To read my previous Countdown to Big Omaha post, click here.

Growing up and living in Omaha, I always heard about events, tours, conferences and more that happened everywhere else but Omaha. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had the opportunity to go to some of these events, but some of them I’m not as inclined as I use to be. Why? Well, the events seem to have drifted from their original intent.

This isn’t always bad. Any reoccurring event that wants to stay relevant is going to have to adapt and evolve. Sometimes, the drift causes an event to be better. Two scenarios.

I think of the San Diego Comic-Con. It started off as a comic book convention, but slowly morphed into the premiere pop culture event. It was incredible. Recently, it’s been overtaken by media corporations, Twilight fans and an over-abundance of cosplay. People gather there to get their geek freak on. (Look at me dressed as a mashup of Pikachu and Edward Cullen!) Is that bad? No, but I’m less inclined to spend the money to go the event. Everything is manufactured, kind of like how everyone has a marketed “viral video” nowadays.
SXSW is another event where I’ve started to hear grumblings about it turning from its original core. Is that bad? I don’t think so. It’s better. SXSW originally was a music festival. Over the years, it’s morphed into a media event, highlighting music, movies, and now technology. This past year, attendance was higher for SXSW interactive than SXSW music. The event is evolving and growing. People do go just to party and get wasted, but for a majority of people it’s more than that. It’s about seeing great concerts, experiencing new films, and finding out about the latest technology/innovations.
You’ll always have people talk about how something was better when less people knew about it. This is usually synonymous with fans of various musicians.
I have no idea what the future holds with Big Omaha, but I know with Jeff and Dusty at the helm we don’t need to worry about it deviating from its core. Sure, there is a lot that could change with the conference, but I don’t think anyone needs to worry about it turning into a nonstop party where people dress up as cows and prairie dogs. (Although, that would be an interesting gathering at Nomad.) Big Omaha will always be about: inspire attendees to follow their passions, build the businesses they love and strengthen their creative communities.

What I experienced last year at Big Omaha, and what I know about this year’s conference, is it follows that mission statement. The tweaks that have been made from last year to this year have the mission statement in mind.

The venue may change, attendees may increase, and it may not feel like it once did, but I doubt Big Omaha will ever deviate from its mission. I have no inside information, but I think as Big Omaha grows it will go the route of SXSW and not Comic-Con.

Of course, if at some point in the future you see me at a Big Omaha/Microsoft/Facebook sponsored cosplay party, dressed as Analog the Prairie Dog, getting wasted with no intention of going to the conference, along with hundreds of other people in cosplay with the same intention…just remind me of this post. And, put me out of my misery.

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