EC - What a Journey!
What do you get, when you gather almost 2000 persons around Europe to Tampere for four days? This is what I went to find out in Europe Conference and I surely can say that I was not disappointed! My JCI career is still fairly short, as I've been a provisional member for only eight months. My mind was open when I went to Tampere, I looked for new experiences and this is what my EC was!
Tampere showed us the best sides of it! During four days we had the chance to enjoy of amazing speeches, training and evening shows. I can say that no one was disappointed after EC.
Before the conference, we could easily plan our schedule during EC on the website. I looked for the awesome key note speakers! I listened to three speakers (unfortunately I didn't have the time to listen all of the speakers). First Aki Hintsa trained us how to have a better quality of life. Then I went to be amazed by Bruce Oreck. He is a person, who can take the stage. He captures the attention of all the people in the room. When mr. Oreck doesn't speak, you try not to breath to avoid making any sounds. He told us to break the rules, to step outside of our comfort zone. This is what I think, JCI is: breaking your own limits. Third speaker was one of the key persons at Rovio, Peter Vesterbacka. He told us to stand out. He taught that sometimes the most simple thought, is the best thought.
During EC it was possible to participate in various official JC trainings. These trainings were all full in advance, but it was possible to register also just before the training. I was lucky to get a place in a training of Project Management. This training is really useful in JC life and also your personal career. I will take everything I learned to my chamber when participating on the next project. During the training we planned a new project. Our project was how to make a stand out CV.
If the days were full of speakers and trainings, it was also possible to participate in different non-official programs. There were numerous activities you could choose from. For example a sauna on a bus, trips to Turku and Hämeenlinna and visits to different enterprises. I participated Home Hospitality Cocktails, where me and 15 other participants (from Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Finland) were taken by a bus to a summer cottage. There we enjoyed a typical Finnish summer day. None of us could imagine beforehand what an awesome afternoon we would have. After having a sauna and swimming on a lake we enjoyed a traditional summer dinner. Thanks again family Oksanen!
When talking about EC, you can't forget parties! On Thursday we partied like it was the 80s on a Canada-Latvia night. On Friday it was time for some cheese on a Swiss night. The parties were outstanding! I'm sure everybody made some unforgettable memories, such as connecting, networking, karaoke in a full pub or going to sauna at 4 AM.
On Saturday we had an amazing Gala night! Tampere surely showed us how to have a night to remember! Food was excellent, not to forget the shows! We had the possibility to enjoy a show from Miss Divet, an orchestra and of course, one of the best singers in the world, Pandora. During that night, we danced until our feet could no longer walk and sung until we couldn't make a sound.
So, why go to an EC? Let's ask it this way, why shouldn't you go to EC! EC is an experince you cannot describe. Everything you try to tell, seems completely flat. You can watch the pictures and see some of the ambience, but you can't get the feeling. So next year, let's all go to Basel and see how Switzerland organizes the EC. That journey is definitely worth of every cent.