Roles Reversed: From Planning to Attending


Katelyn is a writer, copyeditor, and association professional who currently serves MSAE as its Communications Liaison. Her experience and background working in association management offer a unique perspective to MSAE membership.

The MSAE Annual Conference is 25 days away and like any highly anticipated event, as we finalize every detail, the reality sets in a little deeper and admitted angsts and anxieties about logistics yield to excitement. As I discussed in my last blog, while I would advise against romanticizing events from a planning perspective, I highly recommend “leaning in” as an attendee.

To commemorate my own enthusiasm for this year’s educational sessions, I would like to share three breakouts I am most looking forward to and explain why, as an emerging leader in associations, they are of interest to me. 

From Distracted to Productive: Finding Focus in a Hyper-Interrupted World by Randall Dean, MBA
My Why:
 As a Millennial, I am no stranger to a socially networked world and the constant inundation of information. Oftentimes depicted as “instant gratification” or “technology savviness,” the perks of being a wallflower in the digital age certainly have their advantages – including access to data and each other. However, there is an ongoing opportunity for distractions and interruptions at any moment. It has become easy for me to start a task (or even a sentence) and end up down a rabbit hole about what not to share on Instagram or LinkedIn. Even with the best intentions, my productivity takes a hit.

Do you Have the Right People in the Right Seats? By Scott Hayes
My Why:
 I used to take those online quizzes generated by Facebook that prompted you to determine characteristics about yourself and therefore what kind of breakfast food you would be (bagel) or which bird most accurately depicted your personality (magpie). While seemingly rather silly, I recognize it now as a demonstration of my fascination with understanding certain personality traits and how they dictate and determine behaviors, outcomes, and motivations. I am eager to understand predictive index assessments as they relate to employee performance and potential – specifically my own.  

The Joy of Hybrid: Secrets to Optimizing Hybrid Work by John Clese
My Why:
 While there is no one-size-fits-all format for work models post-COVID, it is clear that the workforce will continue to require hybrid offerings. Personally, my productivity demands a balance between collaborative interaction and uninterrupted focus time. Though I greatly value time spent working independently, I have vowed not to take for granted (again) the opportunity to be face-to-face with colleagues and the energy derived from that. I am curious what the future looks like and how to honor our work styles with our environment.

Whether these breakouts are of interest to you, or you are more inclined toward another topic, I hope you are planning to take full advantage of the time designed specifically for us association professionals to make connections and thrive in our pursuits to grow – as millennials, bagels, birds, remote workers, or otherwise. I’ll see you out there.