Looking for a conference to attend? I'll be heading to Catalyst West Coast, which is conveniently timed to occur a couple of weeks after Easter (April 21-23) in Irvine, CA, which is about an hour south of L.A. Tomorrow, Feb 18, marks the "Super Early Bird" deadline registration fee of $249.
The main Catalyst conference takes place each October in Atlanta. It just finished its 10th year, and draws in excess of 12,000 people. Started by Andy Stanley and his North Point Community Church, Catalyst targets younger church leaders (mostly 20-somethings). Last year marked the first year of its West Coast version, and I enjoyed it very much. Conducted as all-plenary sessions (no breakouts), each day is a pretty intense succession of speakers. The setting at Mariners Church in Irvine is very comfortable (and lunch was provided by Chik-Fil-A!)
This year's lineup features Andy Stanley (always), plus such speakers as Don Miller (author of Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality), and Erwin McManus. I'm looking forward to hearing Mark Driscoll, even if I expect to disagree with him a lot. Catalyst always has at least one interesting "secular" speaker. Last year it was Guy Kawasaki (venture capitalist and key player in the development of the Macintosh) at the West Coast conference and Malcolm Gladwell (author of The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference) at the Atlanta conference. This year's "secular" speaker is Charlene Li, author of Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, a book that sounds really interesting (and I'm sure I'll read it before heading out there). Let me know if you're going!