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At the end of last year’s Float Conference I had a woman come up to me and say, “You know, I’ve been working so hard to get my float center up and running. And to get up each day and try to get people in my city to know and understand what floating is, without another single center in a 100 mile radius, it’s made me feel so alone. It wasn’t until coming here that I realized I’m actually part of a community.”

I’ve spent these last several months lining up speakers, finding venues, planning parties, and much more for the Portland Float Conference in August. It’s gotten me thinking a lot about why, in such a digitally connected world, people still fly across the globe to gather, for a brief time, in person.

Then I remember how much fun the Float Conferences are. A group of passionate floaters together in one place produces its own kind of magic. Everyone is enthused, boisterous, and attentive, all while harboring a deeper relaxation.  The manager of the theater we rented for last year’s conference came up to me afterwards and said, “I’ve never seen a more easy-going group at any event we’ve had.”

I think of the information dispensed. It’s not often that you can go into a room and hear the history of your industry straight from the mouths of the people who created it. Last year, I was humbled to hear Glenn and Lee Perry talking about developing the first commercial tanks, and Peter Suedfeld speaking on the early scientific investigations into REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy) 

On the other end of the timeline is the joy I get from seeing the newest developments in the float industry. Meeting people who are just starting centers, touring booths for new manufacturers who are debuting their float tanks, and hearing about new research programs that are just getting launched. The industry is growing fast, and the creative and thoughtful ideas that people are implementing in their float centers around the world is inspirational.

But when it comes down to it, these are all reasons given for attending a conference in any industry. With floating, there’s something more. For many of us in the float industry it feels like we’ve been let it on a special secret. We are intent on sharing this secret with the world, but the world can be so big that it’s hard to not feel alone in this.

To realize that there are many of us, that we are growing, that we are here to share knowledge and help each, that we all do have a support system in each other, that’s why we gather together. To have the same epiphany that woman had last year: that we are part of a community.

Float tanks are truly special, and I can’t wait celebrate this fact with everyone, together.

Ashkahn Jahromi, Founder, Float On