As the director of the Education Fund for the National Federation of Press Women, I’ve been receiving applications from members who have never attended an NFPW national conference.
These first-timers recognize a good thing. NFPW conferences have lots to offer:
Networking: When NFPW members meet, you’re meeting individuals who work for newspapers and magazines. Many work in public relations. Some are authors. Many are free-lance writers. Members are willing to share advice and their experience. They’ll help connect you.
I once needed to secure space at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. No one at my office was having any luck. I called on Mary Jane Skala, who is now working in Nebraska. She went to school with the person with whom I needed to connect. The next thing I knew I had a program scheduled and media coming to the event.
Only a few months later, I needed the same thing, only this time in Denver. Again, an NFPW member came to my rescue. Ann Lockhart connected me with the right people, and I scheduled an event at the Denver Press Club.
Professional Development: The conference schedule is jam-packed with speakers covering public relations and marketing; writing books; journalism, digital media and social media, as well as how to balance life, work and play and boosting creativity. The speakers almost always are willing to stick around after their session and answer additional questions. The toughest part for me is choosing which session to go to. They are all so good. As soon as I receive my conference program, I highlight my top choices so I don’t get sidetracked by the silent auction, networking (see above) or exploring the city.
Personal enrichment: Another benefit of the conference is how good you will feel once you leave. You’re surrounded by smart, creative, energetic and driven individuals, who also like to have fun. You’ll come away with new friends, new colleagues and new experiences.
The early-bird deadline for this year’s conference is Aug. 27. For more details, visit the NFPW website.