By Jessica Fuchs (Ocala Chapter)
A conference that starts off with cocktails, friendly faces and tips for success – I think I’m going to like this.
FPRA’s 2015 Annual Conference is underway and leadership understands that, while attending for the first time is filled with excitement and enthusiasm, it can also be a little overwhelming. Easing any conference anxiety new attendees might have been harboring was the idea behind hosting the Conference 101 mixer.
Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC, 2015 Annual Conference Vice President, welcomed the crowd of newcomers with a smile, assuring us that she, and her executive and conference committee colleagues, are available to answer any questions. Other conference veterans in attendance were quick to share tips I think might be useful to everyone:
- Don’t forget your key when you leave your room. Sounds silly until you’re locked out. And guess what, it will slip right into your badge behind your name tag (I can’t take credit — Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC, 2015-2016 FPRA State President, came up with that, not me).
- Lanette Hart, APR, CPRC, Principal/Consultant Hart & Associates LLC, has been attending conference for several years and cautions attendees not to skip sessions. Maybe at some conferences, but not this one. “The sessions here are that good. You don’t want to miss them,” she said.
- Olivia Smith, from the Capital Chapter, might be new to conference, but she’s a fast learner. Take her lead and organize your conference schedule with the app. It’s easy – you just download it from the site and select which sessions you want to attend. Then you have your schedule right there on your phone. How awesome is that!
- The most common tip however, was not to be shy. Step out of your comfort zone. Introduce yourself to someone new – even one of the outstanding speakers. This is your opportunity to learn from your peers and experts. Own it.
Lastly, I keep hearing about this Dillin Dessert. I’m still a little unclear regarding its whereabouts, but I hear there are no calories and I should definitely find it. So, do share if you see me and are a veteran with more insight.
Thanks #FPRA and #FPRAconferencenewbies (Olivia and Mary Beth) for the wonderful welcome. I’ve already met great people who I hope to see again throughout the conference.