Thoughts on AAUW NC Conventions

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At the Fall meeting of 2006, we did a survey and had a discussion on how the attendees viewed the AAUW NC Convention/Annual Meeting. There have been changes over the years (it’s now in the spring, it had been in the fall), and one of the ReConnection goals from 2002 was to improve the quality of convention – a goal that the board declared met. Since 2003 we have tried to include aspects that attract the general public — with the understanding that if the event is not of interest to the public it is unlikely to attract the average member who is not (yet?) connected to AAUW leadership and its concerns.

Here are the results of the surveys completed at that 2006 meeting.

Fall 2006 survey of leadership meeting attendees on “why convention” and how it should change

Our next step was for state leaders Doris Bernlohr and Grace Knechtel to survey the branch presidents by phone. They produced a report that was delivered at the 2007 Convention.

Spring 2007 survey of branch presidents on convention issues

In the context of those two discussions, at the spring 2007 board meeting, there was an agreement to adjust the schedule for the 2008 meeting: starting the board meeting earlier on Friday and cutting the Sunday morning program drastically. Change continues for 2009: the board approved a schedule for the Wilmington convention that will have the major programming Friday afternoon/evening (partly due to the costs of hotel accommodations at the beach in the spring). The shortened meeting is expected to concentrate on AAUW-specific issues as we get ready for the major AAUW changes that will be rolled out at the national convention in St. Louis in June 2009. The Friday, March 29, evening banquet, though, will be a celebration of 100 years of AAUW in North Carolina and we hope that many of our friends and allies will join us for a memorable evening.  Send your “save the date” notices now!

So, change is inevitable – and how we look at our state conventions of the future will depend on the ways our lives are all changing. If you are involved in the planning or evaluation of state conventions, please use this article as you continue the discussion.