Community Corner: End of Year Celebration Conferences

For the first few years of my judging career, one of my favorite events was the USA-North end of year celebration/conference. Judges would gather in different areas throughout the region with each of those ‘hubs’ connecting to each other through online video chat. The events were a great way to mark the end of the year – presentations and discussion on the state of judging in our region, workshops on rules questions that had been stumbling blocks, a chance to get to know each other better, and to play games and build connections to each other.  I knew some other regions had gatherings like this, and so last year I was thrilled when I learned that Judge Academy was organizing and sponsoring end of year conferences in every region around the world. This year, I’m all the more excited to tell you about our plans for the 2022 End of Year Conferences.

I’m writing this while enjoying the beautiful weather in my back yard, so it feels a bit odd to be talking to you about events that will happen in the middle of winter (for those of us in the northern hemisphere at least.) But with all the planning that goes into these events we wanted to get started early, to give you all the time you need to prepare.

One of the best parts of these events will be the promos. Have you been eyeing the judge foil No Mercy and Growing Rites of Itlimoc but didn’t get a chance to get one or both because you weren’t a presenter or organizer? Now is your chance! Each conference attendee will receive an End of Year pack containing one copy of each of those, with additional packs going to those who organize, help run, or present at one of these events. Further information on promos as well as other details about the conferences and applying for them can be found on our End of Year Conference Announcement. 

Just like last year these will be digital conferences, one for each region. Allowances can be made for judges who can’t make the one in their particular region, but judges can each attend one End of Year Conference. Also like last year, we are inviting judges to apply to run a conference in their area!

While the events should include traditional judge conference material such as presentations and workshops, we also want these events to be a time for judges to build connections and learn more about their fellow judges, and have some fun along the way! These conferences are a great time for games like judge trivia, ice breakers, small group discussions or anything else you can think of. To help facilitate things, we’ll be putting together resources for a family feud style game, but what you include in your particular conference is up to you. If you come up with a great idea, tell your fellow organizers about it on our Judge Academy Discord or other judge social media.

Applications are now open, and will close on September 25th, with decisions going out in the two weeks after. If you want to apply, use our End of Year Conference Application. Most regions will likely have multiple applications, so be sure to give us a clear idea of what your conference would look like and why we should pick yours!