Leading a NANPA Regional Event

Photo of a group of photographers lined up under a cloudy sky. NANPA Smokies Regional Event Participants; Ken Wickham and Jodi Smith photograph in Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Blount County, Tennessee. © Hank Erdmann
NANPA Smokies Regional Event Participants; Ken Wickham and Jodi Smith photograph in Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Blount County, Tennessee. © Hank Erdmann

By Hank Erdmann

You might say the recent Great Smoky Mountains National Park Regional Event last month (October 2021) was years in the making. Normally, planning for a NANPA Regional Event starts nine to twelve months in advance. The planning for this event began in spring 2019, when I was asked if I’d like to lead it. It quickly became apparent that this would be popular. NANPA likes to keep a ratio of about ten participants per group leader, so Tom Haxby (past NANPA President) was asked to join me as co-leader. We planned the event, discussed shooting locations and where we wanted to base it (Townsend, Tennessee – the “Quiet Side of the Smokies”), meal possibilities, dates, and other such initial decisions, came up with an agenda, and sent that info off to the NANPA Regional Events Committee for their review and eventual approval. In turn, they sent the event proposal to the NANPA Board for final approval. We planned it to coincide with NANPA’s Nature Photography Celebration in nearby Asheville, North Carolina, so that participants might be able to attend both if they wished. Approval was granted and, in autumn of 2019, the event was announced. It quickly filled and a wait list was started. Then….

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