Wow! It’s only been a day of conference so far and boy has it been epic! Already I’ve met people from at least 13 different countries who each have very interesting stories to tell. This being my first official JCI international event, I’ve never really appreciated how international JCI really is. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always known that the ‘I’ in JCI stands for International (heck, I’m this year’s international director!) but until you come to an event like this one you can never fully comprehend how global JCI really is!
Take the Opening Ceremony last night for instance. All us delegates were transported to a massive theatre in the heart of the capital, Valletta (with a police escort no less!) in our respective countries outfit (flags, flags and more flags!!) to cheer on our national president’s – think Eurovision or the Olympics, it was truly a spectacular experience. There was also a speech by the Prime Minister of Malta (yes, the Prime Minister!!) along with speeches from the JCI World President and Executive Vice President for Europe.
In terms of progressing my JCI career, I participated in one of the official training sessions of the conference – JCI Achieve – where I learnt so much more about the organisation. As I told everyone else, it was really interesting to see and hear the perspectives of members from other chambers across Europe. The similarities were uncanny and the differences were practically unimaginable.
Throughout the conference, there are opportunities to develop yourself in training sessions but there are also sightseeing trips, key note speeches and company visits to name a few. I am quite excited to be visiting Coca-Cola tomorrow!
Malta itself is absolutely stunning (I’m currently sitting in a café overlooking a marina with brilliant sunshine and not a trace of any clouds in the sky)!
Speaking as your international director, but more importantly a first-timer, I strongly urge each of you to attend one of these conferences to see for yourself how incredible JCI really is. Whether you plan to meet new people and create new networks, explore a new country, develop yourself and even win some prizes, a JCI Conference has something for you!
If all that isn’t enough to convince you, JCI Sheffield provide its members the opportunity to receive sponsorship to help fund some of the trip.
World Congress – up to £290 available
UK National Convention – up to £160 available
Get in touch with me or your buddies for the sponsorship form and for more information!
by Matthew Wong 2014 International Director, JCI Sheffield
PS – At this European conference we have a record delegation of 9 members representing JCI Sheffield! I would very much like to best this record at World Congress in Leipzig, Germany.
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This post was written by Matthew Wong