If you’ve followed my blog for some time, then you know IAVM (International Association of Venue Managers) is an organization very near and dear to my heart. I joined for the first time just 4 years ago.
It’s strange to type that. Not because that 4 years has flown by, but because it’s hard to believe it has only been 4 years.
4 years ago I was a timid wall flower attending their annual conference for the first time. Meeting people at conferences was not at the top of my list of comfort items. I think bungee jumping with an old rope made more sense to me at the time. Meeting people terrified me.
But go I did.
Try to meet people I did.
Absorb everything the conference had to offer I did.
I left with a wealth of knowledge but not a wealth of new contacts. Not a complete failure but not a total success.
Fast forward a few years and over the course of my time in the organization, I’ve grown braver, I’ve grown to hate being a wall flower and I’ve also grown up. I’ve been a panel participant at a couple of sessions (and will be doing so again this week). I’ve graduated from Venue Management School where I served with a group of amazing individuals as class rep. I’ve written an article for an industry publication. I’ve left one job and started another.
I’ve found my professional self.
Pretty soon contacts, old and new, will be flooding into Portland for this year’s annual conference and I cannot wait to sit and catch up over a beverage or two. It refills the tank and I can’t think of a better way to spend the last full week of July.
What have been your favorite professional affiliations? Are you a member of an industry association? Do you participate in a blogger group that provide education and social opportunities to meet up? Do you find that online forums are your best resource? I’d love to hear from you – what makes you tick?