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Monday, February 29, 2016

What You Should Know If You are a First-Time Assets Attendee

By Libby Holloway, ISA CAPP

Whether you’ve been a member for three years or three weeks, if you haven’t ever attended Assets yet, you haven’t really taken an important step towards becoming part of the ISA family.

Of all the benefits that come with membership, perhaps the greatest is having direct access to other professionals with appraisal expertise that differs from your own. One can easily find a person through our website, but it is so much easier to take advantage of the Find a Member resource if you are a familiar face. The annual conference committee not only plans informative lectures to equip you with further education (and the confidence that comes with it) but also makes a point of setting aside time for attendees to meet fellow members, speakers, sponsors and advertisers. Those of us who are conference veterans know how important these relationships are.

The first night of Assets, first-time conference attendees are invited to a reception and given a chance to meet each other, as well as a few of the staff members and ISA leaders who will be on hand to help you get started. These contacts will do their best to help first-timers meet other members who may have the same area of expertise but have more years of experience under their belt. There will also be various groups that form to go out for dinner. If you don't know anyone at conference, it may be worth it to consider signing up when you register and getting a head start on networking. There will be plenty of friendly faces to meet, and the dinner groups are not exclusively for first-timers. I encourage everyone to check their registration materials carefully to ensure that you don't miss any events or opportunities.

Whether you’re a first-time attendee or a pro when it comes to finding your way around conference, there is another very important aspect of conference attendance that can help your success: believe it or not, becoming a member of a committee can help you succeed. 

Getting involved in ISA leadership is a rewarding way to meet people while making a difference in the industry. No matter what your talent, there is a place for you. Most groups are open and welcome those seeking information about them during the meeting. A good first step is joining the division committee you specialize in, like ISA's Fine Art Division or the Antiques and Residential Contents Division. Being a member of these committees not only gives you a say in what and how targeted learning experiences are formed but also helps you stay alert to changes in the  industry. Perhaps you have a suggestion regarding how ISA is marketed. Maybe you have a strategy for implementing some exciting member benefits. Don't let your ideas go to waste. Join a committee and share.

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