From the editor: Considered Michigan’s premier education and networking event for professionals in the nonprofit sector, ORGPRO 2013 will be held from July 8 to July 10 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel at Kalamazoo Center. So why should you attend? This week, Shana Killips, chairperson of ORGPRO’s Community Engagement Subcommittee, will give us a sneak peek of what’s in store.
The ORGPRO Task Force created a Community Engagement Subcommittee in 2012 to support three areas of need:
1. Help new and less experienced participants feel welcome
2. Encourage all participants to get acquainted
3. Plan networking activities
The 2012 volunteers successfully launched an ORGPRO mentoring program with 24 participants and hosted a community engagement reception on the opening night of the conference last year. This year, we’re excited to offer two additional services. We believe participation in these programs will create a comfortable environment for participants, allowing them to maximize their learning and networking opportunities throughout ORGPRO.
1. ORGPRO ambassadors
Have you ever seen someone with an “Ask Me?” button at a conference? We’re providing a new service this year based on that concept, which will create a more comfortable experience for every ORGPRO participant. An army of volunteers will be present throughout the conference at general session entrances, in myLounge, at all transportation drop-off and pick-up sites and at networking events. The ambassadors will serve as the welcome parties of each event. We still need volunteers to participate in this program, so if you can commit 15 to 30 minutes of your time during the conference, please consider this opportunity. To volunteer, please designate your interest on your ORGPRO registration form or e-mail email@example.com.
2. ORGPRO tips and tricks webinar
Created specifically for first- and second-year ORGPRO attendees, the tips and tricks webinar will teach participants how to network at ORGPRO; suggest the best business supplies to pack and the proper attire to wear during the conference; how to get the most from education sessions; and what to do at Marketplace, a speed networking event. Facilitators Cassandra Jorae, from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., and Dawn Dye, from the Calhoun County Convention and Visitors Bureau, represent both the association professional and supplier perspective of ORGPRO. Based on the positive response from our June 5 participants, we will host a second session from 2 to 2:30 p.m. on June 27. To register, please e-mail Michigan Society of Association Executives (MSAE) at firstname.lastname@example.org. All webinar participants will receive an invitation to the private ORGPRO member engagement reception (see below).
3. Mentoring program
We’ll offer the mentoring program again this year. The program will provide mentees with a direct contact to help them prepare for ORGPRO; discuss how to maximize their learning experiences; and introduce them to new contacts throughout the conference. Participants who request a mentor during the registration process will be paired with a volunteer mentor prior to arrival. The private member engagement reception on July 8 will provide mentors and mentees with an opportunity to meet face-to-face upon arrival at the hotel. To request a mentor, or to volunteer as one, please indicate your interest when you register or e-mail email@example.com.
4. Member engagement reception
We’ll welcome new members, first-time participants and volunteers for each of our engagement programs during the member engagement reception, where there will be a concierge desk to help mentors and mentees find their partners. Member Insurance Solutions and the Community Engagement Subcommittee will host guests from 6 to 7 p.m. on July 8 at Weber’s Prime Steak House in the hotel.
Our goal is to help you feel welcome and comfortable in a learning environment that fosters ideas and creativity. But if you’re new to ORGPRO, we know you’ve got questions. So ask away. What would you like to know? For those who’ve attend before, why should newbies join us?
Shana Killips, CMP, is a sales and marketing professional with a commitment to loyalty, community and balance. For the past 12 years, she has served as the sales manager for the James B. Henry Center for Executive Development at Michigan State University, an award-winning conference center. Killips is currently the chairperson of MSAE’s Emerging Professionals Committee.