Here is a Way….. http://hereisaway.com Taking concepts and making them happen Wed, 19 Jul 2017 20:53:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 How to get the most out of a Conference- Part 3 http://hereisaway.com/?p=67 http://hereisaway.com/?p=67#respond Wed, 19 Jul 2017 20:53:45 +0000 http://hereisaway.com/?p=67 Get ready, buckle up, here comes a conference.  It is the big one for After School Programs the 21st CCLC Summer Institute Conference is next week!  21st CCLC Summer Institute, put on by the U.S. Department of Education: http://21stcclc.leedmci.com   We are personally excited for this opportunity to meet some of you face to face […]

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Get ready, buckle up, here comes a conference.  It is the big one for After School Programs the 21st CCLC Summer Institute Conference is next week!  21st CCLC Summer Institute, put on by the U.S. Department of Education: http://21stcclc.leedmci.com

 

We are personally excited for this opportunity to meet some of you face to face at the Conference.  We always love to grow our networking circle.  You can find us during lunch, visiting with our vendor friends and also presenting.  If you would like us to introduce you to anyone let us know.  As you know we are not shy!  We may know them. Or, we may know someone else who knows them.  Or, it’s a great opportunity for us to learn about someone else we need to know.   All the cool kids are networking!

 

It is time to believe in you, push yourself outside of your comfort zone, and take on a new challenge!

http://lifeforcereiki.com/?author=4  

http://tboonepickensfoundation.org/uso-dallasfort-worth/ Nine Need to Know Necessities: Attending a Conference

  1. Setting Goals to Take Action
  2. Colleagues & Conferences
  3. Intentional Planning
  4. Power of Networking
  5. Conversation Starters
  6. Vendors are Valuable
  7. Believe in Yourself
  8. Move Out of Your Comfort Zone
  9. Personal Challenge

 

(Click here to see the first three tips and click here to see the second set of tips)

 

Here are the last three tips of Nine Need to Know Necessities.

Power of Networking

You are not in this alone. It is important to collaborate (learn from peers), get contacts and see how people are doing things.  You never know until you ask. Part of networking is starting the conversations and/or joining in with a conversation. It’s not as complicated as you think.  Take a risk! You have wonderful ideas to share, too! There is no cost in having conversations to gain ideas. Work on creating your own professional community. There are many people to meet. Build your awesome support team.  A strong network (support team) can be extremely useful.  The only way to find out is to ask. Share ideas! Ask specific questions. Don’t worry about “borrowing” or “tweaking” an idea.  In a beneficial network, others will take it as a compliment that you like what they are doing and are happy to share what works and did not work for them. Always carry (a bunch of) business cards to hand out. If you don’t have any, create your own (template below). Relationship building starts from small conversations and leads to trusting professional friendships. There is no right or wrong way as long as you are networking; some of our best ideas have come from our peers.  It is extremely rewarding when we can take a shared idea and make it successful across the board.  It may look completely different at each site, yet it still is meeting the needs of the students.  Network! Network! Network!  It truly makes a difference.

 

Conversation Starters

Now that you have the Who, What, When, and Why lets build upon the How.  Relationships start from common interests, that is beneficial to both involved.  You can do a bit of research by reviewing the list of attendees, vendors and speakers.  Look at nametags to see where people are from and what they do.  Make sure to use your couple of days at the conference to not only learn but to network.  Here are some ideas that may be something you are interested in asking.

Where are you from? * What type of program do you work with?  * Tell me about your program? * Engage further and ask about a specific part of the program (most popular class/activity) * How long have you been working in afterschool programming? * What is your role in afterschool?  What do you enjoy within your role/programming? * Do you have a good relationship with the school administration or administration? * When you are planning, thinking about planning for afterschool what are your hobbies/interests* Come here often?!? Have you attended this conference before? *Do you offer homework in your program?  * What is your favorite transition activity?

All of these suggestions are to be used in casual conversations-for you to build relationships.

 

Personal Challenge

Here’s a challenge for you… choose 3. To help hold yourself accountable write it down, email someone or comment on our blog!

  • Gain 5 contacts over the duration of the conference.
  • Stop by and gather information from 3 Vendors
  • Find 3 New Programming Ideas to Take Back
  • Create a tool to share information with colleagues back home that were not able to attend
  • Attend a Session Outside of your Comfort Zone
  • Create your own Challenge-Share below (BLOG)

 

If you would like to see us in action here are our presentation times :

 

If our presentation times don’t work within your schedule please take a moment to come find us to say hello.  For those of you who are not attending the Summer Institute we look forward to another opportunity to meet you.  Feel free to reach out to us!

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How to get the most out of a Conference- Part 2 http://hereisaway.com/?p=62 http://hereisaway.com/?p=62#respond Thu, 13 Jul 2017 06:09:45 +0000 http://hereisaway.com/?p=62 Attending a conference is great in many aspects.  We want you to move out of your comfort zone, start networking and learn about the value of vendors.  You are heading out of town to get inspired, meet new people and take back many great ideas to your program.  Remind yourself that it is a privilege […]

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Attending a conference is great in many aspects.  We want you to move out of your comfort zone, start networking and learn about the value of vendors.  You are heading out of town to get inspired, meet new people and take back many great ideas to your program.  Remind yourself that it is a privilege many people don’t get to be with other professionals in your field to gather and share success and challenges.

 

Nine Need to Know Necessities: Attending a Conference

  1. Setting Goals to Take Action
  2. Colleagues & Conferences
  3. Intentional Planning
  4. Power of Networking
  5. Conversation Starters
  6. Vendors are Valuable
  7. Believe in Yourself
  8. Move Out of Your Comfort Zone
  9. Personal Challenge

 

Here are the next three of Nine of the Need to Know Necessities:

 

Believe in yourself

Remember it is important to celebrate all victories and accomplishments (yes, even the small ones).  Come to the conference believing in what you are doing, be willing to share your successes. It is not easy for many of us to talk about the great things we are doing.

Stand proud and don’t give a half hearted salute to your work!  Just because it is easy for you it does not mean it is easy for someone else, and vice versa. As you are at the conference take time to seek information from others and time to share your ideas, thoughts, and questions.

Whether you have been in the field for a long time or new to the field, you are the professionals supporting our youth.  Your ideas should be shared!  We want to hear from you.  Presenting at and attending the upcoming 21st CCLC Summer Institute conference excites us to be part of a session or network with individuals while seeing their passions, vision and creative ideas.

As presenters your involvement and engagement energizes and reminds us that we are on target meeting your needs. We want you to leave our session feeling the same way. You are doing great work that many others value! You are fortunate to have a career that is making a difference in our youth.  Whatever your job title is wear it proud.  You are making an impact everyday! If we devalue our own profession then how will we be able to gain respect!

 

Move Out of Your Comfort Zone

Think about going to sessions you would not normally attend.  Maybe it’s the style of a session (interactive vs. lecture), or the topic of the session.  Sit with people you don’t know in the sessions or during the keynotes. Get rid of your proverbially security blanket.

Don’t be afraid to take a risk! Talk to people! Ask questions! Talk with one, all or any of the many speakers and exhibitors about something that has inspired you. If you have questions, act on them.

If you are attending the conference with others consider splitting up and attending different sessions. Or if you believe it would be more beneficial to have more than one set of eyes and ears in a session by all means have a couple of people attend. You both may not know about the topic and will gain different information.

It is ok to go to a session where you are familiar with the topic as there may be more information you can take back. Even if you have attended many conferences there is still plenty of quality information you can gain and share.  Once you open up to new ideas anything is possible.

 

Vendors are Valuable

Now is the time to put your networking skills to the test.  This is your chance to start talking- tell them about your programming. Dive right in, ask them how their product can fit into your program.

Their job is to sell you on the product; your job is to tell them how this product fits or does not fit within your program. Vendors are in the field because they too want to help children.  They are not just about selling their product.

Vendors are real people too!  See the value in what the vendors have to offer.  They have quality products/services designed to support your programming.  A vendor can be a reliable resource.  You will be surprised with some of the answers/input that vendors provide.

You might not have the money at this time but you can gather the information needed to find out how to fund this product/activity.  Many vendors are willing to work with you to bring their product to your program. Don’t be afraid to ask the difficult pricing questions, be creative with leveraging your funds.

Vendors will ask you for your contact information if you don’t have business cards; create your own or utilize labels (yes that says labels).  Self-created address labels with your information (name, email, program, phone, city/state) are a cost-effective way to disseminate your contact info.

As you are getting pumped up to get out of town, take some time to take a breath and rethink what you are doing within your program and for yourself personally. Only 2 weeks away for the 21st CCLC Summer Institute.  The Summer Institute is put on by the U.S. Department of Education: http://21stcclc.leedmci.com/

Next week we will be sharing the final three tips from the Nine Need to Know Necessities.  Today would be a great way to Jump Start! Move outside of that box!…

 

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How to get the most out of a Conference http://hereisaway.com/?p=41 http://hereisaway.com/?p=41#respond Wed, 05 Jul 2017 16:50:39 +0000 http://hereisaway.com/?p=41 As were getting ready for the 21st CCLC Summer Institute Conference we were thinking about our first time attending a conference. We were nervous, excited and wondering what to expect. As we had a lot going on personally (summer vacation) and in work we wanted to get the most of our time. Reflecting on what […]

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As were getting ready for the 21st CCLC Summer Institute Conference we were thinking about our first time attending a conference. We were nervous, excited and wondering what to expect. As we had a lot going on personally (summer vacation) and in work we wanted to get the most of our time.

Reflecting on what we wanted to know or should have known, (sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know), and we came up with these Nine Need to Know Necessities for Attending a Conference. Reflecting on this list we sure wish someone would have shared this with us.

Today, we are going to focus on a Plan for Success, giving you three tips from our list of nine. Next week we will pass along a three more tips. We are excited to share our tips of the trade with all of you!

We are fortunate to have been in the afterschool world for 20 plus years with a focus on 21st CCLC programming. We have attended one or two conferences (ok, maybe more like 10 or 100 conferences). We know people go to conferences for all different reasons, and that it can seem like an overwhelming endeavor.

Sure it is fun to travel to new places, see new things and meet new people but how do you get the most from the conference you are attending. We have put together Nine Need to Know Necessities to make your conference attendance more enjoyable and help you get the most out of attending.

Nine Need to Know Necessities: Attending a Conference

1. Setting Goals to Take Action
2. Colleagues & Conferences
3. Intentional Planning
4. Power of Networking
5. Conversation Starters
6. Vendors are Valuable
7. Believe in Yourself
8. Move Out of Your Comfort Zone
9. Personal Challenge

Setting Goals to Take Action

We want you take a minute to think about what you will be able to take away from the conference. As we have been told over the years setting goals is important. Think about your strengths and weaknesses in your position. As you get things organized around your office or while you are packing your bags, think about what can I, and what can the program including staff gain.

Take a few minutes to visit the conference website to see the Agenda at a Glance, Conference Strands, Breakout Sessions, Vendors, and the overall theme of the Conference. Understand your purpose in why you are attending the conference. Align your focus around what sessions and networking opportunities you should be engaged with to benefit your program and yourself. Ask yourself, “Why am I attending?” Beyond the fact that truthfully it is just great to get out of the office and away from your day-to-day duties.

Come up with three goals you want to take with you when you leave the conference. What do I expect to get out the conference? What am I looking to gain? Am I being volunTOLD? (You know when someone tells you that you have been volunteered to attend a conference).  If so, what does your supervisor want you to gain?

Colleagues & Conferences

Attending a conference with your colleagues is a great way to bond and share ideas. It can also be stressful for some people, so making a plan can be helpful. If you are a leader/supervisor of a group, see what the interest of your group is and how can you get them involved. Attending a conference with a group is a great way to gain more information. As you have set your own personal goals for the conference talk to your colleagues to see what they want to gain from the conference. Do you have similar strengths and interests? Do you feel you each have different attributes? You may want to think about attending different sessions, to gather various ideas. If there is a large group of people from your work take some time to review the agenda as a group to see the best way to split up. Or, you may want to attend the same session, as it is something you both feel is important.

Have fun creating an engaging process to collect and present useful information from the conference to bring back to your colleagues. There are a variety of ways to share information with your colleagues. Choose the method of delivery most comfortable for you. You can also debrief each day to share some ideas you gained. Make it fun!

Intentional Planning

Just like when planning your program you need to approach a conference with the same mentality. Be intentional when choosing a breakout session: Do the research by looking at the subject area, presenters (Do you know who they are? Have you heard anything about them?), topic area, and think about practical application.

As you start to schedule your day look at your program needs (and personal needs). Are there two sessions being offered at the same time you would like to attend? What do you do?!@ Don’t Panic! Glance to see if either of the sessions is being repeated. If you are going with a group let them know you would like someone to attend one of the sessions. Or, once you are at the conference see if there is another person going to the session who would be willing to share the information. Many of the presenters will share their presentations. If you can’t find someone to attend then talk with the presenter.

Before you go, think about your program. How you are running the program? Come ready to participate and be engaged at the conference. Make the best of what you are doing right now. Be prepared to free yourself from your day-to-day rituals. For best results, clear out the clutter upstairs (yeah, in your head). You will want to focus on getting the most out of the conference.

Come with an open mind to take in some creative ideas. Be innovative on how to implement the ideas within your own program. Some ideas can be adapted and other ideas may not be a good fit. Don’t get stressed about what you don’t have. Instead focus your energy on how you can adapt new ideas in your program.

Don’t feel the pressure that you need to do what everyone else is doing. A good program is unique to your students and community. If you feel a session is not meeting your needs, it is OK to quietly leave the session. We understand your time is valuable that is why intentional planning is a must.

 

We are so excited to be presenting at this year’s 21st CCLC Summer Institute, July 25th, 26th and 27th in Philadelphia, PA. If you haven’t already checked out this awesome conference, now is a good time to time to look into it. The 21st CCLC Summer Institute is put on by the U.S. Department of Education: http://21stcclc.leedmci.com

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