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Chiming in and sharing my two cents for what it's worth.

I've been an ARMA member since 2001 and have attended conferences every 3-5 years due to various budget constraints.  So, what I say here can be taken with a very small particle of a grain of sand as a not so seasoned attendee.  I have found that the conference is less in tune with newbies. Period.  There is less and less content around how to get started and how to's in general.  If an industry wants to grow and openly boasts on education than you must attract the new to the field and make the content relevant.  So many sessions talk about info gov and what you should do but not so much on how to go about implementing.  This translates at a level newbies are not even at yet and maybe even some of the experienced level peeps aren't either.  The speaker selection committee, in my opinion, needs to focus on a healthier mix for those groups that Jesse mentioned. (Nice groupings by the way!)

1. New to the industry
2. Experienced
3. Senior people
4. Experienced to senior
5. The "tribe"    

Conferences are about the attendees or should be.  Out of the four conferences I have now attended, ARMA, AIIM, MER and InfoGovCon the two most friendly and welcoming conferences are AIIM and InfoGovCon.  Why?  Because, again in my opinion, they make it about the attendees, very inclusive environment, transparent and not stuffy.  They embrace the newbies, whether to the conference or to the industry.  

And my last thought to note, if you are an experienced, senior and especially "Tribe" member isn't it your duty to the profession to embrace the unknowns to help mentor them and make them a part of the "Tribe", to bring in new blood, new ideas, and make new friends and not stick to just your cliques but to grow the "Tribe"?  Because, isn't being a part of a Tribe a Family?  True family helps you to grow, expands your comfort zone and celebrates you along the way.  (end my grain of sand).
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                                                                                                                   . Peace all!

Thank you,
 
Donda L. Young, CIP
Senior Compliance Manager
Privacy & Information Management
UNUM Law Department
 
PH: 207-575-2847 
C: 207-415-3978
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https://egc.unum.com/dlyoung/

-----Original Message-----
From: Records Management Program [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jones, Virginia
Sent: Wednesday, May 27, 2015 9:22 AM
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Subject: Re: ARMA 2015 Conference - No Chapter Awards Luncheon?

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<I guess the "warm and fuzzy" of ARMA Conferences will slowly disappear...Times are a changing and you have to wonder...>

When the "warm and fuzzy" goes, so does most of the benefits from networking.  Things like the Awards Banquet (which disappeared several years ago), Chapter Awards in front of the whole conference, and the Fellows luncheon helped us all feel pride in our organization and our chapters and also helped us all celebrate achievements with other members.  There were enough "social" events (not just drinking parties) for us to meet new folks in the profession and get comfortable enough to ask about their work activities and begin some problem solving.  It was almost a "family" feeling, which no longer exists.

Ginny Jones
(Virginia A. Jones, CRM, FAI)
Records Manager
Information Technology Division
Newport News Dept. of Public Utilities
Newport News, VA
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