I just had the pleasure of attending the 2010 National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) Conference in Columbus, Ohio from April 21-25. What an experience! This was my 7th consecutive NAPO Conference, and it was the best one so far!
Many people don’t like conferences. I can understand that. They are tiring. You are often on your feet for much of the day, or sitting in a chair paying attention to a presentation and taking notes. The food is usually sub-par. The air is “fake” as you are indoors all day. so you lack fresh air. The hotel beds are not the most comfortable.
But let’s look at all of the great advantages of attending a professional development conference. Networking, collaboration, knowledge, brainstorming, energy, motivation, inspiration, etc. The list goes on! This year, I noticed that conference attendees seemed to connect on a deeper level — not just business as usual. People were showing their authentic selves, personally and professionally, which elevated the entire conference experience to a higher level.
I am lucky to be a member of such a dynamic, forward-thinking, collaborative and successful industry. I attended keynote and workshop sessions on making connections, using social media, creating a power office, being resilient, using technology via online and smart phone “apps” to stay organized, and using coaching techniques with organizing clients. Wow – what amazing stuff!
I had the distinct privilege of being one of the panelists on the Ask the Organizer Panel. Attendees ask questions of panelists and the entire session is expertly moderated by a colleague, Monica Ricci, who has been serving as the moderator for years. The questions were insightful and intelligent. I was so impressed!
I also had the honor of presenting “Don’t Go It Alone: It Takes a Village to Run a Successful Organizing Business” during which I shared ideas and information about outsourcing, delegating, setting up a Board of Advisors, using Master Mind groups, creating an Operations Manual, etc. The attendees shared great information, which made the session interactive. I love when attendees learn from each other and not just from me as the presenter.
I am now home, catching up, connecting with peers on social media that I met at the conference, adding those that subscribed to my ezine lists, and generally basking in the conference after glow! I have renewed energy for my business, and can’t wait to implement all of the fantastic ideas that I gathered. My business year runs from April to April, as that is when the NAPO Conference takes place. I work my action plan between conferences. Next year’s conference is in San Diego, which means we have the added bonus of great weather! You can be sure that I will take breaks at that conference to get outside and enjoy the sun and fresh air. Therefore, my conference after glow may be mixed with an actual tan. Not bad, huh? 🙂