Wednesday, April 09, 2008

You’re Never TOO Busy or TOO Cool to Volunteer

As you read about how great NACAC's 64th National Conference in Seattle (WA) will be and discover all of the amazing things to do in and around the city, PLEASE don’t forget that NACAC is an organization that relies heavily on volunteers within the organization to pull off a successful conference! Now is the perfect time to “step up” and give a little of your time. Trust me, it feels great!

I guess I first realized how crucial conference volunteers were when I was thrust (that’s kinda what it felt like) into the position of LAC Co-Chair for NACAC Austin. Granted, Christine Bowman and I had the best LAC we could have asked for, but we quickly learned that each of the six subcommittees would require between 15-40 volunteers each!

After we recovered from the initial heart attack, we remembered that NACAC is filled with members who are willing to give their time and energy for a good cause. I can’t tell you how thrilled we were to see so many people come out of the woodwork to do a little registering of people, greet incoming guests at the airport, guide people to sessions or even do some conference bag-stuffing (MUCH needed).

And don’t worry, it’s not like you’re signing up for a second full-time job or required to be “behind the scenes” for the entire conference. We’re talking an hour here or two hours there. Simple—yet effective.

If I could expand upon this idea, I might suggest the following strategy to ensure a phenomenal conference experience:

Listen to captivating keynote speakers Randy Snow or B.D. Wong…then volunteer…

Check out the Exhibit Hall to see who is exhibiting…then volunteer…

Work in some fishing or sea kayaking…then volunteer…

Attend the ever-important Counselor College Fair…then volunteer…

Network with colleagues while tasting some Washington wine…then volunteer (well, maybe not after this one)…

Don’t arrive late or fly home early! You won’t want to miss the memorable Welcome Reception or Saturday night social… and then of course, volunteer…

If you follow this type of conference strategy, you are sure to feel much better about yourself when the conference is over. So, if you think you’re too busy or cool to volunteer, think again!

Sights on Seattle,
Justin Doty
Trinity University (TX)
LAC Austin Co-Chair
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