conference confidence

I wonder if you are like me?

I just got back from the Annual Association of Executives of North Carolina meeting, excited by what I had learned, the new people I had met, and the connections made.  It was my first event with AENC here in North Carolina, and it won’t be my last.  What a warm and welcoming group!

I was talking about the conference with a colleague and reflected on what I had taken away. Often, if you are like me we get a buzz after attending such an event but we don’t always take the time to stop and think about how we can put that buzz back in our businesses.

The people were the best part of the Annual Meeting, I forged professional connections and friendships.  I found myself thinking about two presentations.  John Formica’s presentation on making your workplace magical and Alan Skipper’s on purpose.

Both presentations had a dual impact for me. They could be used to make my business a better place to work, and to make the meetings and events we plan more impactful to our clients and their attendees.  The lively conversation lead by Alan Skipper was actively present in the people I met.  Making a difference in the world, and a work, defining and achieving the “why” resonated with what we do at To Plan Ahead.  We work with our clients to help them achieve their goals keep their purpose as a central goal of any meeting or conference we plan. Keeping that focus on purpose helps my team to stay excited to great each new project as extraordinary.

I remembered an article I had read a few years ago, that talked about appreciating the ordinary, and not just the extraordinary.  (You can read it here.)  It always struck me that as a meeting planner, my job is to do both.  We work with clients who are hosting “ordinary” meetings.  We want to ensure that the experience, is both ordinary, comfortable, easy, and seamless for the participants, with moments of the extraordinary, that will stick with them every day. Rabbi Yonason Goldson, said in the article, “The sad truth is that we end up missing out on our lives because we don’t recognize the novelty of each new day, we don’t appreciate the value of the predictable, we don’t cherish the gift of the ordinary.” 

So my challenge is to both appreciate the ordinary, and create moments of the extra ordinary, and appreciate the magic that comes from both. This is also my purpose at To Plan Ahead, to create meetings and conferences that are magical for all parties.

I am grateful to everyone I met and to AENC who made my first North Carolina Annual meeting both ordinary and extra ordinary.  I look forward to working with them in the future  discussing how you can make your next meeting or conference extra ordinary.