Yes, I am part of the Canadian faculty which does mean that they cover my plane fare and lodgings while I am at the Canadian events but that in no way changes my perspective. Actually it enhances it. Each year I help out at registration and at that desk you see a lot.
You experience the person who walks up and says "My toiletries, which happened to contain my insulin, infusion sets, sensors, and reservoirs did not make it into my luggage." Before this person can ask if anyone has anything to spare, three people offer everything that they could possibly need to handle their diabetes for the weekend and everyone is able to enjoy the conference without a second thought.
You also get to see the smile on a mother's face who says "In my rush, I forgot to bring the gluten free snacks for my child but you have an entire buffet dedicated just to her needs! I don't need to worry about her at all!"
I learned a few other benefits this conference as well. When you lock you key in your room, your son is off site with the other key, and you need to be in your room to get information for your presentation which will take place in less than 15 minutes, the lanyard around your neck with your name will get you a new room key!
While sitting around a lunch table, I learned that others have used the "D" card on occasion for convenience. If you don't want to get stuck in a room with an annoying coworker, tell them that you are low and need to check. If you don't want to share that amazing piece of chocolate cake? Tell them that you are sorry but you already pre-bolused for the entire piece.
The most important thing that was reinforced for me during this conference? The value of friendships--new and old. I watched two young boys pose arm in arm for a picture. You knew that the friendship was struck up at this conference. I met people who were previously just names online and enjoyed getting to learn a bit more about them. And as always, I enjoyed time, talk and meals with friends that I have been blessed to have in my life through the ups and downs for the past eleven years. There truly is nothing better than a CWD conference!