10 Takeaways from ACCE 2011

10. A pastrami sandwich is 10 times better with coleslaw on it. This lesson comes courtesy of the café at The Getty my one non-conference excursion. Perhaps another lesson built in: take time to enjoy the conference city. You won’t regret it. The Getty

9. A handshake and business card exchange is still my favorite kind of networking. I’ve had a great time post-conference connecting with all my new chamber friends online. But it is SO much more fun to connect online with people I’ve met and enjoyed good conversation with in person.

8. Every single town in this country has a unique and excellent tale, and chamber people sure know how to tell ’em. Without fail, every new connection I made came with a fun story about the region their chamber represents. From the Steele Stacks in Bethlehem, PA to the Groundhog Day Celebration with Doug the Quahog in Cape Cod, I’ve now got dozens more stops on my “when I drive across America” tour.

7. Presentation does not trump content. Meghan McCain was visibly nervous during her keynote presentation, and she nailed it in the Q and A. It’s a good reminder, and part of her message, that we need to listen to what people say rather than judge how they look saying it. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that she wrote the speech she read to us. As one who has built a career writing words for other people to put their names on and deliver, it is an inspiration and motivation to see a woman put her thoughts together and have the wherewithal to share them with the world. If you tweet, check the conversation at #stupidforamerica to see more fun from Meghan.

ACCE friends

6. Chamber colleagues make great friends. We’re intelligent, inclusive, intense, interesting and doggonit I love you guys!

5. According to an economic development presentation from MarketStreet, each of the last three recessions has been ended by small business growth. I call this tidbit a renewal of purpose and reminder of priority. I adore the small business community in the Fargo metro. These business owners have become my friends throughout my chamber tenure. It is an absolute privilege to be paid to help them succeed and I aim to do an even better job in the future.

4. This little nugget from Mike Schlossberg of Allentown, PA: Social media can create the perception of the chamber as a useful, engaged and fun group businesses cannot afford to not be a part of. Hello! This is making it’s way into our social media plan pronto. Follow him @MikeSchlossberg.

3. My first to do: Include volunteers and other staff more in content generation. Not only will this mean less work for me (bonus), it’s also a magnificent way to round out our message and accomplish the objective in number 4.

2. People watching in the city of angels is even better when Katy Perry is performing next door. Anybody catch the beauties with the cupcake pasties affixed to their striped tube tops? Fun stuff…katy Perry poster

1. California. Knows how to party. We owe it all to the staff of ACCE. Thank you to Crystal, Ian, Ask Audrey and the rest of the amazing team!



About Yo Adrienne Olson

Yo Adrienne Olson is a Fargo girl, a blessed mom, a lucky wife, an innovative communications professional and a closet entrepreneur.
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8 Responses to 10 Takeaways from ACCE 2011

  1. Kathy Young says:

    Adrienne – glad you enjoyed Mac’s presentation (#5) – hope to get a chance to meet you next year in Louisville!

  2. Polly Welden says:

    Great meeting you, Adrienne, as well as so many others. As a relative new-comer to Chamber life (3 years in this Chamber, but after 25 years in other places) it is inspirational to see how Chamber execs love the work they do. In the communications part of things, I find myself promoting the chamber, but not doing the direct “chamber work” one on one with business. It is helpful to find other chamber communications folk who face the same kinds of challenges (post what? where?) and still come out fired up about their place in things.

    • Polly – Each time I go to a chamber convention I have more fun. I can’t think of a better way of injecting a little adrenaline into my chamber work. People like you are what make it so much fun! Here’s to paths crossing again in the future!

  3. Michelle says:

    Great blog — I especially agree with #9!

    • Thanks for reading Michelle! Everything good about the ACCE experience stems from a real life interaction with other people. all of it. Are there jobs out there that require nothing more of you than to attend conferences constantly ? 🙂

  4. Frank Kenny says:

    Good post Adrienne. The ACCE conference was a lot of fun.

    On your point #9, I think that getting together face to face with new and old friends will always be the most powerful way to connect. I do love the fact that we can maintain the relationships throughout the year through social media though.

    • couldn’t agree more. I don’t get the opportunity to travel often anymore and when I do, I’m reminded how fantastic it is to immerse yourself in networking and making live connections at a conference or other event. I love being able to connect virtually with new people on a daily basis – but nothing beats the real thing!


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