Sometimes you see something remarkable and you just have to comment on it.
Last Thursday I spent the morning at the Kalamazoo Nature Center as they hosted the Association of Nature Center Administrators – Summit 2014 Beyond Boundaries. During my few hours there I observed attendees:
- Demonstrating deep commitment to their role as a community environmental leader
- Willing to listen and learn from others
- Eager to share from their knowledge and experience
- Sharing contact information to provide & receive future support and encouragement
But that’s not all.
As a former meeting planner, I habitually observe conference operations and how the staff navigates through the maze of details and minor emergencies. As I scanned the opening day activities I observed:
- Clearly marked pathways to registration, workshops, food, and facilities
- Smiling KNC staff moving at a comfortable pace and willing to stop to offer assistance
- Well-prepared workshop rooms with plenty of materials and equipment that worked
- Participants thoroughly enjoying themselves
During a lunchtime conversation, I learned that total conference attendance exceeded 300 – double that of any previous year. Why? Some came because they lived near enough to drive, but many more came because of the stellar reputation of our Kalamazoo Nature Center. I heard several favorable comments on the extraordinary facilities, knowledgeable staff, and extensive programs. They were pleased to be there.
And so was I.
One phrase I like to mutter from time to time is, “I love it when it works.” As I exited the Kalamazoo Nature Center parking lot, I looked in the rearview mirror, smiled, and muttered it again.