My “Last Hurrah”

Rick Altman

Hosting the Presentation Summit has been the greatest joy of my professional life, and it is not a close call. Across 21 seasons, going on 22, it has been my privilege to have a front-row seat to the spawning of one of the most extraordinary communities: those who seek to more effectively communicate in public.

Therefore, I raised more than a few eyebrows in the fall of 2023 when I proclaimed that 2024 would be my last in-person conference. And amid a storm of inquiries, I immediately had to clarify my remarks.

Let me do that again here, starting with the reiteration of how much I enjoy hosting the Summit. The vibe, the buzz, the friendships, the feeling of being part of an annual gathering that a few hundred people treat as a sacred privilege. All of it.

And I would love to continue doing it.

But it is time for another organization to take over the conference’s day-to-day operations. It is time for new people to bring new ideas, a fresher perspective, and yes, perhaps a younger vibe. And if that group wanted me to continue on as host, so much the better.

We are already in conversation with a few different organizations who might be candidates to pick up the reins, and we expect to hear from more. But at the moment, it is anybody’s guess how this will all play out. And if this truly is the final year of people traveling to a hotel and convening for four days, we did it for many, many years longer than most learning events get to.

I am choosing my words carefully here: stepping away from the in-person conference, the last year of people traveling to a hotel. The virtual conference has developed a robust life of its own, there is so much to learn, so many new technologies to explore, and I did not expect to be so captivated by it. I would consider it a privilege to continue planning events for Zoomies.

To summarize: it is time for a new group to take over planning the Presentation Summit. If that new group wants me to continue as host, that would be an ideal scenario. Time will tell.

Registration is open for the 2024 conference and the Zachari Dunes Resort is accepting reservations.

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