Food for Thought

by Abigail Solazzo

Summer is always a busy time. Vacations, family reunions, children's activities, or simply finding time to relax and enjoy the season keeps us busy all summer long. In addition to our personal commitments, we also have our jobs and dedicate time to keep up with continuing education and expanding our professional network. With limited availability, your chapter may want to consider hosting small, micro-meetings or events throughout the state. This allows members to continue networking and stay engaged throughout times when a full day meeting is not always possible. Consider hosting meetings and events in areas where there is a higher concentration of members or convenient such as:

Roundtables are quick, easy way to exchange information and ideas and can take place over breakfast or lunch. Give members the chance to focus on one topic and share their experiences based on the topic. For example, Association Forum often holds lunch-and-learns, where members bring their lunch to a designated meeting space/venue and discuss various topics related to association management.

Speed networking
Like speed dating, every member spends a couple of minutes getting to know each other, or discussing a specific topic allowing everyone the opportunity to meet or speak with one another. Have members discuss a recent achievement, whether it was personal or professional, or some initiatives they would like to see the chapter implement (take notes!). This exercise could be used as an ice-breaker at chapter meetings as well.

Evening Events
Like roundtables, consider networking with other members over a casual dinner or drinks. While this can be a more social or relaxed atmosphere, remember to keep members focused on topics related to the industry. An evening event may be more convenient for members as well.

Remember to invite industry partners, colleagues, administrators, non-members and students so they can get a ‘taste’ of your ANFP chapter.