The thing I love about European Conferences is that there is so much to do and each year you attend is different. Your first European Conference is always special. Mine was in Turku in Finland (2008) and I threw myself into attending as many training sessions as possible. In Budapest in 2009, I plucked up my courage and entered the debating competition, even managing to reach the finals! This conference I attended the local leaders workshop, sharing ideas with other local presidents from around Europe; had lunch with members from some of our twin chambers and even got in some sailing and sightseeing!
I was incredibly proud of all the JCI London members who attended. We could count up to 15 in all, including some very new members, members about to transfer in from other chambers and “honorary” members. It was fantastic to spend time with friends and get to know new people. Everyone did the chamber proud and we once again made our presence felt, with a huge number of conference attendees being stickered or receiving JCI London fridge magnets! We also got in the conference newsletter, first a picture of the London ladies in the sparkly Union Jack dresses, then I was in a picture of the COC academy reunion. Congratulations to Soraya, Sandor and Eyad who won best union jackage, best party animal and best networker in the informal JCI UK awards.
Having been in JCI for nearly 5 years, I have got to know quite a few people from chambers around the world. International events are a great chance to catch up with them and I was very happy to see all my Jaycee friends. With over 1,700 people at the conference, it is unfortunately just not possible to spend that much time with everyone and there are some people I did not see as much as I would like (or at all). Fortunately there are always more opportunities internationally in JCI coming up (see our events diary for details).
International events really open up another perspective on JCI as an organisation. It is impossible for attendees of a European Conference not to come back energised, full of ideas and raring to put them into practice. I can’t wait to see what our members do back in London.
If you missed out this time, the World Congress in Brussels on 1 to 6 November promises to be an even bigger and better event. Remember we have bursaries available if this will be your first international event. Contact me to find out more.
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Sarah Beckwith