Annual conference: The Wrap Up

Well, all good things… Both the Convention Center and the Grand Hyatt (and all the other conference hotels, we’re sure) have bid goodbye to most of the 2400+ NACADA attendees and have started saying hello to the next event. A handful of attendees are still around enjoying San Antonio’s hospitality a little longer; some to visit with friends or family, some to play tourist.

As we all travel back to our respective campuses, no doubt we’re processing what new nuggets the past few days have brought. What new thing can we try in our own advising offices to help us improve our services? What steps of positive change can we begin to implement? What hard questions do we need to ask of ourselves, our supervisors, our staff and/or our students?

As we unpack, we’ll no doubt find the business cards we received from colleagues from around the country (and maybe even the world as the conference played host to advisers from non-North American countries as well). What follow-up phone calls will we make? What questioning emails will we write as we continue the conversation that started at the conference. What ideas and suggestions and feedback and advise will keep going back and forth long after the “Welcome NACADA participants” signs have been taken down and (hopefully) recycled?

Annual and regional conferences are not the end; they are the beginning. These give birth to ideas, spark conversations and form connections and collaborations that benefit us and our institutions.

Here in Region 8, now that our receipts have been turned over to our office and/or budget managers, we turn our attention to our next impetus of conversations, connections and collaborations: the 2010 regional conference in Seattle (Jan. 25-27). As we keep at eye on that upcoming event, we also glance ahead to the next annual conference, to the next time our larger community comes together to share, inspire and collaborate: the 201o annual conference, Oct. 3-6, Disney World, Orlando, Florida. (Yes, my friends, advising is about to meet the Mouse.)

Don’t forget: the proposal deadline for Seattle 2010 is Oct. 23, 2009. Scholarship and awards applications are due Nov. 16, 2009.

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