When writing your Christmas wish list for Santa this month, consider asking the big fella for a trip to the FPRA annual conference in August. It’s never too early to start planning, and you should take advantage of being on Santa’s nice list while you can!
Thinking back on my trip to conference earlier this year, I’m reminded of the many benefits. Tops on the list, of course, are all the fantastic educational sessions with tremendous speakers. I’m always inspired and find it amazing how many great ideas you can think up just by getting away from the office. Conference also is a great time to network with fellow PR practitioners from around the state. You never know when you might need to collaborate with Sunshine State counterparts or pick their brains when you’re stumped with a PR challenge. If you’re fortunate to be recognized for a Golden Image award, conference is even more fun, but if it’s not your year, you’ll be motivated just hearing about the best PR campaigns in the state.
Annual conference also is a great opportunity to build stronger bonds among the PR professionals from within our chapter, too. We tend to sit together by day and enjoy dinner and refreshments together by night. Yep, everyone knows just where the Southwest Florida chapter is sitting because we’re awfully spirited! Besides the fact that it’s a lot of fun, the relationships you build at conference can only be maximized when we all head back home. Southwest Florida’s still like a small town and we all work together in one way or another.
Last, with six years as our chapter’s accreditation chair, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say my favorite part of annual conference is the recognition of the new APRs and CPRCs! What better way to re-charge your professional development battery than by applauding our profession’s most distinguished members? You might just leave conference with plans to add some initials after your own name!
— Kara Winton APR, CPRC