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.
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.
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.
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!