There has been an overarching theme to the conference this year: Be Present.
At the Leadership Breakfast, Joel Zeff urged us to pay attention and support each other.
During the Opening Keynote, Mark Scharenbroich phrased it this way: “Must be present to win.”
In keeping with this spirit, one of the track themes today was “The Personnel Factor.” Topics cover strategies for career growth, as well as interacting with colleagues from multiple generations. Again, the best advice centers around staying involved and aware.
I saw some great examples of active engagement on the trade show floor today. These shows have become less about selling and more about generating brand awareness. Even though vendors have been eager to talk about their company, they seem more interested in making a personal connection and learning about us.
One takeaway is that we will get more out of our day if we put our energy into interpersonal connections. It also helps if we can keep from becoming glued to e-mail, and social media. It’s hard to interact when your eyes are on your phone screen.
That presents a challenge to the HFTP Conference Goer: We are as much about technology as we are about finance. So how can you urge members to Tweet and keep updating your online status while also keeping your attention up in the world around you?
The key is to maintain your focus on what’s in front of you. If you are on Twitter, be sure that you are communicating about your session. Resist the temptation to get sucked into your timeline. Instead, engage those around you in real time.
John Grigas, CHAE, is the controller of the Madison Concourse Hotel and Past President of the Greater Milwaukee Chapter. He regularly tweets during conferences via @johngrigas.