Yeah, I know. Belts are tight. Budgets are tighter. Everyone is working to "do more with less." Maybe that means taking on the workload of colleagues who have been laid off--without getting an increase in pay. Maybe that means furlough days when you aren't supposed to work and you aren't getting paid to work, but if you don't work, you'll never get unburied from that growing pile on your desk.
Time is money and both are in limited supply. Travel money is gone and professional development feels more like a luxury than a necessary part of one's career.
All the more reason why you should register for the 2010 Western Museums Association annual meeting now. Like, right now. Why? Well, do it right now because it will save you some money; early bird registration ends July 31. Why do it at all? For a lot of reasons.
1. When morale is low and work feels more like drudgery than the vital mission you signed on for, meeting in person with your colleagues can reinvigorate you, leaving you feeling refreshed instead of burnt out and better prepared to delve back into the fray.
2. You can learn approaches to overwhelming problems that you haven't tried before, not just from attending the sessions, but also in conversations in the hallways and at evening events.
3. Attending sessions and pre-conference workshops can help you brush up on both basic skills and cutting-edge best practices to keep your job performance at its peak.
4. If you are looking for work, this is a great place to circulate your card, network and get your name and face out to a number of people all at once.
5. There are going to be some fantastic sessions this year. Sure, you could go download the program yourself over on the Portland 2010 page of this site, but I'll just go ahead and share with you a session titles:
The Weirdest Places I Ever Found Money
Museums Coming Back from the Brink
Building a Fundraising Plan that Works
What Got Me This Job
It's Alive, Or Used To Be
6. Portland is AWESOME. Heaven for foodies, art collectors, outdoor enthusiasts, lovers of history, and those who appreciate the quirky, Portland has something for everyone. Oh, and might I add that for those who do love eating, shopping and generally spending money, there is no sales tax.