Even with the self-organizing machine called the Internet, where people within any group can share ideas without the friction of space and time, conferences serve an important purpose.
They bring people together in the same place at the same time, bodies and minds.
Collective effervescence unifies emotions. It occurs when similar people gather to participate in a similar action.
Like a runner’s high, collective effervescence is a participation high.
Something changes inside of us when we experience collective effervescence. It becomes embodied participation. It’s the difference between watching a live concert on your couch at home and attending a music festival with friends.
You are not the same person; participation changes you.
For the better.
Breakthroughs happen. You see things differently. Inspiration guides your quest.
Multiply that times a hundred. A thousand. Or more.
Collective effervescence builds momentum and allows change to occur.
This is what happens at SXSW.
It is the reason you should be there.
Side note: After writing this article, I found another good one connecting conventions and collective effervescence. Read it here.