In April, I attended the Leather Leadership Conference where I gave a presentation on how to run a small conference or seminar. I have a penchant for such events. I run a small leadership seminar twice a year for the U.S.Grand Lodge, so I have some experience with them. The thing about these types of events is that they should model the best of that particular community or system.
This one did not even come close to meeting my minimum standards, but I saw a good class or two and enjoyed hanging with my friends, so it wasn’t a total loss, but it was an embarrassment from the opening ceremonies to the end when I skipped out early to head to the OC for Mass.
It began with a video countdown to the event in question, I assume showcasing the Leather Community in the area hosting us (Los Angeles), where I saw five minutes of photos making it apparent that women have no place or standing in the LA leather scene. This at an event where almost half of the attendees, volunteers, and speakers were female.
This was followed by a jaded, vindictive, old leather man ruining his standing as an elder in the community, in my estimation, by bashing the National Board for doing their jobs to the frustration of the local planning committee. What was really sad about this was that I think he had some really good points about educating the community at large via the internet and making the classes onsite worth the price of admission, but who could hear it through all his vitriol.
It was also too bad the local planners were too busy blowing smoke up his bottom and complaining about how the nationals treated them to make sure the event was run on schedule, that the speakers had the info they needed, that all the speakers had something worthwhile to offer the audience besides an overview of their self-perceived awesomeness.
We run ours with precision, each class endlessly refined to transmit the most useful knowledge in the least amount of time necessary, so we can fit in yet another great topic. We bring together the best of our speakers and our present and future leaders to share, we review the details of each topic to make sure no priceless information is skipped and the latest in policy or group behavioral trends are discussed. We allow discussion. Every attendee is an active participant in a great learning experience.
This is what LLC could and should be. I gave the national board my card, I hope they call.
On a positive note, members of the planning committees for the next two LLCs attended my seminar and they are serious people, dedicated to making the most of their event. I have great hope for the next two, and will definitely be there if I can be.