Posts Tagged ‘Western University’

The Ripple Effect

Posted on: June 18th, 2014 by Michael Lepage No Comments

Author: Ruth Harland, Manager, Conference Services, Hospitality Services, Western University

Have you ever noticed how a small simple ripple starts very clear and precise and then continues to expand outward in an ever increasing circle with less distinct features until it becomes part of one larger pool with all edges blended and blurred?

Conferences have the same effect on us.

We recently had a conference in with several challenging requirements and great expectations. They had never held their event on a campus before and so it was going to be a learning curve for both of us.   Of course, we wanted it to go well and they wanted their members to really enjoy the experience.

After all the planning and preparation, they arrived. The requests started almost immediately and the Conference team was on the run. For the next few days, a tremendous amount of time and people were dedicated to this group. Our Conference team was short staffed and tired and they could easily have become frustrated and annoyed, but then, the ripple effect happened.

The organizers were very appreciative of every effort made on their behalf and repeatedly told all members of the team. The staff worked harder and longer just to please them. Any glitches that came up were quickly identified and resolved. What could have been a long and discouraging week, turned out to be a positive and great experience.

And so, hopefully here is my ripple effect…..

Thank you for being part of our organization. I am better at what I do, in part because of your willingness to share your ideas and best practices. Your support is very much appreciated.

Ruth Harland, Manager, Conference Services, Hospitality Services, Western University
Telephone: 519-661-2111 ext. 85974
Email: rharland@housing.uwo.ca

Attending Conferences is Still Important

Posted on: April 1st, 2013 by Michael Lepage No Comments

Author: Ruth Harland, Western University

Remember the feeling of jumping into a lake…running to the end of the dock, gathering your body up to launch it into space, holding your breath in that last second as you careen towards the water, that rush of air, the sense of falling into the unknown depths of crystal cold water, the feeling of the water rushing up to meet you.

….Or perhaps, you prefer to ease your way slowly into the water, one cautious step at a time, slowly letting the water drift around you in a silky blanket, the feeling of timelessness, air, water and you becoming one.  No matter how you go into the water, you end up in the same place, enjoying your day at the lake.

Why Are Conferences Important?

In this day and age, why is it important to attend conferences?  With the advancements of technology and companies striving to be more sustainable, does it make sense to send people to conferences?  I recently spent time at a conference, and for me, it was like a day at the lake.  There are the people who jump right in and those who watch cautiously and then gradually ease their way into the festivities.  However you choose to involve yourself at a conference, it provides you with opportunities that simply don’t exist through the use of technology, no matter how advanced.  Technology plays an integral role in business communications but it is impersonal.No matter how sharp the picture and the audio may be it can’t give everyone that one thing that sets the conference apart for them and that’s why conferences are still so important.

For some, it’s the whole event, similar to jumping into a cold lake, sharing a bonding experience with peers, discussing challenges and perhaps coming up with solutions.  If you are a more cautious type, easing your way into the water, it might be that one idea, or connection, or that person who really understands a particular challenge you may be struggling with.

Regardless of how you look at it, a good conference leaves us with a similar feeling as we leave the lake – our wet footprints drying on the dock, the sun slowly sinking behind us – tired, yet refreshed and revitalized looking for ways to improve our outlook- and our business.

Ruth Harland, Manager, Conference Services, Hospitality Services
University of Western Ontario
T: 519-661-2111 ext. 85974
E: rharland@housing.uwo.ca

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