Tomorrow's the beginning of AFP Toronto's Congress which I spoke about last week.
Here's a few pointers to make sure you go back to work after Congress (or any conference for that matter) ready to embrace change.
Turn off then turn on. Turn off the crackberry, turn on the focus. Your office, staff and your latest campaign will not spontaneously combust in your absence. Trust the people back at the office to keep the ship afloat and keep your mind on the job at hand, learning.
Work out the true cost to send you to Congress. That's the delegate rate + your time. Your time isn't cheap, particularly three days of it. If you think of it like this, it forces you to appreciate what it's costing your employer to send you and puts extra onus on you to bring back some brilliant ideas.
Swap and share. In every session swap a business card with at least one new face and commit to meeting up post Congress. You'll be amazed the opportunities these meetings uncover. Share as much as you can during, in between and after sessions. Those who give the most get the most back.
Change. Be prepared to go back to the office a changed fundraiser. That change may be as significant as a shift in strategy, it may be a change in mindset. But open your mind to change and during each session jot some action points down as a starting point.
Enjoy Congress folks.