I’m very fortunate that my employer encourages me to attend at least one large-scale professional development conference each year, and I’m excited to have officially booked my attendance at the 2013 PRSA Counselors to Higher Education Senior Summit in Washington, D.C. this April.
Last year I went to a Ragan Communications Summit in NYC, and to be honest, I was little disappointed in the content. It ended up being a ‘back to basics’ and ‘101’ format, especially in terms of social media initiatives, so I didn’t feel I got as much out of it.
I anticipate this will be the exact opposite. My boss attended this conference last year, and it’s really intended for more executive level pr/communications professionals who are looking to enhance their strategic planning skills and stay abreast of the ever evolving higher education landscape. I’m a little nervous but also excited; I think this is the direction I need to be headed so I can prepare myself to move into a more strategic, leadership role as a next step in my career.
I am also excited because the fiance gets to tag along, thanks to my annual Delta Skymiles Companion Certificate. He doesn’t have much time off since we’re saving everything we have (money, PTO, energy, etc.) for our honeymoon this fall, but he is able to work from the hotel room each day I’m at the conference without having to take time off. It works out perfectly because then I’m not concerned about what he’s up to while I’m attending the conference, he doesn’t have to miss out on work, and we can both enjoy the evenings together as well as the weekend days we tacked on after the conference wraps up Friday.
The other great thing about his tagging along is that’s he’s only ever driven through D.C.! I’ve been many times so I’m excited to plan our free time around what he wants to do since he’s never been. I think his only requests were that he see the Constitution and Bill of Rights at some point so I’m looking into booking our tour of the National Archives. I am also very lucky to have a relative in the Secret Service who is helping me make arrangements to possibly tour the White House and Capitol through his connections.
It will probably be a whirlwind visit given we’ll be working the majority of the time and then squeezing in a little time for play, but I’m really looking forward to the conference and getting a little time away to see D.C. during cherry blossom season with my best friend.
Although I’m leaving our big stops up to his whim, I am always open to restaurant locales–let me know what you recommend right downtown!