Group of people toasting at a celebration

Conference Musings (Almost) Post-Pandemic

Chelle Honiker

Let me introduce the non-Texan readers to a new word.


It’s what we say when we’re trying to describe the indescribable.

It’s just days after the 20Booksto50k® conference in Las Vegas, and the post-con letdown is real. In the (almost) post-Covid world it felt surreal to see friends and colleagues from around the world that I’ve only seen on Zoom or heard on Clubhouse for the past eighteen months.

As a conference, It was incredible. The energy and the enthusiasm were palpable, and, even behind masks, the smiles were infectious, no pun intended. Nothing compares to in-person events and the connections that are forged. With just over 1300 attendees, it almost felt like an event from the “before times” with the addition of masks and a little more care taken with distance and touching.

It was also overwhelming. After months of self-isolation, everything seemed overly loud and bright to the point that at times I needed to excuse myself to find a quiet corner for a few moments. As a confirmed ambivert (a balanced personality between introverted and extroverted) I would take mornings to psyche myself up for interacting with people for many hours, and was drained by bedtime. Then I’d get up and do it again the next day.

At the end of the week, I flew from Las Vegas to far Northern California to hole up with my family, decompress, and sleep. It felt great to be back and I wouldn’t have missed a minute.

But it’s going to take getting used to as we shift from pandemic to endemic. Covid, and its myriad societal changes, is part of our lives for the foreseeable future. Not ideal, but it is what it is, nearly two years after the world shut down.


Here’s to our new normal, and the hope that we can all see each other again soon.

To your success,