Rita Young Allen, MA, MS

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The Conference Connection



Allen Hall is available for Conferences, Trainings and Workshops (hosting seating from 50 to 75, according to seating arrangement), including Business, Educational, Social, Wellness, Religious, and Music. We aim to make it a smooth and easy process for professionals, lay people and students to attend and walk away with exponentially more understanding than with which they came.

Included in this rental is a Conference Call Line available and a large-screen Smart TV for Video and Power Point.

Allen Hall Rental Fee is $500 per day. 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. No Clean up. We provide Coffee, Tea and Water. We do not provide any Food. Many extras are available for events (for an extra fee), including Recording, Director, Sound Tech, and much more.


3 Goals for Making the Most of a Conference
By Jeff Goins

When I first starting writing, I heard people talk about conferences. They said go to this one or that one. It was a good way to connect; But what was I, a shy guy, going to do at a conference?
I'd also heard the case against conferences. The crowds. The unnecessary expenses. The inspirational but ultimately un-actionable content you tend to get. I just wasn't sure the investment was going to be worth the cost, for me.
But then, on a whim, I forked up the cash for a conference and was blown away at the content and the experience. That was the place where I first started calling myself a writer. I was hooked.
And so it began.
Shortly after that, I found a way to volunteer my services as a writer to attend another conference. I didn't expect much from the conference but wanted to get to know the event planner better.
After four life-changing days, I began to drop some of my skepticism about conferences. And over the course of about six months, I began building a network, organically and somewhat accidentally, of writers and bloggers and people whom I would soon call Friend.
Within a year, I had formed some of the most important relationships in my career; many of which came from conferences, meetups, and other kinds of events. In fact, it was at a conference in Chicago, eating panini sandwiches, that I met an editor who published my first two books.
In the creative world, an important step to success is forming the right relationships. In fact, I think this is true in many different industries, but it seems to be especially true for creative ones. Who you know matters. And a great way to meet more people is to attend conferences.
You can't do this alone.
The journey toward pursuing your dream is not a solitary one. You will need help. You will need guides and mentors and peers to help you find your way.
This is the secret to success few people like to admit: no successful person ever succeeds alone. Just as Hemingway went to Paris in the 1920s to be around some of the most interesting literary minds of the century, you, too, will have to find a tribe you can learn from.
But if you're not careful, you can totally waste your time and money going to the wrong conferences. You can just go from inspiration to inspiration without any practical application. So it's important that you know how to make the most of your investment, if you decide to register for a conference.
Here are a few goals you need to have when attending a conference if you don't want the experience to be a waste. These are lessons I learned from attending conferences and from hosting one myself, and I hope they help you.

Goal #1: Learn
You need to go to a conference that has the kind of speakers you respect and want to learn from.
I can't learn from someone who hasn't done what I want to do. It's a personal preference but an important one. I must be learning from people who have done the thing that I want to do. Otherwise, I feel like it's a waste.
Also, a secondary but significant goal for me at a conference is to meet one of the speakers. This is easier than it sounds, actually. It doesn't have to be some A-list presenter, but the point of an event is connection with people, and you'd be surprised at how accessible some celebrities are.
I first learned this when I attended World Domination Summit and asked, out of the blue, if Chris Brogan would be willing to meet me in person. He replied to my email, saying he'd love to. We played it by ear and ended up skipping a session, chatting in the lobby.
By the end of our conversation, there was a small crowd surrounding Chris, peppering him with questions. I didn't mind. Here was a blogger whom I respected and had only interacted with online, and we had just spent an hour together, chatting. We've been friends ever since. I don't remember the session that I missed, but I know I was able to watch it online later.

How to do this:
Reach out to the person ahead of time to book a meeting at the conference. Once the event starts, everyone will want to meet these people. So just email them a week in advance, asking for 15 minutes of their time.
Offer to buy them a meal or coffee. Something. Demonstrate that you're not a taker, but a giver.
Do this whenever it is convenient for them. Early in the morning, late at night whatever. When Chris emailed me back and asked if I could meet him in the lobby in five minutes, I immediately grabbed my stuff and left the auditorium.
Lesson: You can meet influential and important people at conferences if you are willing to make sacrifices.

Goal #2: Connect
Second, you need to go to conference that has the kind of attendees you want to be around.
Who, exactly, is that?
Well, it should be people like you. When I hosted the Tribe Conference last year, I was amazed at how many people said that was their first conference ever. What made them want to attend it? They didn't know there was a place where they could go and people others just like them.
I've had this same experience as an attendee at several events. There's something powerful when you end up some place and instantly feel like you belong.
For me, I don't want to go some place where I can't tolerate the people attending the event, no matter how good the content is. This is why I don't attend many business and marketing events. I just don't love being around that crowd.
Perhaps the most memorable part of an event is the conversations you'll have in the hotel lobby or outside the bathroom in between sessions. It's the late-night hangouts or random lunches with strangers that will stick with you. So you want to get some place where people "get" you.
What does this matter? Because if you go to enough conferences with jerks and swindlers and people who represent values you don't want, well, some of that just might rub off on you. You are the company you keep, so choose to hang with the kind of people who will make you better.
My first conference, I sheepishly attended a meetup for bloggers and was too nervous to introduce myself to anyone. Nonetheless, another blogger named Kyle whom I knew from Twitter came up to me and said hi. We stayed in touch and became close friends after that (we just had lunch the other day).
Later, he told me that he could tell I was nervous and that's why he approached me in the first place. This is what you want; people who get you, who will make you feel comfortable, even when you are unsure of yourself.
What I learned from Kyle is that we can all do this. So the very next conference I attended, I found someone who looked nervous and was clinging to the wall, and introduced myself. Worked like a charm.

How to do this:
Go to the event (this is important but something we shy people tend to overlook; yes, you actually have to show up).
Find someone less confident than you; because when you're shy and unsure of yourself it's hard to approach someone who is larger than life. So just find someone who is looking around the room, lost.
Say hi to this person and ask them this question: "What are you hoping to get out of this conference?"
If you need more help with this, check out this old interview I did to on how even as a shy guy I am able to meet new people at conferences.
Lesson: You can make lasting relationships at conferences if you go where people like you already are and meet people who are just as nervous as you are.

Goal #3: Apply
Third, you need to go to a conference with the intention of not just learning but of applying what you will learn. This means that the conference must have the kind of information that will make you better.
In other words, the content has to be more than just basic stuff you can Google. It needs to include exclusive teaching or access to the speaker or a brand-new application of it.
When I started attending a few conferences a year, I realized that what I wanted was not just a good experience but a transformation. To take home with me the things that I had learned and be able to apply to my own context.
So I started making a habit of putting into practice the things I learned at the conference before I even left the event. Forget notebooks filled with information you'll never look at again; this is the best way to get your money's worth out of a conference. Just do it before you leave.
I learned this from my friend Danny Iny when I saw him pull out his computer in the middle of a speaking session at a conference and send an email to his assistant.
"What are you doing?" I asked.
"I'm telling my team to start doing this right now."
He then proceeded to tell me his rule for attending conferences: find three actionable nuggets and put them into practice before the event is over. Once you've done that, you can enjoy the rest of the event, guilt-free.
I saw him do this several times throughout the conference and decided to make that same practice a habit.

How to do this:
Decide ahead of time what you want to get out of the experience.
When you hear something that resonates with you, step aside to put the thing into practice. That could mean taking a break or simply emailing yourself a to-do item.
Set a quota (e.g. I'm going to immediately apply three things I learn at this conference) and give yourself permission to stop once you're done.
Lesson: Going to a conference won't be a life-changing experience unless you are willing to be changed by the experience itself.

Why I created my own conference
There are a lot of conferences and events out there. A lot of paid mastermind groups and summits and experiences to keep you busy for a long, long time. Honestly, it's easy to pick the wrong thing. It's easy to get swept up by where everyone else is going and what everyone else is doing.
But that shouldn't concern you. You need to go where you know you can learn from people you trust, connect with people you respect, and apply information you need.....

“Rita has demonstrated an entrepreneural spirit with an emphasis on excellence, endurance, and enthusiasm resulting in successful endeavors. A positive attitude blended with a steady faith positions Rita for many more accomplishments which will encourage others with endearing leadership. Gary Hodges” September 10, 2009, Gary Hodges,  TV Station GM/Mid America Cable Sales and Relations Rep , Trinity Broadcasting Network

Rita Young Allen Teaching Credentials.....

Master of Science in Management Leadership (Healthcare Administration) from Troy University, Troy, Alabama
Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (Counseling, Emergency Management, Public Administration) from Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Alabama
Executive Director & Marketing Director for two National Healthcare Corporations
Bachelor of Science in Sociology, Minor in Music Education from Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Alabama
Associate of Arts in Vocal Performance, Wallace State College, Hanceville, Alabama
Music School Owner for 24 years
Performed at Carnegie Hall with Private Choirs, 6 years
Church Music Minister, 30+ years
Published Author, "The Sheaf Dreamer"
Columnist, 20+ years
President of Alabama National Speakers Association, 3 years
Public & Private School Teacher, 10 years (Choral & Drama)
Pageantry, Top Ten, National Competition of Ms. Senior America & Alabama State Director

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Rita Young Allen, Keynote Speaking Professional / Concert Soloist / Published Author / Bible Teacher / Emcee

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (Concentration in Counseling) from Jacksonville State University.

Master of Science in Management Leadership (Healthcare Administration) from Troy University.

Bachelor of Science in Sociology, Minor in Music, from Jacksonville State University.
Associate of Science in Music Education, Vocal Performance
Snead State College, Gadsden State College, and Wallace State College.


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