June 23, 2017

NAPO 2011 Conference

Last week, for the first time, I attended the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO)’s annual conference in sunny San Diego.  What an inspiring, invigorating four days!

Most of my colleagues in the organizing world are solopreneurs.  Sometimes we collaborate on projects, but most of the time we’re flying solo.  So, to be in a space where 400+ professionals “get” you, and speak the lingo? Priceless.  (And to spend three nights on my own in a hotel room, unburdened by domestic duties? Fab-u-lous.)

I came home with several Big Ideas for my business.  I also came home with a stack of business cards, product info, books, and brochures.

What did I come home to? Let’s just say that it took me three days to unpack.  But all the catch up has been worth it, without a doubt. 

Is there a conference or convention on your horizon?  Here are a couple of tips:

  • First of all, make every effort to go.  Never stop investing in yourself.
  • Don’t stay glued to your cronies.  Mix it up, introduce yourself to strangers.  You know, network.
  • As you collect business cards, make who-what-where notes on the cards to jar your memory.  You won’t remember everyone.  Trust me.
  • Make an attempt to socialize in the evening.  That’s the fun part, the bonding part! Make sure to get enough sleep, though.  And no hangovers.
  • Each night, before you go to sleep, write down the one or two significant “take-aways” that you learned that day.   
  • If possible, schedule the day after you return as an admin day.  (Or it may take you three days to unpack, too.)
  • Follow up, follow up, follow up.  Reach out to your new contacts within a week of your return.  Email is the norm, but Facebook and Twitter can be a great way to build relationships.

     Any other tips to add?  Let’s hear them!