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For those of you who didn’t make it out to the Float Conference this year, I’m posting up the introduction to our program. Although Iwrote this for the conference, I think it will be obvious that the sentiment is industry wide.

Float Conference - Portland 2013Welcome to the 2nd annual Float Conference! We’ve gathered here in Portland to celebrate and advance this amazing, salty, and swiftly booming industry. Experts from a wide array of disciplines and geographies have come to share their collective knowledge.

The original float researchers will be talking about their experiences and conclusions from years working with the tanks. Some of the most successful float centers in the world will be discussing their strategies and their stories. Manufacturers, new and old, will be sharing their designs, their insights, and their tanks.

I’m sure you’ve looked, and know that there’s not a lot of information out there about running a float center. There was even less when Float On got started three years ago. It is only by standing on the shoulders of these giants that we’ve made any progress in the float industry.

We aren’t the exception: every float business I talk to has been able to open because of the advice and assistance they’ve accumulated from countless conversations with manufacturers, centers, researchers and enthusiasts. This industry exists for two reasons.

The first is this spirit of generosity and cooperation, which stands in stubborn defiance against the more commonly held business stances on competition and intellectual property.

The second reason is the tanks themselves, with their simple, profound, and shockingly numerous benefits.

Tanks have helped couples maintain sanity through divorces. They’ve helped professional fighters to push themselves to new limits and to recover their bodies afterwards. They’ve helped soldiers with PTSD, fibromyalgia patients with debilitating pain, and college students with upcoming Organic Chemistry finals.

A woman came into our center to float, and after she left we found her walking cane still in her room. She never came back for it. Our two 16-float a month members have not only found a way to manage their chronic pain, they have eliminated their dependence on pain killers.

Every float center has had countless customers with similar stories. Most of you are here because floating has impacted your own life enough that you feel the need to share it. I know this is the case, because our industry isn’t at the point where you can go into it just to make a quick buck.

Passion for floating is what drives us individually, and it is what drives our whole industry. This last year has seen dozens of new float centers form. There are four new manufacturers in the US alone. There is a float documentary being produced, new websites and float blogs springing up, float tank specific software being released, and even this conference, which has grown since our last event.

This means a lot of people hearing about floating, and a lot of people actually getting in the tank. And that means thousands more stories like the ones above are unfolding all over the globe. Floating changes lives, and as a result, it changes the world. We are, very tangibly, making the world a better place.

And so I say welcome. Welcome to your conference. Welcome to your industry. Welcome to a life of passion.

Remember that you’re here because of the generosity and openness from those who have come before. Pay it forward.

And remember that more than that, you’re here because of the tanks. Care for them, share them, improve upon them, and, for goodness sake, get in there and float regularly!

Let’s go make a better world. It’s waiting for us, and based on the momentum we’ve seen, it won’t have to wait long.

Graham Talley
Co-Founder, Float On

A slide from our presentation, representing where we are as an industry.