Best of 2009: Workshop/Conference

The ongoing “Best of 2009” idea continues with: Workshop or conference. Was there a conference or workshop you attended that was especially beneficial? Where was it? What did you learn?

The best would also be the only workshop I attended this year. It’s called “Grand Impressions,” and is for people in the Tourism industry. You begin the workshop at a point of interest in a nearby city, and learn about customer service standards and new precautions and advisories that would affect travelers in your area. Being near the border, Arizona is big on informing guests about having their passports and new travel initiatives. Fun and exciting things for me, but to people outside of tourism, not to spectacular.

The best part of the day is the tours. This year we began the day at the Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park in Tempe. Even though it was more than 100 degrees outside, I couldn’t help but linger and be amazed at all the beautiful landscapes and environmentally friendly structures they had around the grounds. Then we went on a field trip (with buses and everything!) to ASU! The funny thing was, I was the only person who could blend in to the college crowd because almost everyone else is at least 20 years older than me! We got to take mini tours of the School of Earth and Space Exploration to see all the amazing things ASU has done to help lunar missions. If your an astronomy nerd like me, you would be drooling, but to the rest of the normals, I won’t digress anymore.

photo brought to your mug by the ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration!

I think they should do more workshops like this for people who work in this industry because we are the ones who can direct tourists to their museum/gallery/etc. If people say they were thinking about learning about southwest cultures, thanks to this workshop I now know of one more museum to send them to, and it helps them to trust me. I know that sounds kind of cheesy, but being so young doesn’t help in this industry. People ask me places to go, expecting I will have to look it up or ask someone else, and they are surprised and delighted when I can rattle of a list of things for them to do.

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