What Members are Saying about the 'Spark Your Life' Convention

By , SparkPeople Blogger
If you haven't heard by now, SparkPeople's next "Spark Your Life" Convention will take place in Cincinnati—SparkPeople's hometown—this September. Of course, everyone here at SparkPeople is excited about this fun day of fitness, motivational stories, inspiring weight-loss accounts and in-person meet-ups with your fellow members and coaches. Personally, I had a BLAST meeting members and leading workouts at the first convention and I can't wait for the next one! But don’t take MY word for it.

When we surveyed the attendees of our first Convention in San Diego (this past May), 100% of them said they would attend another SparkPeople Convention. In fact, many are traveling across the country to attend the next one, too!

If we haven't yet convinced you that Cincinnati's "Spark Your Life" Convention is worth the time, travel or cost (just $49.99 if you register before August 31), then take our members' words for it. Here's what convention attendees had to say about their experience.

"I am SO glad the first convention was near my home. Being disabled (and overweight), it's difficult for me to travel. With the convention just two hours' drive away, I HAD to go! The overriding reason I attended the first Convention is that I wanted to be a part of something special – SparkPeople – at the beginning; I know SP will become an important resource for people all over the world someday. I didn't know exactly what to expect, but it was much more than I imagined. So many aspects stick with me and encourage me to this day: 1) Meeting Chris and the Spark staff, seeing their dedication and enthusiasm in person, and being able to hear their personal stories. 2) San Diego may have been the first Spark Convention, but our Spark staff organized and ran it as if they've been at it for years! 3) There was an excellent variety of activities and topics, good written materials, a nice tote bag full of goodies, and a very pleasant and efficient set-up (the Spark Store, a SparkPoints Wheel, and the Huddle Banner were nice touches). 4) Meeting the other Sparkers who attended showed me I’m not alone. No, it’s more than that. I knew from Sparking online that I wasn’t alone. It showed me I’m NORMAL. There are a lot of people out there from all over who are just like me. 5) Finally, every single person there was SO incredibly friendly, SparkPeople staffers AND attendees!" – Elizabeth (MIMAWELIZABETH)

"Just when you think SparkPeople cannot motivate more than it already does, attending this convention just takes you to a whole other level. You meet so many great SparkPeople and SparkStaff (who are also SparkPeople!)! They are real people who are more motivational and inspiring, because you meet them and they are genuine! Think you have a lot of SparkFriends now? Attend the conference and you will be surprised how much your friends list grows! So motivating to have actually met the people you interact with everyday online! So many great ideas and thoughts exchanged and friendships formed. Is SparkPeople real in your life? Come spread the SPARK with SparkPeople and see how real it is to everyone. I attended the first convention and now am attending the second one. Hope to see you there!" – Greg (KSIGMA1222), pictured here with Coach Nicole, traveled from Kansas to San Diego for May's Convention. Read his blog post about May's convention here.

"I attended the first convention with my mom, and the most amazing thing was seeing her Sparked before my very eyes. She was already a member, but until the convention, she never really got what it was all about. I have seen such a change in her determination since the convention. She finally realized that there is no difference between her and the people on the stage telling their success stories. My mom and I are hoping to attend the Cincinnati convention as well. And like others have said, I found that the online connection I had with other members is real. Spark members and staff are real, sincere, genuine, authentic people. What you see is what you get. It was like a family reunion! My favorite part about the convention was hearing Chris's message that the Spark is about more than weight loss. It's not over. It has just begun. Weight loss is just the beginning." – Michelle (OUTOFCONTROL) also blogged about her experience at May's convention.

"I would LOVE to attend the convention in Cincinnati! I got so much out of the first conference in San Diego and I'm sure this one will be just as good or better. I met some really great people! This is a good way to meet people who are going through the same struggles as you are, and it is well worth the price of travel and hotel. It is a good thing to get out of your own environment and meet people from different parts of the country and world to get a different perspective on fitness, weight loss and life. My trip across the country was well worth it!" – Cindy (CAOMAGIC) traveled to San Diego from Connecticut to attend the first Convention.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at the 'Spark Your Life' Convention in San Diego. I travelled across the country, and it was worth it. Listening to all the SparkExperts share their stories and their wisdom, and especially listening to Chris tell about the birth of SparkPeople and its growth leading up to his new book, was an incredible opportunity. The store was amazing as well, and so nice to be able to be hands on with the SparkPeople merchandise! But I have to say, the BEST part of attending the convention was sharing a face-to-face connection with new and old SparkFriends and spending time with people who are 100% on the same page with me. We may all be at different stages of the journey, but being able to be with someone who has the same goals and aspirations of living a healthy lifestyle and is working toward those goals in the same way was truly motivating and I would even say sustaining. Oh, and the goodie bag was awesome!" –Dana (ZIRCADIA), who lives in Alabama, also wrote a convention recap blog post about her experience at San Diego's convention.

"Participating in the first ever SparkPeople Convention was one of the highlights of my year! Connecting with people who are sharing the same journey is priceless! The convention affected my life in such a positive way. I bonded with some wonderful people, met the spectacular SparkPeople staff/experts, and got a HUGE dose of motivation. What more can a person ask for? " – Leah (SPRING4FAL) wrote a blog post about the Convention, too.

"I expected a good time and to hear some great stories at the 'Spark Your Life' Convention in San Diego, but I walked away with SO MUCH MORE than that! I walked away knowing that my online friendships were REAL friendships. I walked away with a renewed sense that I can do ANYTHING I set my mind to AND that I can aid others to accomplish their goals along the way. I left the Spark Convention with a renewed sense of self, and a new belief that I am and will always be capable of accomplishing and living a life I never dreamt of." – Robin (KASHMIR)

The next Spark Your Life convention is scheduled for September 26, 2009, in Cincinnati. If you think you can't afford to make it, think again! These members agree that you can't afford to miss it! To learn more about the daylong event and to register, click here. Hurry! Register by August 1, and you'll be entered to win a one-on-one consulting session the day of the event with me, Coach Nicole! And if you register before August 31, you'll save $30. After that day, the Convention rate goes up, so reserve your spot for this memorable event today! I hope to see you there!

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How about Boston or Portland Maine or Burlington Vermont. Somewhere in Northern New England! Report
I'm still working on my husband. This is the same weekend as our anniversary and I know he does not want to come, though he supports everything I am doing and he is also making a lot of positive changes, including starting a basic yoga program. I think if I find another sparker close by who can go I might be able to go and share the ride. Report
I can't wait for the convention; I just need to register. Report
15 hours away---really want to go---but just can't drive that far by myself---I don't fly plus the cost of that----my one complaint is that it is only for one day---even if it was Friday night and Saturday, it would be more worth the effort. I am hoping to go. But the one thing I think would make this better is for a couple of days so that the travel would be more worthwhile. Report
Please come to the Washington, DC metropolitan area!!!!! (Maryland/Virginia even DE or WVA or PA are close by) Report
Wish they would come closer to where I live too(Syracuse NY). YUP the traveling cost & hotel adds up!! Report
We registered today! You're right! San Diego would have been impossible due to distance, but there is no reason not to go when it is in your backyard. Report
This Spark Convention is much closer to me. I could drive there. I'll have to check into it. Report
I'll be there! Report
The last one was MUCH closer to me, but I still couldn't afford to travel there. It's just not feasible in this economy for me to be traveling all over the place!

But I am so glad people are getting together and making these amazing memories! It just goes to show how life-changing Sparkpeople is! Report
Cincinnati is closer for me but I don't have the money to drive and stay there. Maybe another time. Report
The San Diego Spark Your Life convention was SOOOOO MOTIVATING! Even rereading everyone's quotes here made me want to go to the Cincinati one!!!! It's so, so, so, so much fun to meet everyone and really see Spark come to life! Plus, I am now friends with so many more Sparker's I met while at the convention! If you're on the fence about going, bite the bullet--you will NOT regret it! Report
wish u guys could come to the Virgin Islands or at least somewhat close (like Puerto Rico or Florida). Report
Oh, I wish it was like in the Houston Area or clouser but too far for me to go...=( We should have one in every STATE in the US. Report
I'm debating whether I can afford the flight and the time off from work. I'm sorely tempted!!! But if you have one anywhere near Boston, I'M THERE IN A HEARTBEAT! Report
Huh! From all these comments, it sounds like we need a bunch of mini-conventions! Is there anyway SP can give us a list of the local convention/rallies so we can pick one near us? Report
Come to Chicago!!!! It would be a blast!....and so much closer to home! Report
No excuses from me cuz I AM GOING TO BE THERE! I am so flippin excited I cannot wait to meet many many fellow Sparkers and of course our SparkExperts. My wonderful husband and I are making an extended weekend of it and we are going to have an awesome time! See you there, fellow Sparkers! Report
Please come to Northeast PA too! Report
So, when ya gonna have a convention within spitting distance of the Atlantic Ocean? Report
I, too, traveled across the continent to be at the San Diego convention and this was the start of something new for myself. Despite having a sister and her family living in San Diego for DECADES, I had never taken the time to visit. With the SPARK being there it was the perfect reason to finally break out of my shell and GO!

What an AMAZING time it was...! To connect with Chris (SparkGuy) Downie and all the other SparkPeople staff....was just wonderful! Everyone was so genuine and sincere! From the morning walk to the closing moments the convention was non-stop INSPIRATION!

Every member OWES it to oneself to make the effort, take the time to BE THERE and be a part of some unlike anything you have EVER DONE! Woo hoo! :-)

Don, Co-Leader of All Health Professionals, Binghamton Area Losers and Laid Off But Staying Tough SparkTeams Report
I agree with DAVISY1 and SAPNA. These are great ideas but if you don't live in the USA then it's not an option. =( Report
one in England would be good, there are lots of Sparks people in the UK Report
Well, not to state the obvious - living in the middle of nowhere is not terribly compatible with travel to the mainland. Living on Kauai is wonderful and beautiful, so I've learned to trade one thing off for another. Report
I would love to go to a convention, but probably not this year. With my work schedule and several big projects coming up and I won't be able to get away. I'm hoping to attend one next year. Report
How about Portland, Oregon? That one I could drive to. Seattle would be pushing it, but I might be able to hack that one too. Report
I'd love to be able to attend the convention. Unfortunately it is the same weekend as my in-laws 60th Wedding Anniversary. I'm sure Spark People will have other conventions, but my in-laws will never have another 60th Wedding Anniversry, so I'll have to go to their anniversary party instead of the convention. Report
How about having a conference in Toronto?!
Please! Report
there should be one in azriona Report
Would like one in any of the southern states. Report
I wouldn't travel too far for one but would love to see it come to the second largest state TEXAS!! All things are bigger in TEXAS and that convention would rock! Report
Sounds fun. When are you guys coming to Canada? Report
Shame you dont have them in England. Report
I guess I have no excuse for not going, since the convention will be about 2-3 miles from my house. I wish I had someone to go with. Report
I would love to go to one.If it was closer to my house,would go.CA is other side of US for me Report
I would love to see next year's convention in Nashville, and also it would be great to have it in June! Report
Please come to Atlanta, GA so that we to can can attend. Report
Would love to see one in Fort Worth ! Report
Come to VEGAS! :0)
Can't make the cincinatti one :0(
I would have gone to the the San Diego one but was a bridesmaid in a friends wedding. Report
Nashville or Atlanta would be great! Report
Oh Sparks have convention PUH_LEEZE in New Orleans. I would love to atte Cincinnati but resources will not allow it. But New Orleans oh please this is a city that will now how to throw a celebration and what a better place who needs Sparks help for health! Report
I would love to go to one in my area, but I can't afford to travel to go to one. This economy has shrunk my hubby and my paychecks so it's tight to begin with. Report
If there is ever a Spark Your Life convention in NYC, I'd take the bus down ! Report
If it comes back around to San Diego next year, may be I can make it then. Wasn't a member this year yet when it was in So Cal. Report
We are signed up and ready to go! Can hardly wait!! Report
no money to go wish i could but just cant do it !! Report
I'm hoping for a Convention at DISNEY WORLD. But, thinking about making it to Ohio. Report
CinCin is not a possibility for me, due to school obligations and expense, but I'd totally go for a Philly convention or anywhere on the East Coast. Report
It cracks me up in the article----

"If you think you can't afford to make it, think again! These members agree that you can't afford to miss it!"

Hello?! Unless it's going on in a person's general area, there's gonna be a LOT of people that would love to, but cannot afford to go. Ever hear of a little thing called the recession? People have lost their homes and jobs.

I get it's just sales-pitching, but c'mon.
If I could afford to go... I would.

The conventions are a wonderful boost! I'd love to see conventions hosted often... and in different regions, enabling more people to attend. The largest - annual! - one should be located centrally and within hotel-shuttle proximity to airport connections. Many members would enjoy attending a convention but simply cannot afford the plane rides or hotel rooms. Report