Many of you may know I’ve spent last week in Portland, Oregon at the 10th Annual International Virtual Assistants Association (IVAA) Live Summit. It was a wonderful week of learning and spending time with good friends, getting to know current acquaintances better (turning some of them into friends) and meet new ones. But, I wonder how many people understand how much of ourselves committee members put into an event like the IVAA Live Summit.
Planning for an IVAA Live Summit literally starts 2 years prior to the event. Since the venue for the next year’s Summit is announced 1 year prior (at the end of the current Summit) multiple venues must be researched (including estimated travel costs for attendees); availability, food, beverage, lodging and venue rental prices must be quoted by potential locations; the final venue location must be chosen and the contract must be signed 1 1/2 to 2 years prior to the actual event date.
While for many people a week at a business conference is almost a vacation, when you’re on the planning committee, that week is anything but a vacation. After literally 2 years of planning, many of the committee members arrive a day early – some 2 or 3 days early – to make sure everything at the venue is ready for the attendees; walking through with venue staff making sure all the tables, chairs, food & beverage plans, audio/visual is set up, swag is ready for attendees, sponsors have what they need, all shipments have been received and accounted for, etc.
The IVAA Live Summit Committee members do all this without pay. We volunteer countless hours of our time, pay our own travel, lodging and registration fees, then, many of the committee members miss out on attending the sessions taking care of the details.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, I’m about to begin my 3rd year on the Summit Planning Committee. Your IVAA Live Summit Committee works hard to make sure those connected to the Virtual Assitant industry have a top-notch conference to attend so they will have a place to learn about the new trends in the industry, learn new skills, connect (or re-connect) with others in and around our industry. One of the best ways to show your appreciation for all the hard work is to attend an IVAA Live Summit.
The next IVAA Live Summit will be April 17 – 20, 2012 in Memphis, Tennessee. Show your support and invest in your virtual assistant business by attending the Summit in 2012. Registration will be open after the IVAA Online Summit and there are generally big discounts for IVAA members who register during the “early bird” registration period. Attendee registration prices for 2012 have not yet been set, but historically, early registration has been in the $250-$280 range with full registration in the $500 range. Travel varies greatly depending on where you’re coming from, but average airfare is in the $300 range if you book early, and the IVAA attendee price for a room at the Peabody (where the Summit will be held) will be $169 per night (most attendees get together with a roommate or 2 and split the cost of the room – plus it’s more fun with a roomie!). Two lunches and 2 – 3 breakfasts are generally included in the price of your registration as are beverages and light snacks during sessions.
There are 48 weeks until the beginning of the Summit in Memphis. For most attendees, all costs could be covered by putting aside $22 per week starting now. That would net $1,100 in your Summit Savings by the first day of the Summit. Breaking it down into milestones you’d have $528 set aside by the time early registration begins – more than enough to pay for your early registration. Depending on where you’re coming from, you’ll probably have enough to pay for airfare by Thanksgiving – which is when you’ll probably want to start looking for flights. By the time Summit starts you’ll have enough put aside for a room at the Peabody without needing a roommate to split the cost. But, again, it’s MUCH more fun with a roomie!
The committee works hard to put these events together for us, so attend, learn, enjoy, connect! (And think about volunteering!)