I spent last week in Orlando at the 2009 Annual Conference of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). This was my fourth NAPO national conference, and it was a good one for me. There were so many opportunities for learning and continuing my organizing education. I always like to add new tools to my toolbox! In particular, I attended workshops on assessing the needs of business clients and strategies for tracking their progress towards their organizing and productivity goals, new time management tools and strategies, email management, and more. I’ll be able to serve my clients even better with these new skill sets.
A big milestone for me: I was a speaker on the very popular “Ask the Organizer” panel discussion, where veteran organizers field questions on a variety of topics from an audience of four or five hundred other (many newer) organizers. This panel is usually one of the best-attended at the conference. I had a great time with my fellow panelists, all of whom I respect very much, and the audience really gave us some meaty questions to respond to. I’d never spoken at any NAPO conference up until that point, and it was a real treat to be able to share what I’ve learned along with way with my colleagues.
In the expo hall, along with the various organizing doodads and gizmos, a big presence was felt by companies offering tools and services to manage paper via scanning. The heavy hitter The Neat Company (www.neatco.com) had organizers flocking to their booth for their high-quality scanner/software combinations, along with upstarts Pixily (http://tinyurl.com/cls-pixily) and XamBox (www.xamance.com). I’ll post more about each of these services, along with some other great expo finds, soon in a series of follow-ups.
One of the best outcomes of any NAPO conference is the great professional and personal connections. It’s great to reconnect with old NAPO pals, and extra fun to make new ones. I had the pleasure of meeting organizers from all over the country, and across the world, from places as far-flung as Australia and Japan. I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference in Columbus!