We Are One: Transforming, Transitioning, Trail-blazing!

It’s Spring! A time of renewal, re-awakening and reflection (I know, that is a lot of alliteration!!) and that is exactly what is going on at CAPS!

Renewal time has passed and we are so glad that you have chosen continue to engage with CAPS! The presence of each and every one of you allows us all to continue to learn, share, grow and belong in this community of Experts Who Speak Professionally! At this time of year, and always, remember that programs like Each One, Reach One (E1-R1) are important to continue to add new life and vitality to our greater community. Have you spotted someone who should check out CAPS? Give them a ‘You’ve Been Spotted’ card, or invite them to a Chapter event!

Another sign of renewal is, of course, our much anticipated new website! We are grateful to Peter Chapman, Anthony Nijmeh and Nabil Doss who each provided a significant contribution to us all in launching this beautiful site!

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We are re-visiting and re-awakening our communication channels to ensure they are enhancing your association experience. This year KeyNotes and So To Speak (STS) have continued as internal communication vehicles for our members. KeyNotes was established in 2013 to allow us to send you a collection of information on a regular basis (monthly), and to cut down on the number of CAPS email cluttering up your inbox. So To Speak is a quarterly newsletter featuring longer articles of interest to our members, and written by our members. It is also a great way to share ‘good news’ from our members. This year, KeyNotes transformed slightly in that it only goes out during the months that So To Speak is not published.

One of our communication vehicles Speaking of Impact (SOI) is undergoing a transition. Twelve years ago, when SOI was established, its purpose was to promote CAPS to the meeting and events industry. We were blessed to have a wonderful editor and advisory committee who oversaw the publication for each and every one of those 12 years. At the end of 2015, our publisher, Cutting Edge Communications, approached us to indicate that they were being sold and that the new owner was not interested in continuing with our publication. This ‘problem’ allowed us an opportunity to take time for reflection. Has SOI served its purpose? Is a print publication the right vehicle to communicate with meeting and event planners in the future? Is a purely digital publication preferred? We (your National Board of Directors) realized that we need to engage our members in this dialogue. In fact, we need to engage you to study all of our communication vehicles and to provide recommendations to us. Watch your inbox for a message from Joel Sweeney, your National Communications Director, about the establishment of a Communications Council. The Council, under Joel’s leadership, will look at what we are doing and what we have been doing, and will recommend what the present and future of communication should be and can be, in the best interests of our members.

ALPSThis year, we are ‘blazing trails’ with new initiatives to enhance your membership experience.  First, a program called Accelerated Learning Pods (ALPS) was launched in early April. ALPS is an opportunity for CAPS members to connect coast-to-coast in a focused learning and business development experience. We are starting off by establishing some initial ALPS to trial the process, and to learn about how this could work on a broader basis. Hopefully you responded to the post from CAPS National Programming Director Stephanie Staples CSP in the CAPS members-only Facebook Group and expressed your interest there.

Second, we have made significant inroads into creating external partnerships with organizations who hire CAPS members, and have already developed a Memorandum of Understanding with two organizations that we believe will help to raise the profile of CAPS and of our talented and wise members to the larger marketplace. Third, while we have always wanted to hear from you, this year we have an easier way for you to make your voice heard. You will find a feedback button prominently displayed on our National website. We want to hear from you! What’s working? We want to celebrate! What’s not working? We want to fix it!

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We will continue to transform, transition and trail-blaze – with you! Be on the lookout for an email about your CAPS Membership Survey coming your way soon. We need to know you, hear you, and understand you so that we can continue to represent you…because We Are One!

Deri Latimer, CSP

2016 CAPS National President