I attended District 44 Toastmasters Spring Conference that was held at the Marriott Gateway Hotel in Atlanta, May 2-3, 2014. As I arrived the parking lot was full with hardly anywhere to park. As I entered the lobby of the hotel to check in I was greeted with District 44 Toastmasters signs, banners and flags. As I approached the corridor to the main ballroom, I could see the energy and the atmosphere was definitely about what I call The Toastmasters’ Business. There were signs directing me to the bookstore, first-aid and registration where I checked in, picked up my credentials and received a goodie bag with lots of trinkets. I reached in my bag to pull out my agenda as I was excited about what I would plan to do first. Remembering that my seminar presentation was within the hour I was on the hunt for the Savannah room to make sure it was prepared and set up accordingly. As I walked through the corridor, I saw signs identifying meeting rooms, educational seminars and visual displays of officers campaigning for 2014-15 leadership positions, (i.e. Division Governors, Lieutenant Governor Marketing, Lieutenant Governor Education and Training, Division Governor). In between the signs and display tables is where the members moved about greeting familiar and unfamiliar faces with handshakes, kisses and warm embraces as they hurriedly and excitingly sought out information that lead them to their destination. The Committee members that I came in contact with were genuinely friendly and very accommodating. They volunteers in their roles were intuitive, informative and eager to be helpful in any situation. Although I am not a “First-timer” participant or seminar presenter my experiences are always the same ‘training and education in a friendly, fun environment”. The agenda was strategically arranged to be tight and fast paced. Every minute counted. After my presentations, I found myself scrounging to grab a seat for another challenging educational seminar. There was no lag time because in between the educational tracks were luncheons, dinners and business meetings were members were acknowledged for their achievements and leaders were strategizing for the upcoming year. What I remember most about the conference is how the District Offers (past and present) made themselves available to greet, hug and mentor known and unknown members in their presence. It was an awesome experience. I believe the sky is the limit for District 44 and I look forward to soaring in my communication and leadership journey with other flying eagles destined for greatness. Toastmasters International is the best kept secret. Now the secret is out….share your Spring Conference experience with me.
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