9th Annual POC Conference in Calgary
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Over the last couple of months, we’ve heard about professional organizer conferences in Africa, Australia, Los Angeles and Washington DC, and today we wrap up this year’s conference tour with the Professional Organizers in Canada Conference held in Calgary last month. It’s only fitting that our guest blogger is Jacki Hollywood Brown, whom I first met at a POC Conference a few years ago.
For me, the annual POC Conference is three things: a place to network with colleagues, a place to learn new things and a vacation.
I headed out to Calgary two days early. The hotel was fabulous with a gym, pool and water slide! Of course I took advantage of that as soon as I checked in. After travelling all day it was great to relax. Also, I don’t often have the opportunity to take a vacation away from my family so yes, I DID take advantage of having time to myself.
The day before conference I participated in POC’s Trained Professional Organizer classes. All year long these classes are offered by POC via teleconference but it was nice to actually see the facilitator in person.
The first official day of conference, the National Board was presented with white cowboy hats and they became honorary Calgarians. The conference committee pulled out all the stops making us feel welcome as they had the Calgary Stampede mascot running around “branding” people with a red inked stamp!
The POC Chapter Executives seemed very enthused about this year’s Leadership Forum. I didn’t attend that session as I was a “mentor” in the First Timer’s Forum. Seasoned conference attendees get introduced to POC’s newest members and spend time answering their questions about the industry, the Association and the conference. I met some great people!
The Vendor Expo took place all afternoon and there were some good vendors. Of course Taylor in Time products were there and I ended up buying “The Whole Enchilada” — all of the Taylor in Time products on a jump drive! That certainly made it easy to pack in my suitcase for the trip home. And as I said to Mr. Taylor, having that much information to go through will keep me out of trouble until next year!
During the weekend I attended some great sessions. In the session on Canada’s Privacy Legislation, I realized that I must update my privacy statement, delete a bunch of old client files on my computer, and shred a bunch of documents! The “Ask a Senior Organizer” Panel, chaired by Michelle Nichols. The senior organizers were Kristie Demke and Jane Woolsey. It was interesting hearing their perspectives on corporate organizing. They also described the training they felt was the most valuable for them and the marketing techniques which they felt worked best for their businesses. One of the sessions that I found interesting was a presentation by a CLIENT of an organizer. She shared the perspective of how clients felt when they have an organizer going through their stuff.
While both of the keynote speakers were super, the one that stood out for me was Chris Flett who spoke about “What men don’t tell women about business”. He spoke about how women sabotage themselves in business and how they can re-work their presentation style to better communicate with men.
What I loved most about conference was seeing people I hadn’t seen in a year and learning about their businesses and what they were working on. It always reminds me that there is no ONE business model but as many different types as there are organizers. The learning portion of conference is great and I always come away with my brain full of new ideas but networking with my colleagues always fills my heart with joy and my soul with inspiration.
The secret great part about conference?
I got to go to Spruce Meadows, a world class show jumping facility. It has been on my list of places to visit since I was twelve. I took some pictures of the organizational tools they use to keep their operations running smoothly and hopefully I can use those ideas for my own equestrian clients!