My First NAPO Conference

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NAPO 2014 Annual Conference and Organizing Expo

Since becoming part of the organizing industry in 2002, I’ve attended seven POC Conferences as a member, a speaker, or an exhibitor – one year I was all three – but until last week I had never been to a NAPO Conference. It would take me days to tell you everything that made it a wonderful experience, but here are a few of the highlights.


The main reason I was there was to speak about How to Write Blog Posts that Get Results. It was an honor to be selected, and the audience was wonderful. As I promised at the end of my session, in the coming weeks I’ll be posting some blog marketing techniques that didn’t fit into my presentation, as well as answers to some of the questions that were asked by members of the audience.

I’d like to thank Katherine Macey of Organize to Excel for hosting my session and helping me to feel right at home.


As a speaker, I was invited to attend other sessions held the same day as mine, and I chose “Master the Sales Process” presented by Michael R. Charest of Grow Your Service Business. He shared some fabulous information, and I’ll be blogging about that in the coming weeks as well.

I overheard many folks talking about their favorite sessions, and although many were mentioned, those that came up over and over were “Evernote for Work – Advanced Implementation Strategies” by Josh Zerkel of Custom Living Solutions, “Going Paperless to Boost Productivity” by Brooks R. Duncan of Document Snap, and “Finding Flow: Understanding Your Client’s Style Preferences” by Cena Block of Sane Spaces. After being a guest on Cena’s podcast last year, it was great to actually meet her. Let me tell you, she is even more fun and dynamic in person!

Organizing Expo

The Expo provided a fantastic opportunity to see the latest organizing products, learn about many special programs for professional organizers, and speak with the vendors. One of the highlights for me was meeting Julie Morgenstern, who gave me a copy of SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life, which she inscribed as follows:

To Janet – A True champion for us and the industry!

Much appreciation, Julie

I came away with a ton of information which I’ll be sharing here in the weeks to come.


One of the greatest benefits of any conference is the chance to network with colleagues, and there was plenty of that going on! I was thrilled to meet many readers of Your Organizing Business, especially those who have participated in the Professional Organizers Blog Carnival, like Linda Samuels of Oh! So Organized.

Linda Samuels

And, after 10 or so years of being friends online, I can finally cross “meet Julie Bestry” off my bucket list!

Julie Bestry and Janet Barclay at NAPO 2014 Annual Conference

I’m very grateful to Elizabeth Hagen for being my Conference Buddy and inviting me to sit at her lunch table, and to Hazel Thornton of Organized for Life for taking me under her wing and introducing me to members of Professional Organizers of New Mexico and NAPO Virtual Chapter. I met too many organizers to name them all here, but if you were one of them, I’ll be tracking you down on social media soon so we can stay connected.


Although not officially part of the Conference, I couldn’t visit Arizona for the first time without going to see the Grand Canyon and some of the local highlights.

Janet Barclay at the Grand Canyon

I’ll be posting more pictures on Flickr once I’ve had a chance to pick out the best ones.

I strongly recommend that you start setting aside some money now so you can go to next year’s event in Los Angeles. You won’t regret it!

Can’t wait that long? Here are some other conferences for you to check out in the meantime:

  • July 23-26, 2014: AAPO 8th Annual Conference – Queensland, Australia
  • September 18-20, 2014: ICD Annual Conference – Nashville, Tennessee
  • October 23-25, 2014: POC 2014 National Conference – Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • February 26 – March 1, 2015: NASMM 2015 Annual Conference – San Antonio, Texas

If you were a speaker, panelist, exhibitor or attendee at NAPO 2014, I hope you’ll share a bit of your experience with my other readers!

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A former professional organizer, I now eliminate stress for my clients by hosting, monitoring, and maintaining their WordPress sites so they don’t have to worry about security, downtime or performance issues. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

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  1. Avatar Cena from on June 3, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Thanks for this awesome post Janet – and for the shout out! YOu are too funny…. I guess the closed-eye, late night ‘networking’ picture of the two of us didn’t make the cut huh??? Much love! GREAT hanging out with you last week! SO glad you came!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on June 3, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      Yes, I didn’t think the photo would do either of us justice. 😀 It’s hard to call it a night when you’re surrounded by so many great people that you won’t see again for a long time, if ever! I’m glad we got to spend some time together.

  2. Avatar Elizabeth Hagen on June 3, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Thanks for this great post, Janet! I loved meeting you and having lunch together!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on June 4, 2014 at 6:37 am

      Me too, Elizabeth! Other than Clare, whom I’ve known and worked with for years, everyone at the table was someone I’ve never met before, even virtually.

  3. Linda Samuels Linda Samuels on June 3, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Love this post, Janet! What a wonderful way to model an excellent blogging technique. You managed to incorporate and link to so many highlights, giving nods and shout outs along the way. Fabulous! I’m honored to be included (nice pic)…but even more so, was so happy to get a chance to finally meet you in person. You were one of my trip highlights!

    I hope to see you again very soon. I’ll be attending ICD, POC and JALO (Dec 2014) conferences this year. Hope you’ll make it to Calgary!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on June 4, 2014 at 6:48 am

      Thanks, Linda! I’m happy to know I was one of your highlights too, and thankful that you were able to fit me into your busy schedule.

      Now that I’m not a professional organizer, I only attend POC conferences when I’m speaking, and I didn’t submit a proposal for this year. Now I’m wishing I had, because I met a few people last week that are planning to go – and so is one of my clients who wasn’t at NAPO.

  4. Avatar Ellen Delap on June 4, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Thanks for sharing! I love our conferences because it is all about connecting! I am glad we spent a few minutes together and most especially grateful you spoke about blogging. We are all better together!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on June 4, 2014 at 10:43 am

      Yes, I am so glad you spotted me in the cafe on Thursday morning – otherwise, we might have missed each other altogether!

  5. Avatar Seana Turner on June 5, 2014 at 7:28 am

    It was my first NAPO Conference as well. The highlight for me was meeting all of my social media friend and fellow organizers whom I’ve been following and learning from. Meeting you, Janet, was also a thrill. I’m such a fan of all you do! So thankful for the beautiful setting, educational moments, new friends, vendor contacts and delicious food!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on June 5, 2014 at 11:05 am

      The food – how did I neglect to mention the food? 🙂 Breakfast in the courtyard at Nellie Cashman’s Monday Club Café was especially remarkable!

  6. Avatar Andrea Brundage on June 9, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Wonderful to meet you at the NAPO conference here in AZ. We hope everyone that attended felt welcomed by the NAPO-AZ chapter and that they enjoyed the warmth. We got the heat turned up just in time. 🙂

    Personally, I enjoyed the breakout sessions on such a myriad of topics. As Maya Angelou so famously said (paraphrased), “Learn so you can teach.”

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on June 10, 2014 at 8:50 am

      It was wonderful meeting you as well, and I definitely felt warmly welcomed.

      I’ve never heard that quote before but it certainly ties in with the lead-in to my presentation, where I contrasted me being introduced to blogging at the 2006 POC Conference to me speaking about blogging at the 2014 NAPO Conference! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Avatar Chrissy on July 19, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Hi Janet – This sounds amazing – I am very tempted to get on a plane next year to the US to experience a NAPO conference – thanks for the post!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on July 19, 2014 at 11:11 am

      Oh Chrissy, you would love it! And I know everyone would be delighted to meet you too.

  8. Hazel Thornton Hazel Thornton on April 11, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    It was a highlight of conference for me to finally meet you in person and get to hang out with you! I’ll miss you this year.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 12, 2015 at 7:41 am

      Hazel, I will never forget the way you arranged to meet me almost as soon as I’d arrived so I didn’t spend any time feeling lost, and to connect me with so many people, many of whom I would probably not have had a chance to meet otherwise. I hope we can do it again some time!

  9. Now and Then | Janet Barclay | Janet Barclay on March 23, 2019 at 6:50 am

    […] 1991 when I went to Lake of the Woods. I flew to Arizona in 2014 to speak about blogging at the NAPO Conference and to enjoy some […]

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