An Exciting SMC and Other Special Treats Are Now Just Around The Corner

By Mark Raimy

GAWDA’s meeting season is in full swing. This is the most exciting time of the year, as we offer many ways for you to engage, receive valuable content and get some quality networking time with industry members.

The regional meetings are underway and the schedule this year is as great as it has ever been. Our regional meeting chairs are a committed and talented group of GAWDA volunteers who are driving high-quality meetings that offer a time-efficient way for members to get industry business content and to network. If you have not signed up for a meeting, please consider these opportunities. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Our Spring Management Conference is near and I am very excited. We have a lot to tell you about. There is a change in the event this year that I want to highlight. The opening night event this year will be a dinner party with a band. There is a pool area that is beach-side at the Boca Raton Resort and Club. The dinner party on the pool deck is laid back, with beach-casual wear and flip-flops encouraged. The great planning committee that I was lucky to work with has put this idea together as an easy-going conference first night. This format will let us all be together for the evening to have dinner, relax and have fun. The pool area is beautiful and the beach is steps away. The band is going to be great and there will be a special, surprise-guest band that you do not want to miss.

Once you get to the resort, you won’t want to leave – and you won’t have to. If you aren’t certain about the feel and atmosphere of this new-style poolside President’s Reception and dinner, I made a fun video to show you what to expect. Look for it on the GAWDA Web site and on YouTube and in other GAWDA communications pieces.

I am very happy with the speaker lineup for this conference. I want to highlight a panel presentation that I think is going to be revealing and very valuable. We are going to look at the Generation X thing in a different way. In the past, we had our own industry Generation X panelists and Generation X speakers. This time, our panel members are going to be Generation X’ers that are our customers. The speaker is actually a Generation X -aged person. Those are two departures from how we have looked at this pressing issue before.

As we all spend time figuring out how to manage our internal generational transitions, I would suggest the most important part of that is getting the external communication right. Connecting appropriately with the Generation X customer is mission critical. We are looking for you to provide questions to ask these panelists. Please email me with any questions you would like to have asked at:

We also have launched the GAWDA Events mobile app. This is the beginning of a new communication platform that will give you easy access to all our meeting schedules and information. Beyond that, it will allow us to push notifications about our meetings in real time. The app also lets members who are registered to attend our events to send messages and schedule appointments with each other. The best part about this is it is our customized app, specific to GAWDA and the GAWDA audience. Moving forward, we will build the app out to do whatever else we may want – including our fall meetings and, down the road, regional meetings.

Please download the app. We have both iOS and Android versions. Search for “GAWDA Events” in the Apple Store or the Google Play Store to find it. Then, be sure to let us know what you think and how we can make it better.

In this issue is the second economic outlook report from ITR Economics. Make sure you read it and follow along from quarter to quarter. It is really valuable information. Alan Beaulieu, GAWDA’s chief economist, is one of the speakers at the SMC. So, if you have not yet made up your mind to attend, hearing Alan present his outlook and further explain our informational program may be enough to get you to make those plans.

I hope to see you at our informative meetings and exciting events soon. As I like to say, GAWDA is at its best when we all come together and learn from each other.