Reflections on Our 2022 Annual Conference: By the Numbers
Now that a month has passed since our annual conference in Seattle this past April, my colleagues and I have a renewed gratitude for just what it means to host these events. As you likely know, this past April saw us reunited with our members and the employee ownership community in Seattle for our first in-person conference since April 2019.
Aside from the initial shock of going from relative isolation in the last two years to being surrounded by people, the conference was a welcome return to the atmosphere we've come to expect from our events—one part family reunion, one part brainstorming session, one part university campus. It was exhilarating to catch up with friends over coffee one minute to sharing ideas at a roundtable lunch the next minute, and to cap it off with some of the foremost experts on employee ownership in the world.
When looking back, I always prefer seeing the actual numbers to get a sense of the full scope of the event. In addition to new perks like a headshot studio and old perks like a massage area, our very first hybrid conference boasted the following numbers:
- Attendees reunited: 1,601 (1,330 onsite, 271 online)
- First-time attendees: 726
- Speakers: 224
- Sponsors: 65
- New professional development sessions: 8
- Gallons of coffee consumed: 270
- Active app users: 1,159
- Notes taken: 3,781
- Slide downloaded: 2.5 million
- Dogs loved: 7 (+1 potential adoption)
Though it's fun to look at the numbers and get a sense for just how the conference went, nothing can replace the sheer joy I and my colleagues felt at being back in a space with the thriving employee ownership community. We appreciate all the attendees, speakers, sponsors, staff, vendors, and well-wishers who helped make it such a success, and we look forward to reuniting again next year in Kansas City (or even sooner at the Fall ESOP Forum in St. Louis this September).
And to if you weren't lucky enough to have attended the 2022 event, here's NCEO founder Corey Rosen's closing address to give you a taste of what you missed.