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Last week, I had a most interesting conversation with a colleague about the value we get out of conferences.

We spoke about the typical things we go to conference for, like:
“I always take away one or two ideas that pay for the conference 5 times over!” or,

“The networking is great because I can discuss big challenges with my colleagues (…not to mention making new friends and connections!”

I added that the “change of pace” away from the office is important to me, even as I am learning. It helps me take a deep breath and gives me new energy, and a fresh perspective.

“In fact,” I confided, “I often have two pages open in front of me – one for taking notes on the session I am sitting in – and the second, to sketch out a strategy for some work-related deadline I am facing.”

My friend immediately LOL. “You do that too? I wrote one of my best proposals ever during a completely unrelated workshop! And I learned something at the session too.”

While I am not a proponent of being AWOL when at a conference, I was reminded we all need professional time away from the office. It is energizing and gives us a fresh perspective…and a great learning opportunity.

We’ve designed Congress just for this purpose.

I can’t wait for Congress. And you? What are your “other” reasons for getting away to Congress?

Have a great week!

Mark Hierlihy
Congress Chair

3 Responses to “I can’t wait for Congress so I can get some work done!”

  1. Tania Little

    Re-fresh, re-energize, re-juvenate, schmingle and be inspired. I love the energy of being in shared space with some of the globe’s brightest fundraising minds, listening, listening, listening and absorbing it all.

  2. Paul Nazareth

    Get some work done – you bet! I was speaking with one of my mentors on a break at Congress in 2005 and noted that their notebook was peppered with post it notes and I asked what was up….”each note is from a session where I had a good idea about the application of something learned that could be implemented to make change right away. Who has time to go through their notebook returning to the office – I just file my notebook and pull all the post it notes. We take the top ten ideas and shop them within the team to see what could help but is still practical. Every year at least three end up on the good idea wall of fame!”. I now carry a post it note pad to every session.

  3. Joanne Murray

    I’m not even there yet and I have already picked up more than a few very useful tips from the blogs! This will be my first Congress, preceding my first attempt at a major fundraising campaign….I’m feeling more confident already from looking at the breadth of learning opportunities.


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