Have fun. Being in activities should be rewarding and fun. All work and no play can get old fast. The NAAP Annual Conference can add a layer of enjoyment to managing your career growth by mixing a social aspect into your learning and industry branding efforts.
This year’s NAAP Conference is held in Dallas Texas so numerous fun activities such as Cowboy and Western Themed Awards Dinner, tasting the local food through food trucks visiting the conference, and tours of the local area where the event is hosted are provided. Taking an extra day at the beginning or end of the trip to explore or visit friends in the region is also a great way to maximize the investment in travel. Never underestimate the power of a little fun mixed with some interesting people!
Many falsely believe that since they can now access industry information via the Internet that the days of the live meeting are gone. The truth is, meetings are more important than ever. The value in meetings comes from the human-to-human connections that occur. Often people cite the serendipitous “hallway conversations” that they have with other attendees as the most valuable parts of attending an event. While these are not on the agenda, or mentioned in the breakout sessions learning objectives, when two or more people begin to discuss topics on a deeper and personal level, the success of the event to those involved becomes irreplaceable. It is the people that bring the ROI (Return on Investment) to your time at a conference.
And of course, your leadership should be supportive and encourage your attendance at the NAAP Conference as you bring value back to your organization: Focus on bringing key learnings, industry updates, or contacts back to your company. Prove that return on investment by sharing with your colleagues and manager within the first week back at the office.
See you in Dallas.
Michael McCann, M.S.
NAAP Conference Trustee