Beyond the Scope: Preparing for Your State Conference

This entry is part 7 of 9 in the series December 2013

Great speakers are brought in from around the country to supply a variety of knowledge and subject matter.

Here are a few steps you can take to help get the most from the conference experience.

Before the Conference

Review your renewal status and credits.  Make sure you have a record of and documentation for any credits you already have, if they are required. You then know the minimum remaining for you to meet the state requirements. Just as an aside, I have found no state code that prohibits you from getting more credits than are required.

Review the conference brochure. Note the courses and the speakers. Here is where you can get the most value from the credits by going outside your comfort zone. Take a communication or business course instead of taking a deed research course for the fourth time. Going outside your zone is good for you and your company. The concept of continued competency is to expand your knowledge, not necessarily to repeat it!

Register early. Most states offer an “early bird special” of some sort, where you can save on the conference fees.

At the Conference

Be engaged in the courses. In most instances, the more you put into a seminar, the more you will get from it. Actively participating makes the experience much more enjoyable for you and the speaker.
Take advantage of your peers. There is an unlimited wealth of information in your fellow surveyors. I have written in the past how, at least once at each conference while I am just chatting with my peers, a little light will go off in my head, and I will say, “Gee, I never thought of that,” or “Wow, that’s where I can get the information I need.” You will create an endless chain of resources from across your state and, in many cases, from adjoining states.

Participate in the social events, for the reasons listed above and for your own enjoyment.
Take time to fully complete the evaluation forms for each seminar. Give the society ideas for new seminars or speakers. Your society goes to great lengths to make the seminar experiences as helpful as possible, but they need your assistance.

After the Conference

Gather all your documentation and place it with your previous records.

Share the ideas you have from the information presented at the conference with members of your firm. See how these new ideas can help your firm—or at least cause the firm to review their process for that idea.

Catalog all the contacts you have made and place them with your societies’ member contact list in an important place on your desk or in a group in your online contact list.

Place the dates for the next conference on the calendar to be sure you won’t have any conflict.

Follow these steps and enjoy! I hope to see you at the conferences. You can find me at the upcoming Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Florida and California conferences.

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