We have often been told that attending our annual conference is a “life-changing event.” Sounds like an extreme claim, doesn’t it? Yet our experience has shown that this is a common response from our conference attendees, and we’d like to share our top three reasons why you are likely to feel the same way when you attend:
1. Many attendees have never before seen – in one place, at one time – so many people who also struggle with infertility.
Last year, attendees began to arrive at the conference center, at first in trickles and then in hordes. They all gathered in the ballroom to hear the keynote address – all 200+ strong. Dispersing to the various meeting rooms, they passed each other in the hall and met in smaller groups for each workshop. They gathered together again for lunch, chatting in the buffet line and at the lunch tables. In sessions focuses on adoption, infertility treatment, pregnancy loss, donor options (and many more), attendees met others like themselves who were travelers on the same journey – searching for information, for hope, and for a satisfying resolution to infertility. Where else could you find such strength in numbers?
2. Many attendees are deeply touched, or usefully informed, by one (or more) of the presenters.
With over 40 workshops and presenters including reproductive endocrinologists, embryologists, urologists, social workers, lawyers, nurses, attorneys, psychologists, complementary medicine practitioners, and of course, your peers – all experts in the variety of family building options – we know that at least one of them will make a lasting impression on you. Some presenters will offer factual information, with slides or overheads, which summarize years of practice in their field – compressed into a one-and-a-half hour session! Others will focus on the options for making new dreams of building your family and will touch your heart. Whatever the focus of the workshop, all the presenters share a compassionate approach and deep commitment to helping individuals and couples create a family. Be prepared to take lots of notes and ask all your questions, and at least one “gem” will certainly come your way.
3. Many attendees are moved by conversations with or hearing from other attendees or parent panelists.
At previous conferences, we’ve seen couples – who’ve never met before – were deeply engaged in conversation at lunch. They were discussing IVF cycles and the ups and downs of the process. The connection they made was meaningful, as they were talking with intense focus, smiling, and even laughing at times! This organization is a big believer in the importance of peer-to-peer support – especially the kind you receive in person. Who else but a peer can truly know, and share, the pains and struggles of your experience? We affirm that sharing with peers can bring deep relief and a sense of being truly understood, at last.
Whatever brings you to our conference, we believe you will come away from the experience and say of at least one of these observations: “Yes, that happened to me!” In fact, that’s what has happened to many of us who are now staff members and volunteers with RESOLVE New England. That is our hope, and our aim, in putting on this conference for you. We want you to leave with new ideas, new insight, and new hope about options and choices.
We believe you will not be alone in finding our 20th Annual Conference a “life-changing experience.”
We hope you’ll join us on Saturday, November 2nd from 8am-5pm in Marlborough, Mass for our 2013 Fertility Treatment, Donor Choices, and Adoption Conference. Online registration is still available: register today to secure your spot at the largest consumer infertility & adoption conference of its kind in the United States!