) magazine; and an (3) online community directory and social network!

After several years we started to explore the introduction of the opportunity to give back to the community that created our events through our (4) Partnership Program - where YOU were financially rewarded for your part in co-create our events, magazine and community!

By provide these four resources our intention was (and still is) to move beyond a once-a-year event, and continue to service our community by providing the tools to share and grow together throughout the year, as well as the programs that allow all who wish to join us in this adventure to co-create as well as share in the rewards.

We believe that the movement from "Marketing" to "Networking" honors the next step in our collective growth. This step will be pivotal in providing a new way of creating an event that creates abundance and growth for ALL!

Getting Started: If Not Now, When?

´Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.´ — St. Francis of Assisi

Any journey starts with a step, and continues one step at time!

We’ve already started, with….

• Re-Budgeting to provide New Lower Prices for all our events in 2011

• The re-launch of our newsletter, see http://www.bodysoulspiritexpo.com/enewsplus/enews.php3?nid=105

• The Renovate our old website, clearing out old records, and preparing for the launch of several new and improved features See http://www.bodysoulspiritexpo.com/enewsplus/enews.php3?nid=104

Don’t look for any great fan fare or a complete transition over night… but rather simply small changes, one at a time, as we enjoy each moment of the journey as it unfolds!

Conclusion

I see a see a bright new world of new hopes and new beginnings as we create the events, tools and means to support and bring our community together to celebrate life and both our individual and collective journeys towards wholeness!

YOUR SUPPORT BY PARTICIPATION, AS EXHIBITORS OR ATTENDING
IS THE MOST VALUABLE WAY YOU CAN HELP US THIS YEAR

As I have concluded so many of letters and emails to you over the years - we are appreciative and grateful. You are a big part of what makes the Body Soul & Spirit Expo possible.

Your support, feedback, and participation are the fuels that feed and propel this wonderful adventure we share together.

Have any feedback, suggestions or advise? Feel you might be part like to be part of this journey? You are more than welcome to contact me.

Chandler Stephon Armstrong
The Body Soul & Spirit Expo
chandler@bodysoulspiritexpo.com
1-877-560-6830


4 Comments   ·   Add comment   ·   read 4694 times



Comments
By Chandler on 31 December, 1969:
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