Top Three Reasons to Attend ACCE’s Annual Conference
With so many demands on our time and our money, we have to constantly justify where we invest our resources. Having worked in the Chamber business for nine years and in economic development for nearly twenty, I’ve realized that ACCE’s annual gathering is my favorite conference of them all, for three reasons.
First, the speakers and programs are top-notch. ACCE does a good job each year tackling the most current and toughest issues we face as Chambers. Whether your biggest challenge is increasing dues revenue, building the right team or retaining the members you’ve got, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to improve your organization. On top of that, you just might catch Casey Steinbacher talking about how we create collisions, or learn Molly Fletcher’s inspirational story or hear the Des Moines chorus singing about how us Texas Chamber execs can’t stop waving our flags. I always return home with way more ideas than I can implement, and the hardest thing to do is to figure out what NOT to take on next.
Second, the peer networking with colleagues and friends from around the world is the best I’ve ever experienced. If you’ve been through Chamber Institute, WACE or any programs like those around the country, ACCE will feel like a reunion. In the months leading up to Long Beach, the emails and texts have begun to fly, with everyone comparing arrival times and planning the location of that first drink. My Chamber world is one big mostly-happy family, and I can’t wait to see everyone again.
Finally, the host communities always give a great lesson on how to develop a city, and Long Beach should be no exception. Savannah showed us how the historic and modern aspects of a city can thrive together. Nashville was a non-stop music festival everywhere you went, intent on balancing history and down-home culture with nearly overwhelming growth. And Des Moines was the biggest surprise of them all. Jay Byers and his team are doing some amazing things, and I’ve been looking for a reason to go back ever since. Maybe to get another Zombie Burger.
Can somebody bring one to Long Beach?