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After the Mai Tais: Takeaways from PRC

Imagine you’re sitting by the pool, ocean in the distance, tiki drink in hand, soaking up the sun and warm breeze…you’ve been waiting for this for weeks. Ahhhhh….sunshine and relaxation!

Well, if that’s what you’re thinking we all did in Honolulu at the beginning of February, think again! Thankfully for the conference attendance stats, the weather was cold and blustery (by Hawaii standards) and as a result the sessions were probably more highly attended than anyone would have imagined for a conference nestled among the beaches of Waikiki. Sessions ranged from how to use the power of brain science to hold your colleagues accountable, to how to write winning proposals. There were sessions on overcoming personal obstacles, developing the next generation of leaders within your firms, and developing better business development plans. In typical fashion, there was something for everyone.

I’m probably exaggerating when I say we didn’t get any sun time; the morning after the conference was a sunny, beautiful day and most of us still around snuck down to the pool for some vitamin D. But during the conference the highlights were not the pool breaks, they were the social events organized by the conference committee. The always popular ‘restaurant roundup’ provided a well-curated opportunity to try some local flavors, and the Thursday night social provided a unique chance to participate in cultural activities including lei making and hula dancing.

Seattle had a wonderful turnout – around 40 SMPS constituents flew over the Pacific Ocean to join the fun. During the conference, we gathered for an informal toast to the Seattle crew at the hotel’s central Tapa Bar, which served a pretty delish $6 happy hour Mai Tai. Once we had all returned to Seattle, a handful of us shared our knowledge at a brown bag recap earlier this week. While a quick summary of highlights is no substitute for the real deal, it was a good chance for members to receive a glimpse of conference life, and a list of resources for individual exploration and learning.

If you missed the recap and want to learn more about PRC – it’s not too late to ask board members to join your Roundtable for a recap! Talk to your Roundtable leader to see about scheduling.

Not in a roundtable? Now is a great time to join one, we’re placing new (and not so new!) members in Roundtables as we speak. Reach out to Marcie Lohr to learn more.

If you’d like to attend a future Pacific Regional Conference, start planning your ‘ask’ now – it’s not too early! Next year the wave is ‘going neon’ in Las Vegas, from February 5-7, 2020. It’s going to be a wild ride and you don’t want to miss it!

Until then, I hope to see you at an upcoming SMPS Seattle event…or maybe you’ll bump into me hopping between Seattle’s handful of tiki bars searching for an authentic Mai Tai that’ll transport me back to Honolulu…

Until then, Aloha!

     –   Erin Hatch, CPSM, SMPS Seattle President

Erin Hatch is SMPS Seattle’s 2018/2019 chapter President. When she’s not working with the board of directors to keep the chapter humming along, she’s the Marketing Director at Weber Thompson, an interdisciplinary architecture firm in Seattle. You can reach her by email at [email protected]

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