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Rise is coming up soon, May 3rd through 5th, and while many of you have probably heard about it, most of you probably haven’t been there. I’d like to talk about how it compares to other industry events, and what makes it so special.

We’ve attended Rise every year, and it continues to be a wonderful collection of kind humans perpetuating greater gentleness to the rest of the world. This is the third annual Rise gathering, and it promises to be just as third eye-opening as the previous ones.

Last year, Graham and Ashkahn got to sit down with Kevin McCulloch and Jacob Resch, the organizers of Rise and owners of Float STL, for the Daily Solutions Podcast which was right in the middle of its run at the time. You could tell from the conversation that there was a certain delight from everyone involved in getting to share horror stories about the stresses of running a conference for the float industry.

During that conversation, Kevin shared his thoughts on how Rise compares to the Float Conference. As he says, it’s a “gift that the Float Conference is already operating” since it’s “the pulse of the entire industry… and we wanna focus on this little sliver. And it wouldn’t even make sense to do that if the Float Conference wasn’t servicing the whole industry.”

(If you’d like to see some of our coverage from last year, you can check out the podcast episodes where Graham and Ashkahn took live questions all day or you can check out the live blog we ran during the presentations.)

It’s difficult to talk about Rise without referencing the Float Conference, despite them being very different. The Float Conference was birthed out of necessity. It was started because there was no other industry event at the time and so Float on started one.

Rise is another conference for the float industry. Absolutely. But that doesn’t make it an East coast Float Conference. While the Float Conference is for the entire industry, Rise is much more focused on float center owners, and even more specifically, those who focus on spreading the practice of floating. You could say that Rise is more a cultural event than a business one. It’s for the float community as opposed to the float industry.

Kevin and Jake will no doubt be leading us in thoughtful conversations, introspective meditations, and sharing the warmth and love that they feel for everyone who comes.

At Rise, everyone does everything together at the same time. If there’s a presentation going on, everyone is in the audience. If there’s lunch, everyone is at lunch. If it’s time for guided meditation, you’re right there for guided meditation. Each event bonds you closer with the rest of the people there until by the end of the weekend, you feel like you’ve just shared an intimate experience with loved ones. Even if you’ve never met them before a few days ago.

One of the best ways to see this contrast is to look at the speakers who attend both events. Justin Feinstein, the head researcher at the Float Lab at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research, shares updates on his research every year at the Float Conference, and at Rise he focused far more on how to get float center owners involved in contributing to the scientific community.

While Glenn and Lee Perry are consistently delightful and kind, in the context of Rise, their talk feels much more like a fireside chat than the TEDTalk style presentation it appears to be at the Float Conference.

Even Graham and Ashkahn are more laid back at Rise – they did their presentation there in bathrobes last year!

Not to mention that St. Louis itself is such a lovely city. There’s always something to do, and getting to visit Float STL is really a treat.

So far, every year we visit, we take a group trip out to the City Museum, which is like no other place on Earth. If you’ve never been, it’s a surrealist wonderland for children and adults. Beyond being just a museum, it’s a monument to the oddities that exist within the human mind. While yes, there are historical artifacts, artwork on display, and educational experiences aplenty to be had, the entire building functions more as a giant playground filled with wrought iron structures, disturbing tile mosaics, and a giant ball pit at the center of a climbing maze. Honestly, it’s something that needs to be seen to be believed.

In short, if the Float Conference is like a family reunion, Rise is like coming home for the holidays. It feels so cozy and familiar. In both cases, everyone there is family, but the setting for Rise is more intimate, less overwhelming. It’s so much easier to say hello to everyone you know at Rise, even if you know everyone!

*Also, consider this an open invitation to join us this year at the City Museum! We’ll be visiting Monday, May 6th, after the Rise gathering has concluded. Below are just a handful of images from the museum to help entice you.

 

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Adding Float Tanks to an Existing Business – OSP 10

Adding Float Tanks to an Existing Business – OSP 10

Graham and Ashkahn kick off the New Year by discussing the things to consider when adding a float tank to an existing business. This is a fantastic episode to start with if you’ve already got a service-based business or are a practitioner looking to start up on your own and looking for ideas.

The boys talk about logistical considerations, the built-in advantages to adding on to an existing practice, as well as how nice it is to have a meatball sandwich after chilling out in a sensory reduced environment for an hour (Ashkahn has a serious one-track mind).

Tank Topics – Business Partners

Tank Topics – Business Partners

Graham and Ashkahn round out the end of the year by talking about all the naughty and nice things about having business partners.

It’s a shorter compilation today, which gives you plenty of time to talk to your own business partners about what you think about them!

Tank Topics – All About Research

Tank Topics – All About Research

The holidays are a busy time for float centers and it often means lots of new customers asking questions. This means it can be a really great time to brush up on the facts about floating. Fortunately we’ve formed a folio of fantastic studies for you to fancy. Feliz Navidad!

Tank Topics – Handling Difficult Customers

Tank Topics – Handling Difficult Customers

In every service business, there’s a running joke that someone likes that’s usually somehting along the lines of “this job would be great if it weren’t for all the customers!” (*cue laugh track and uproarious applause*), well, the boys have not shied away from talking about the difficult sides of running a shop like ours. We’ve got episodes about handling negative Yelp reviews, customers too intoxicated to float, and even what to do when it’s time to 86 a problematic client. 

The 2019 Float Conference Recap – OSP 09

The 2019 Float Conference Recap – OSP 09

You can tell this episode was recorded a little while ago, really close to after we all got back from the Conference. The boys are a little tired today, but they still have lots to talk about. 

Grashkahmn share their initial reactions to the Conference now that it’s being run by the industry as a non-profit. This is a nice episode especially if you’re looking for some insights on their behind-the-scenes perspective on this big industry event and how it has changed this year. 

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