BYU-Idaho’s semi-annual professional development conference, Power to Become, will once again take the stage in the John W. Hart Building Auditorium Feb. 5 and 6.
Steve Davis, alumni director for BYU-I, said P2B was inspired by a similar event held at LDS Business College in Salt Lake City, Utah, called “Learn to Earn.”
“The first year they did L2E, they had one of our alumni speak at it,” Davis said. “And he called up the next day and says, ‘You guys have to do this at BYU-Idaho.’”
Davis said the creators of L2E had learned they could do a business conference that was formal and serious, and attendees could get good information, but they would leave without any inspiration. He said they decided to make their conference energetic, fun and inspiring, and their attendance grew from hundreds to thousands.
“We did our first P2B in October of 2014, and we had thousands,” Davis said. “We had entertainment, we had music, we gave away thousands of dollars in prizes, we got people up out of their chairs, we had them dancing in the aisles. And then we had speeches.”
Heidi Flansberg, a senior studying biology, said she went to her first P2B Spring Semester 2015.
“I work with the Academic Discovery Center, and I had heard about it through that and heard that it was a great thing to understand how to connect with people and link with people, just a great professional conference,” Flansberg said.
Flansberg said she did not expect P2B to be in the format that it was.
“I expected people to speak, but I was kind of expecting more of a formal kind of atmosphere where the speakers would come and stand at the podium and talk, and just very formal kind of thing,” Flansberg said. “It was more of a TED experience, and I wasn’t entirely expecting that, where they would walk across the stage, and some of the entertainers and other people came through the audience, and there were raffles and prizes, and it was a lot more fun and entertaining.”
Davis said the title for P2B came from a book of the same title written by Elder David A. Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
“He actually gave us his blessing to use the title for our conference,” Davis said.
Davis said the title also comes from the message on the I-Learn loading page, which is “Know. Do. Become.”
“You can’t become without knowing, or being inspired to do,” Davis said. “And so our goal at the conference is to share principles that will inspire our students to be more successful and give them the tools to be more successful.”
Flansberg said at the last P2B she went to, she noticed an overall theme of power within.
“Then, throughout a lot of last year was just find that power from within and harness it to become the best person that you can be, whether that’s through school or through business or through church or anything,” Flansberg said. “Just take that power from within and use it to be the best to serve other people you can.”
Davis said the best way to inspire the current students of BYU-I is to bring back successful alumni to tell their stories.
“Kyle Nel, who is 32 years old … just got back from the International Space Station,” Davis said. “That doesn’t happen because he took the easy route. He was a good student here, he learned from mentors, he went and got his master’s degree, and he’s just dynamic.”
Davis said the night before the official conference, there will be a networking mixer where the first 125 students who can complete certain qualifications can meet the speakers of P2B.
Davis also said Saturday morning, there will be breakout sessions with a few of the speakers from the previous night, which has never been done before at P2B.
“All of the speakers on Friday have 20 minutes, and that’s just enough to give you the really salient, important points and inspire you,” Davis said. “Saturday is a time to come in with your notepad and be prepared to ask questions, be prepared to be taught and to kind of dive deep into some of the principles taught at the event.”
Davis said in addition to the Thursday and Saturday events, there will also be an event nicknamed “Pre2B,” where there will be entertainment, food and different booths. Pre2B will be held in the Manwaring Center Grand Ballroom.
“The main goal of Pre2B is to make sure that 2,500 people don’t show up 10 minutes before,” Davis said. “The first Power to Become, we had a line from the quad to Taco Time just to get your badge.”
Davis said before each speaker at P2B, a panel of judges will choose the best post with the #p2become hashtag, and the winner will get to sit in a massage chair for the duration of the following speech. This contest is called “Best Tweet Best Seat.” Davis said this contest is used to encourage attendees to get practice in telling their story better on social media.
Davis said Spencer Taggart, the emcee and partial founder of P2B, describes P2B as General Conference, Ted Talks, The Price is Right and Disneyland combined into one event.
“It is because we want people to know that it is okay at BYU-Idaho to one minute be laughing your head off and standing up and dancing, and the next minute having someone bear their testimony on the stage and just feel inspired, and then the next minute you’re all up on your feet again.”
Students and the community can purchase their tickets for Power to Become by either going to the Alumni Association Office, located in Manwaring Center 175, or by going to byui.edu/p2b. Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for the community. Tickets include access into both Friday and Saturday events and dinner on Friday, according to the P2B Eventbrite Web page.