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Top 10 Reasons to Take Your Admission Team to the MIDWest Conference

1) Let them see you have fun undefinedCoe College Admission Team.
When was the last time your staff saw you in blue jeans? Telling corny jokes? Laughing at said jokes? Maybe while sipping a cocktail? Let them know you’re just like them in many regards and have fun with your team (however suits your style) at the MIDWest Spring Conference.

2) Experience unexpected conversations.
Because you're not parked at your desk during the MIDWest conference, your interactions with your team will be different. Last year, I was sitting in one of our hotel rooms with six staff members and one turned to me and said, “You know what? I’m really interested in diversity initiatives at Coe.” Boom…a professional development opportunity landed in my lap!

3)  It’s not that expensive…especially if you are cost conscious.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to send your team to Spring Conference.  For example, pack food and plan staff time before conference events.  We love to have pre-conference snacks in a designated room. It gives the team time to talk together before going to the events and networking with our colleagues from other institutions. And, don’t be afraid to ask staff to squeeze into hotel rooms! I’m always surprised at how much fun they have late into the evening together…long after I’ve gone to sleep!

4)  Make the most of the time away. 
Need to have a one-on-one meeting or brainstorm an idea with a staff member? Why not use an hour of your time at MIDWest to chat? I’ve even held a staff review at the conference with a long-time staff member who was excited to spend time out of the office discussing his year. Note: I wouldn’t do this with just ANY staff member given that reviews can be a point of stress for some. Be selective with the right staff person on this one!

5)  Turn conference into a staff retreat/planning for next year.
There’s no better time to plan for next year than when memories of THIS YEAR are fresh in your staffs’ minds. I’ve spent time with the entire admission team in one hotel room reviewing the year and it was great!  We all enjoyed the closure and camaraderie…and we made a great summer “to-do list” of items to plan for the next recruiting year.

6)  It's a REAL profession.
Do you deal with staff retention issues? I have seen first-year admission counselors leave an Iowa ACAC conference with their eyes opened. They see for the first time that this profession is….well, a profession!

7) There are others out there! They understand where you've been.
While team bonding is a terrific part of the Iowa ACAC conference, our staff also really enjoy time with our colleagues from other institutions. Admission people are fun! There’s nothing better than swapping stories with another professional who understands the ups (and downs) of recruitment. Road warriors reuniting in this fun, relaxed environment is rewarding for new counselors who are still wrapping their minds around the year they are just completing! While the veterans might enjoy swapping stories or conversations with board members, there is also the joy of the veteran meeting an eager new admission professional. These interactions, however they happen, are all rewarding in different ways to different people.

8)  Spark their creativity…and yours, too!
Getting off your campus is good for the brain sometimes. I’ve come up with marketing ideas while on an airplane. It can happen anywhere, really. So, why not take some time at the MIDWest Conference to see how the environment can spark your team’s creativity? It’s so easy to walk by the many vendors and hear about the latest and greatest in recruitment. 

9)  Learn about other colleges.
Take advantage of the location of conference and visit the local college campus with your team. It’s free and who doesn’t want to take in a great college tour to get the juices flowing?!?

10) Introduce them to the idea of serving on professional committees.
The speakers and sessions at the Iowa ACAC or MIDWest conferences are an ideal way to introduce your team to the professional development that comes from serving on a state committee. Introduce them to current board members, make a connection with a long-time colleague or point out how a particular committee fits that staff member’s strengths. Sometimes, all it takes is a nod from you to open a door to a new world of professional growth.

There is still time to register for the MIDWest Conference! 


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