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Perspective
PD Events Ė Not Dangerous to Your Health
TIME TO TURN UP THE VOLUME

Have you noticed that there arenít as many live conferences as there were a few years ago? Do you wonder why? Everyone still needs professional development, but with greater workloads and reduced PD budgets, management needs to think harder about what type of events and how many employees they can afford to send out for a day or two.

Nathaly Pinchuk,
RPR, CMP
Executive Director
As directors and managers, we all know the importance of ongoing learning and networking. The exchange of information and sharing of ideas is vital not only to your personal growth, but to the growth of your organization as well. You get to spend the day with other members of your association and find out whatís happening in their workplace, what theyíre doing about it and what you can bring back to your office.

Why am I telling you this? Because with over 2,400 members across the country, there is something each one of you can do regardless of where you are. Join the ever growing team of ďambassadorsĒ and talk about the programs and events with your colleagues and networks. This doesnít entail any extra time or work and adds credibility to your membership in the more extensive national network, your accomplishments and personal development.

Using IPM as an example, we have organized five full day conferences in major centres across Canada. These centres have chapters with a core group of regional volunteers who assist in developing the right programs to meet the needs of the respective chapters. Our volunteers have put in extensive time and effort researching topics and speakers that meet your needs. We offer something for everyone. There isnít one area in Canada that is not offering a topic for recruiters, managers, trainers and administrators. This basically covers the entire spectrum.

Looking at the other registration fees for conferences, we strive to keep ours most affordable. Where else can you get four sessions and speakers, breakfast, lunch, coffee breaks and handout materials for $139.00? Furthermore, for every three people registered, a fourth person attends free of charge. The most popular question from delegates is how can we afford to run these events at such low costs? Weíre really counting on your support and need larger attendance numbers to keep running these events.

We canít count the number of members and guests who come out to the conferences and express how satisfied they were with the information delivered, the prominent line-up of speakers and the most conducive atmosphere of sitting comfortably at round tables for the entire day with their peers. Most first time attendees canít understand why they waited so long to attend.

Why donít you consider taking advantage of this now? If youíre too busy and canít get away, why not tell your colleagues and managers about it? If you have colleagues in other centres which host these conferences, encourage them to check out the events. With the advancement of technology with Internet and emails, itís as easy as sending a short email with a link.

If you canít attend, send a colleague instead who can then share the information with your entire team. What have you got to lose? Theyíre not giving away company secrets, but bring back vital information that can help your organization grow and learn how to cope with todayís issues.

Word of mouth goes a long way folks. Itís time to turn up the volume and help everyone spread the word. It will be wonderful to see you at a conference and weíll welcome your colleagues across the country too. You can rest assured that those whom you encourage to attend will come back and thank you, beyond giving you the information to become a star in your workplace.

Nathaly Pinchuk, RPR, CMP Executive Director IPM Institute of Professional Management



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