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This year’s conference preparation is filled with memories of past F.E.A.S.T. events!

Planning F.E.A.S.T. events is a maelstrom of details and memories. We pack a lot into our live events partly because we want to connect the community in real time but also because we record everything to be available from then on. This month we’re preparing the 2020 FEAST of Knowledge.

We gather bunches of presenters (this year I think we’re at at least 30), we try to touch on as many topics as possible (13 or so this year) and within those topics we mean to touch on the full spectrum of eating disorder types as well as ages and family types.

As I work through the planning I’m reminded of our first event in Alexandria, of Nottingham and Melbourne and London and Chicago and New York. I’m reminded of all the times our community members have gathered at other conferences, like NEDA and Beat and always at AED’s ICED (Salzburg, San Diego, Austin, Prague, Miami…). The in-person times are always wonderful, but we are never all together. This year, as we shift to a virtual event, we will be together, apart, and make the very best of what our community DOES: we connect, we empower, we learn, and we laugh.

It’s never enough. Nothing could be: parents are out there caregiving in the emotional equivalent of a cyclone and need all the information, tools, and inspiration they can get.

This time, because we are not in the same room except virtually, the levers and buttons of pulling it all off will be partially in my laundry room and shared with other technical and volunteer talent all over the world. All our presenters will be in their own homes, and even panels of speakers will not necessarily have met.

Because we are operating in Sydney time, I am incrementally shifting my day/night schedule to move it 14 hours ahead so that I can bright and shiny for 13 hours + of broadcasting. You won’t actually see me except a bit, but I’ll be there! Not only are many of us time-shifting to Sydney time, we’re also splitting THEIR day up so that the morning session accommodates our community in the Americas and our evening in Sydney session is tolerable timing for our Europeans. In this age of lockdown time is losing it’s meaning a bit but in June it is going to be a bit absurd in the Lyster-Mensh household.

My husband has recently upgraded our webinar equipment: a new webcam and an actual green screen, for example. And I tried out a new virtual background of Sydney that I want to keep forever!

See you on June 13/14 for the 2020 FEAST of Knowledge. If you can’t follow along in real time, your ticket buys you access to the whole feed whenever you want to catch up or re-watch afterward.

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