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Opportunities within the Alliance: Conference Planning Committee

Who? Me? Work on a planning committee?

At some point, every CHW in MN has been and/or will be faced with these questions. It’s just a matter of time! For me, it began with being a part of the 2017-2018 MN CHW Alliance Leadership Development Program. Because our graduation corresponded perfectly with the timing of the 2018 statewide CHW Conference we were asked to join the planning committee. Now I’m not a “stand up in front of people” kind of person but I do love to work “behind the scenes”.

The planning of a conference takes about a year and begins with a lot of questions: “What will the theme be?” “Where will we hold it?” “Who will the speakers be?” “How will we pay for it?” “Who will help by sponsoring it?” “What is our budget?” “Will we have food?” “If so, what kind? And who will cater it?” “Will we have “vendors” with tables of information?” “If so, who will they be and how will they find out about this opportunity?” “How will we provide networking opportunities for CHWs and Stakeholders?” “Who will staff the registration table, the learning sessions, the general flow around the venue?” The list goes on and every question provides an opportunity for CHWs to become involved. By being a part of this kind of planning and collaboration, I have learned so much about myself, the process and work behind putting on such an event, and; most importantly; the scope of impact that the CHW field has across the State of Minnesota.

While the conference that was planned for 2020 was canceled, I am oh so hopeful that we will soon be able to begin planning for 2022! There will be many roles to fill so there’s sure to be something you can do that fits your interest and time availability. Watch here for more updates to come and join the registry for great discussions about what our next conference will look like. Who’s with me?

-Kimberli Barker, CHW 

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