As an association manager, I’m regularly coming up reasons why professionals should join their industry associations, and different ways to market and share their value propositions – and yet, there is still work to do around awareness in our own meeting planning industry!
How do you get your professional development? What networks have you joined? Is it time to start being more active in your industry’s association? Or, maybe you’ve already had a full career and it’s time to give back? Here are four reasons why you should attend more professional association meetings in 2018.
Being part of the movement
Professional association meetings are where discussion on change and strategic direction of an industry happen. Whether you’re talking about the organization itself, looking at research, or just talking about changes other planners are hoping to see in the future, this is where you can be part of the conversation and contribute to where your industry, and possibly your career, are headed.
Learning about trends and new technology
You may only have time to skim the latest and greatest of daily headlines in order to stay on top of what’s new and cool. This is where you take a deep dive! Take advantage of conference apps or planners to really think about what information you want to get out of these meetings and plan your schedule ahead of time. You may not have a lot of time to do your own research, and this is probably the best way to get things hot off the press from industry experts.
Building connections with other event planners
You never know when a competitor may come across a business opportunity that they want to pass on, and think of you to refer to – and vice versa. There is plenty of business out there for everyone, and most planners are happy to share the wealth when there’s an opportunity to do so.
If you’re a seasoned professional, attending professional association meetings may give you the opportunity to network with old colleagues, but may not always provide the opportunity for new education. However, this is an opportunity for you to give back to the industry, help shape future professionals, and impart your knowledge onto others. In recent discussions with the CSAE Trillium Chapter Young Professionals Committee, we’ve talked at length about mentorship opportunities, and how we can support the transfer of knowledge from seasoned to young professionals, especially outside of traditional, and more confined, mentorship programs, so that this is always top of mind through interactions at these meetings.