Yes Yes! Best POCAfest Ever!

The following is my expected post-POCAfest report and perhaps you may roll your eyes when I type that this POCAfest was the BEST POCAFEST EVER because I’ve probably written that after every POCAfest. Guilty as charged. But this one was, once again the Best POCAfest Ever (BPE-might as well abbreviate it.)

So, you ask, how was this the BPE? A couple of different ways really:

 This POCAfest was Solid. Solid as in stable. Solid as in hard working. Solid as in sound, stable, self-sustaining, strong, sturdy, concentrated, rooted, grounded, disciplined, and deep. There was little if any drama, there were no claims that couldn’t be backed-up. People were serious about their purpose. There was also a hell of a lot of fun.

It would be easy to say that this was because this POCAfest was in the upper midwest. The ultra-stable cratonic midwest. And I won’t say that that the core of North America had nothing to do with how the event played out. But I also sensed a maturing taking place. This maturing of our revolutionary movement I’ve noticed for the last couple of POCAfests. This time this maturing manifested in a deeper self-confidence among the attendees (including those attendees who were relatively new to POCA and POCAfests) which led to a playful seriousness of purpose. It also led to a broader shared responsibility of the event.

For the first time Lisa Rohleder didn’t do the keynote address,. Instead Alexa Hulsey not only did it but nailed that sucker.

For years Lisa and yours truly did CA 101 workshops. This time Cris Monteiro and Melissa Tiernan designed and carried out CA 101 and were so successful that to think of CA 101 as a WCA thing is to be stuck in the past.

And while Cris and I were involved in the planning of this POCAfest, we did much less work on the planning than Amy Severinsen, Kerri Casey, Jessica Hanson, Jim Lorr, and Trish Kanous did-along with the people who they got to volunteer to help out. These are people who don’t toot their own horn but do an awful lot of work and are exactly the type of POCA members that we want.

In a similar vein, Lisa and I taught a breakout on Collective Management in our clinics that made clear that a lot of clinics are maturing into more advanced management/ownership strategies that will move their clinics into entities that will most likely outlast their founder-owners in the future. Michelle Rivers’ 501c(3) talk addressed this issue from a different direction. And in yet another series of takes on long-term clinic stability, the presentations of Urbana Acupuncture, Minnesota CA, Milwaukee CA and Circle CA collectively pointed towards where we are all going in the future. The goal of really making our clinics sustainable, which was the theme of Alexa’s keynote speech, is becoming closer to reality. On to the Progressive Era!

PS And the square dancing was fantastic!

Skip Van Meter
Author: Skip Van Meter

Skip is Lead Acupuncturist and Co-Founder of <a href="" target="_blank">Working Class Acupuncture</a> in Portland, Oregon. With the earlier part of his life spent acquiring knowledge about geology, urban planning and teaching high school, he has now been an acupuncturist for 19 years, using about a 1,750,000 needles poking his patients. He likes all things soccer, has three fabulous sons, the best wife in the world, and a great dog and two cool cats.

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  1. I LOVED how the vibe was really, really positive at this POCA Fest. I also liked Lisa’s comment in the collectivizing piece about how’s she’s through with being apologetic about what we as employer’s have to offer. I needed to hear that.

  2. I just signed the volunteer waiver thingy here at poca, I just renewed my membership ( which I didn’t even know was expired because I’m THAT flakey) I just had TWO, yes count them, TWO patients decide to become poca members and start volunteering, I just bought a tablet and registered for square, I just signed up for poca point and bought a scanner….why? BECAUSE OF POCAFest!! The BPE, THANK YOU!!!

  3. Yes, once again the BPE! I loved how we started with small group discussions, with each group facilitator saying what they were interested in and everyone self-selecting into small groups. I think it got everyone engaged from the start sent the message to each participant that this is YOUR POCAfest. Getting a treatment from Jade in the onsite clinic was fabulous; square dancing was so much fun in this very wholesome yet uninhibited way. For me no POCAfest is complete without some type of post-event postmortem, and this time I had a great one – hanging out at Denny’s for two hours with Mike, David and Suzzanne while we waited for our shuttle, drinking coffee, talking about life and encouraging our waitress to get acupuncture for her plantar fasciitis – Mike giving her a bunch of cards for local clinics.

    Yes, once again it was the best POCAfest ever. I miss you all already and can’t wait to see you next time!

  4. I had a long wait at the airport Sunday afternoon so I got a 15 minute neck massage at the little massage kiosk and the fabulous LMT saw my POCA tee shirt and started telling me about her migraines, and I just HAPPENED to have a stack of cards for local POCA peeps to give to her!

    It was a great time, thank you Minnesota area folks and Events for the latest best POCA Fest!

  5. My parents met up with me in Minneapolis, so we could spend time with a long time family friend. I gave her the stack of cards for local clinics and she recognized the address for South Point, because grew up in a neighborhood near there.

    Since coming home from the BPE, I am feeling such a positive recharge in my module work. I came back ready to hit the ground running, thanks to all of you. I needed that.

  6. Teaching CA101 at the BPE it was SOOOO much easier than doing it anywhere else- we didn’t have to try to convince new comers that this thing called POCA exists, and that it’s this giant tentacled contra dancing needle poking love machine… everyone else did all of that.

    I’m always amazed when I run into people who want to do CA or ARE doing it, who have never been to a CA clinic. One of the things we try to bring into the 101 workshop is the essence of being in out clinics.

    This past week however the opposite kept happening, where I kept trying to bring the essence of POCA Fest into the clinic. The fractal back-track-tal!