Building a Professional Network: You Are Among Friends at the HFTP 2018 Annual Convention

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Written by: Bonnie Wise — Official HFTP® 2018 Guest Blogger

I am happy to share some of my insights with you from the HFTP 2018 Annual Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.  HFTP has done it again! From what I have experienced, the Annual Convention so far has been a huge success. From registration to each session and keynote, the floor has been manned with staff and many volunteers working tirelessly for hours to ensure that the convention goes without a hitch. Sessions were well-planned and and perfect for today’s financial and technology professionals.

I spoke with Mark Roland of Kolter Hospitality and asked him about his 17-year attendance. What is it that keeps him coming back, year after year? He said that it is reconnecting with the people, some of whom he has worked with at different companies over the years or met here at the conference. Either way, Annual Convention is the perfect opportunity to reconnect and share those memories from the past.

The second reason, he said, is the education. There are some really good topics and, when you attend the sessions, you are growing your own network. When you can go back home and a question arises, you may have an HFTP friend who will be able to help you find the answers you need.

There is a familiarity in the air when you are here. It’s like being with your family and sharing stories, making new friends and learning. When asked, “Why do you attend every year?” the answer is almost always unanimous— it is the people, the education and the networking.

This is just a small part of the conference; there are so many opportunities to spend even more time networking. Some of this time comes from meeting with the vendors who are here to support HFTP and give you the opportunity to view their products firsthand. The vendors share in the camaraderie just like all the attendees. It is one big HFTP family, not vendors and attendees. Smiles and hugs are everywhere. There are great giveaways, as well. We have seen chickens, pigs, squirrels and cats on the vendor tables along with pens, paper and flashlights. You never know what to expect, and it is always fun to guess who will have what handout next year.

I had the opportunity yesterday to attend the session Leadership: Global Excellence Part 2 and it was very well-led, exciting and definitely held all of our interests. Later in the session when we took the personality test, I set a record. Session presenter Justin Taillon, Ph.D. told me he has never seen anyone with a zero on the J/P line (judging/prospecting), so I am assuming I will get a trophy — but then again, I think that could mean that I am the most judgmental person ever! It was fun. Thank you to our session leaders, Cody Herrington and Justin Taillon.

Tomorrow will be another day full of new and exciting adventures, as well as more new learning adventures. Have a great day everyone!

Bonnie Shetters Wise is business development manager with Datavision Technologies, Inc.  and an official guest blogger for the HFTP 2018 Annual Convention, taking place October 24-26, 2018 at the Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky USA. Check back on HFTP Connect for more of Bonnie’s experiences at Annual Convention this year.

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