People Who Need People

April 16th, 2014
ACPA friends

It has been two weeks since I had the opportunity to attend the ACPA national convention, and I’m still mulling over the impact it’s had on me professionally. Plenty of other folks have blogged or tweeted about the convention, and I’m not going to rehash everything they’ve covered in their posts. What I want to talk about are those pieces that have stayed with me, even two weeks later.

You might be expecting me to talk about the Pecha Kucha talks, the opening speakers, Genius Labs, or even the
closing speaker – Brene Brown – at this point. All of these were amazing, and definitely important building blocks in a great conference experience. But that’s not what really made this a terrific conference for me.

I could also talk about getting the chance to present with two awesome people and how presenting has helped my professional development. Then again, I’ve presented before, so that’s not what I want to talk about, either.

What really made this conference for me, and what has made almost every conference I’ve attended a successful conference in my eyes, was the relationship-building that I was able to do, the conversations in the hallways, the social media command center, the restaurants. At a conference, like no where else that I’ve experienced, you are able to spend time networking with individuals from near and far, you are able to focus on the bigger picture and really find out what is happening at other institutions. In my case, I was also able to deepen relationships that started online and carry our conversations into the face-to-face realm. This is also what makes the unconference model so important for us to consider in professional development – but that’s another post.

So thank you to all those folks I got to meet for the first time or got to see again. You have all given me plenty to think about, lots to process, and ideas to implement. You’ve rejuvenated my mind and my spirit. And those relationships are a better conference takeaway than any power point handout I’ve received.

Comments are closed.