This month, for a limited time only we are introducing you to a very special type of member – the Conference Rockstar! Our conference Rockstars are those members who have attended all the previous ACE conferences and have registered to attend #ACE19 (that’s 5 conferences in a row!).
Allow us to introduce our first conference Rockstar – Glen Harriss, State Manager – Queensland, Sports Medicine Australia. Glen will share with us why he hasn’t missed an AuSAE ACE conference and why he continues to commit time and resources to attend.
Tell us what you value the most about ACE?
Connections. Renewing past connections and meeting new connections. I actively look to sit next someone different in every session. It is an easy way meet someone new and you already have many things in common such as being association professionals and an interest in the particular session. It is also energizing knowing that the challenges I face in my organisation are very similar to those faced by others. I have received so many tips and ideas that have been easily translatable into my own organisation. I have also been able to share a couple too!
Can you share a tangible example of how attending the conference directly impacted your role?
I have my current role at Sports Medicine Australia because I met the CEO at ACE in Sydney. The position had been recently advertised, so I actively tracked him down and met him. The conference app was great to see what he looked like and to send him a message. I also had help from some friends who were also on the lookout for me!
How have you seen the conference evolve over the past 5 years?
Over the years, the choices have increased and the sessions are more interactive and modern. We are not drowning in PowerPoint presentations instead being actively involved in workshops and panel discussions. The addition of speakers from outside the association sector has been valuable providing an insight into what we do from a different perspective.
I feel there has been an increased focus on networking and providing delegates with numerous opportunities to meet other likeminded professionals. I have loved the addition of lunch sessions where first timers (who may not know many people) can meet and mingle with other first timers or where delegates can meet the AuSAE Board members and hear more about our organisation. The type of networking sessions has evolved to last year where we had an amazing time have drinks with Panda Bears at the Adelaide Zoo (who by the way is a fantastic membership organisation).
If you didn’t attend #ACE19, what do you think you would miss the most?
I would miss the food! For mine, the food is always sensational, but the first ACE conference at BCEC in Brisbane was absolutely the best. I look forward to seeing what they deliver this year!
I would also miss the networking opportunities. I would encourage everyone to attend and be actively involved in all the networking sessions. This has been where I have found and built some amazing relationships. More than any other conference I attend, I have always felt comfortable saying hello to the person next to me.