13 Jan

Perspectives From the Other Side

5 Simple Ways to Prepare for CMAA World Conference

It’s that wonderful time of year again! CMAA is holding their 89th Annual World Conference and Club Business Expo. Honestly, I can’t believe that it’s been 3 years since my own World Conference in sunny San Diego. Time really does fly!

Every year, club professionals across the globe prepare to spend the week learning about new industry trends, furthering their education, networking, and more. If you’re not already excited for the World Conference, then you should be. It’s an invaluable resource for you, your staff, and your club as a whole.

It’s important to use your time wisely, but conferences can be overwhelming. Here are 5 simple steps you can take to ensure that you make the most out of your time away from the club.

1. Pre-register

There are some boxes you need to check off your list before even setting foot on the conference floor. If you haven’t already registered, that’s the obvious first step. Sign up here!

2. Get the most bang for your buck

Thoughtful planning is the key to navigating industry conferences effectively and making the most of your time away from the club. Take a few minutes to read over the conference brochure and other scheduling information. The brochure will give you the lowdown on all of the week’s exciting events and education sessions. Plan to attend the seminars that are relevant to the challenges that your club faces on a day-to-day basis.

Want to be an overachiever? Write down all of the events you’d like to attend or highlight them on the conference’s master calendar. This gives you an itinerary of activities and prevents you from getting overwhelmed with options.

3. Address club challenges

Pencil in some time to attend the Idea Fair, a showroom that visually displays the best ideas of clubs around the world. If you’ve been searching for fresh solutions to your club’s challenges, then this should be one of your top conference destinations. You can find everything from unique social programs to innovative budgeting solutions – maybe even some areas you haven’t even thought to address!

4. Networking – really, netgiving

Before you book yourself solid, be sure to leave some wiggle room for networking. CMAA’s World Conference is one of the largest events in the industry, meaning that you’ll have access to some of the organization’s best and brightest. Take advantage of it! After all, attending the World Conference is not always about buying new products or services – it’s about generating and sharing ideas.

But it’s also important to do it right. Personally, I prefer the term “netgiving” because it more accurately represents how everyone should think about networking. Too many people approach networking from a “What can you do for me?” perspective. Instead, think about what you can offer others. Put self-interest aside and have genuine conversations with your colleagues that are legitimately helpful – be generous and authentic. This will help you build quality connections and you might make a new friend. Maybe you can even help each other out when the time is right. That’s what “netgiving” is all about!

5. Share the wealth

Of course, this brings us to what you should do after the exhibition booths close shop and the final speakers have said their pieces. When the conference ends – then what?

Being immersed in industry innovations and new ideas can make you feel heady – like you’re armed and ready to conquer the problems at your club with confidence. And you can! You just have to utilize that momentum and pass on these new ideas to your board and staff. Hold a conference review with your staff, write up a quick manager’s report for your Board, or even just discuss some of the things you learned from the conference. After all, new ideas are useless unless shared and applied!

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3 Comment(s)

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  1. Kevin MacDonald


    Thanks for sharing these great ideas! Success at conference or in life begins with a powerful intent. I know that is how you operate. Your wisdom, encouragement and challenge to us all is appreciated!


  2. Stephen Pieretti

    Well said see you at conf. Check out our new video on web site or utube Nassauclubvideo safe and sound

  3. Bill Finnen

    Hi Skip,

    Thanks for this email.
    It was certainly very helpful for me as I know it will be for many others.
    See you in San Diego!!


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