Salt Lake City. Early Spring. There is a tangible buzz in the air. Clean cut, smiling families have flooded the City Creek Center, buying knee-length shorts and sipping sodas.
It’s General Conference, or GenCon, the hottest global festival held semi-annually, a one-of-a-kind convergence of words and music, where some of Christianity’s brightest minds gather to help foster individual growth.
Known for its disruptive, inspiring messages, GenCon boasts panels featuring experts in every field: lawyers, doctors, educators, even pilots, all gathered to share touching stories and emerging revelations. Speakers will use new media, lists, and sometimes even jokes to help get their messages across, all which they have carefully been preparing for months with the help of God.
Tickets to GenCon, while free, can be hard to come by as they are in such high demand. Many wait in long standby lines, dressed in skirts and suits, sometimes braving intense weather conditions, hoping for a chance to get in.
While other conferences may boast bigger sponsors, GenCon is in fact the original conference. Before Coachella or TED or SXSW, the first GenCon was held in 1830, with just 27 people in attendance.
By the early 1900’s, GenCon’s popularity had grown, drawing people from all over the country.
By now, GenCon has gone totally mainstream, broadcast live from Salt Lake’s Conference Center, which seats an astounding 21,000 people.
A pioneer in technology, GenCon’s proceedings have been broadcast on local television since the early 1950’s, by satellite in 1975, and available via internet as early as 1999.
Year after year, GenCon generates massive amounts of buzz, with speaker’s words being live tweeted into snackable content by a group known as the Twitternacle. Sources tell us that a twitter account called @TheNormons is the premiere source for live tweeting.
The great thing about GenCon is that anyone, anywhere, can participate, and find something personally applicable to their life situation. To participate, simply follow hashtag #LDSConf on twitter, or tune in here.