The 2008 MCAI Leadership Summit was an unqualified success with roughly a fifty percent increase in attendance from the previous year. Held in Dallas, the summit gathered MCAI representatives from coast to coast.
The meeting focused on the challenges and opportunities presented to both the local chapters and the national organization. Foremost among these was MCAI membership. Though there have been some declines in membership the past two years, both local and national leadership have been working to promote the value of membership and find ways to acquire younger members.
Clare Rabe Deboever discussed several aspects of membership and showcased a new association brochure and membership application. Debeover was particularly interested in student initiatives to attract both college and high school students. This means not only direct membership, but also creating affiliations with high school video clubs either directly as student MCAI members or in partnership leading to future membership. She also stressed the need for talking points for educators and the need to present more testimonials including print and video. In this regard, she was pleased with the Orange County Chapters use of video testimonials on its website.
President, Lee Vogel also dealt with membership in talking about budgets and stressed the need, already being addressed in Orange County, to find more value in membership beyond Find-a-Pro. While he didnt see a single trigger-point, he stressed more national presence, more local members on national committees and things such as an MCAI credit card. Also discussed was a discounted associate membership of a year, as a way to attract new members.
Another aspect of finding value was addressed by Kenan Branam, who noted a new aspect of networking on the main website. In a very convincing presentation, he stressed the value of filling out a personal profile on the website that would, with links to other networking sites (ie. Facebook, MySpace), increase your rating on search engines. He noted that he had come up No. 2 in a search he had done in his area of expertise. This value added aspect fits in with attempts in Orange County address networking and new media in our revamped meeting workshops in the coming year as well as our use of meetup.org to spread awareness of our meetings in the website networking world.
Of course the biggest news was Pro Track coming to Anaheim Oct.31 thru Nov. 1. Participants will be staying the Hyatt near Disneyland and there will be three sessions with one not at the hotel. More details will be forthcoming and the mca-i.org site as well as the local mcai-oc.org site will have this information as it becomes available.
There were many other topics addressed and two dinner/networking events that added up to a wonderful event not to be missed. We hope to see a large turnout for the Pro Track event.