Meetings, Meetings, and More Meetings…
Meetings are a necessary evil. Few people will confess to liking them, but for groups like NANPA with members who, at any given time, are scattered throughout the world; meetings are a means of keeping us connected to one another. To keep in touch, NANPA’s board, committee members, contractors, membership, and the nature photography community rely on virtual, teleconference, social media, and in-person meetings to function and flourish.
NANPA recently held its first Town Hall meeting via GoToWebinar which was hosted by President Gordon Illg. We will be holding these meetings on a quarterly basis to keep you informed not only about NANPA’s activities, but we also plan on offering theme-based Town Hall meetings. We have asked our committees chairs to help with topics, lead discussions, and field questions from attendees. Future topics (as they relate to nature photography) will include advocacy, conservation, and ethics. If you couldn’t attend the August Town Hall meeting, login to the members area of the website and view the recording.
I recently attended the ASAE (American Society of Association Executives) annual conference in Chicago. ASAE is to associations what NANPA is to nature photographers—a learning and networking community where members connect with peers. These meetings are always informative and help NANPA keep up on current policies, advocacy issues for organizations, latest trends, products and benchmarking, and inspiration. This year, Gina Head, NANPA’s Meeting Planner, attended the ASAE Expo, where nearly 700 vendors provided information, products, and services for organizations such as NANPA. Gina met with dozens of representatives from cities and hotels that were there looking for groups to hold meetings in their towns. In the coming weeks, she will review their proposals and make recommendation to the board for locations for the 2020 Celebration and 2021 Summit.
Speaking of meetings, the NANPA Foundation trustees met by teleconference on August 22 in lieu of an in-person summer meeting. The Foundation provides funds that support some of NANPA’s programs (such as the College and High School Scholarship Programs) that are dependent on donations. At their meeting, among other items, the trustees approved funding for a new photo blind and the 2018 Philip Hyde grant, which will be open for applications soon.
The NANPA College Scholarship Program (an in-person meeting, if you will, that is planned and organized by email, pre-teleconference and on-site meetings) is held every other year before and during our Summits, and online applications are being accepted now until October 31. If you know of a college student with an interest in photography, nature, and/or conservation, please tell them about this program. The committee is already working with a venue in Las Vegas on the 2019 program, which promises to be another great project. The Foundation is always in need of financial support to fund these programs, so if you’re in a position to help, please visit their website to learn about the scholarships and grants that are available.
The NANPA board of directors will be holding monthly teleconference meetings during Gordon’s term, as well as an in-person meeting in Las Vegas. NANPA’s current, past, and vice presidents hold weekly meetings with me to touch base on the latest activities and issues. I meet by teleconference with committee chairs monthly; and several committees hold regular monthly teleconference meetings, as well. NANPA’s contractors use GoToMeeting on a weekly basis to collaborate on current and upcoming projects and strategize on future plans. Various groups hold phone meetings to plan in-person meetings such as our summits and regional events.
Yep, that’s a lot of meetings to organize and participate in! But meetings are the lifeblood of organizations like NANPA. Without the people and those connections, NANPA wouldn’t exist. We work hard together, but we also have fun as we get to know one another, divvy up tasks, and meet again to move forward to the next round. We celebrate together upon the successful completion of whatever we’ve been working on. Thanks to new technology and communications tools, we’re not limited to only meeting once a year at summits or board meetings.
The more we meet, the more we share and learn from one another—and accomplish together. And that’s a good thing.
NANPA Executive Director