The creative team at SSA recently attended the FCSI’s (Food Service Consultants Society International; www.fcsi.org) annual conference in Nashville. Like most professional organizations there is a cost associated with being a member and there is a cost associated with participating in educational events such as a conference or seminar. Several of us find amazing value with the continuing educational aspects of these events, sessions and seminars as well as the significance associated with the networking opportunities that occur at these events.
Defining the value of these opportunities often escape many who for whatever reason are short-sighted when it comes to the positive attributes of being and remaining relevant. For our firm and our team it is a continuing commitment to remain educated and knowledgeable on the latest and greatest as well as our desire to remain on the cutting edge or by discussing, designing and sharing what may become the cutting edge of our industry. Our desire and vision to remain a vital resource to our clients requires the commitment to challenge ourselves to be better and to do better. One of the single greatest tools available to all professions is the vast resource of continuing education opportunities. These opportunities may be webinars, seminars, conferences, symposiums, trade shows or even lunch and learn presentations. Regardless of the source, being better requires a commitment to continuing education for all members of a firm.
There are certainly calculable short term costs associated with participating; however, the long term benefits of each tidbit of new information will provide relevant benefit for years to come. Participating in these events not only ensure the opportunity to obtain new information but it provides a place at the table to discuss and share challenges, ideas and successes. The sharing of information, although foreign to many, is the single greatest resource of ourselves that we can share. The sharing of ourselves and our knowledge is not only a gift but an affirmation of confidence in our expertise, our designs and our commitment to be better (for our clients).
The networking opportunities which evolve at such events become the unintended opportunities to share, listen, discuss and debate. These precious moments offer an oasis of information which cannot be found or discovered in any other way. These fractions of shared knowledge are also without calculable cost or benefit. They are merely the unforgettable gems as a result of sharing with each other.