by Kathie Niesen CMP
So about 18 months ago, I discovered SPIN. I had left my job of 28 years, moved 1500 miles from home and was attempting to start my own business. I was also active in the same organizations that I had previously belonged to, great organizations but they just didn’t fit my life anymore. And so one day, I found the SPIN Linked In group, aha, here I found an interested and interesting group of people I could relate to, so I joined. And then I found the, “Want to Volunteer?” site and I couldn’t stop myself, what could I do remotely with no chapter in the vicinity– oh yeah, blog coordinator. Don’t tell Shawna or Catherine but I had to look up the definition of blog before I completed the form.
And then suddenly there was a meeting to attend – a leadership conference and SPINCon but it was back home (Chicago area) and I jumped at the chance to visit. I was a little nervous, my communication team colleague told me there would be a report expected (panic mode) but she assured me it was informal and not a big deal and I relaxed – okay not really. I was admittedly nervous, knowing only a few people and them only by phone or email.
Well, let me tell you, I couldn’t have felt more welcome if these “SPIN” people were my brothers and sisters well one brother, the other just doesn’t get me. Seriously it was family from the start and laid back is not the word for it, one of our more prominent members actually wore her PJ’s and slippers to a general session but I won’t tell you who that was.
And as much as the camaraderie was great, the depth of education made it an even more incredible experience. From Brain and Body Sessions to the Being and Business sessions to the keynoters, the experience was incredibly enriching. And we drank wine, plenty of it. I walked away a richer person in terms of the friendships and learning but I also got valuable insight into things like finding clients, networking, running my own business and so many of the things I learned I have put into practice and low and behold even gotten some business.
So that was my first SPINCon, looking forward to my next one. I encourage those of you who haven’t been to consider it, it is an experience like no other meeting out there, promise that you won’t regret it. And bring the nice pajamas, the one without the holes.
Kathie Niesen, CMP is the Owner of KMN Meetings and Events. She plans meetings of all sizes. Consulting services include instructional design, working with volunteers and faculty development. She is the SPIN Blog Coordinator and a member of PCMA. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Kathie Niesen, CMP
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