Whose Conference Is It?

By Thomas Reid, Conference Coordinator

The 2015 PCB Convention and Conference was a great success! This is not only based on the turnout, but more importantly the positive feedback we receive from those in attendance.

Here are some highlights. We kicked the weekend off on Thursday night with a fun filled game of Team Trivia. Friday morning attendees had their chance to attend a tour of the Appalachian Brewing Company or participate in Audio Darts. Congratulations to this year’s winners, Bonnie Newland & Michael Zaken! Those with an iOS device had a chance to test out the future of indoor navigation for people with vision loss using LowViz Guide. And folks are still talking about this year’s post-banquet entertainment, ”Murder at the TonyLou Awards.”

If you were not fortunate enough to attend this year’s events, you can do so virtually. Audio content is available on the Convention pages of the pcb1.org website. We like to refer to this section as the “Convention Blast!”

It’s time for us to begin thinking about our 81st Conference which will be held October 20 through 23, 2016 at The Crowne Plaza Harrisburg-Hershey in Harrisburg. By “us” I’m referring to the members of the Conference Program and Planning Team (CPPT) as well as other PCB leadership teams, chapters, and others.

First, the Convention Program and Planning Team have the ultimate responsibility. While we coordinate and solicit all aspects of the program, there are so many opportunities for others to be involved in the program and all other content.

All members should feel free to suggest presentation or workshop topics of interest. Even more helpful is to recommend speakers or facilitators with expertise in given areas. The CPPT will discuss and further evaluate the topic and speakers to assure there is significant interest to the membership.

Leadership Teams
If not already discussed, we encourage each leadership team to spend some time in their next monthly meeting developing a presentation. You can submit a proposal by completing the 2016 Call for Presentations.

While chapters are also encouraged to develop a proposal as suggested to leadership teams, additional opportunities are available. Consider sponsoring an event during next year’s conference. Some possible ideas include a Thursday evening or Friday morning activity, post banquet entertainment, or a coffee break for all attendees. There are plenty of possibilities!

Others can get involved too. The 2016 theme is “Forging New and Improved Relationships.” As an advocacy organization for people with vision loss there are several organizations and businesses that would make for a great relationship. Many of our members have existing relationships with these very organizations. Encourage these contacts to participate and work with the CPPT to develop a presentation or workshop applicable to our membership.

Please feel free to contact me directly to discuss any of the opportunities mentioned. With your help we can expand our conference to affect even more people impacted by vision loss.

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