Thursday, August 20, 2015

Top Ten Reasons To Go To The 2015 IMATA Conference

Need a reason to go to this year's IMATA Conference?  How about ten of 'em?

10. BAHAMAS.  
Where all mammals can appreciate island life!

Need I say anything further?  Okay but seriously, for most of us this means international travel to a tropical paradise.  We trainers are paid heartily in amazing experiences at our job, and maybe less so of the dollar billz.  Hence, any opportunity to travel -especially internationally- is worth taking.

9. See what crazy stuff people are doing at their facilities.  

Like nursing a baby pseudorca back to health, especially in spite of ridiculous detractor pressure.  Good job, Vancouver Aquarium!

Presentations abound, and you're guaranteed to see something that'll make you go "OH EM GEE" more than once.  Not only will trainers amaze you, but the incredible veterinarians in this field.  

8. Or maybe YOU can motivate someone.  

That's tongue-in-cheek for: get yer butt up on stage and inspire us with your experience!

Setting aside the benefit of doing an informal or formal presentation yourself, you never know whose interest you'll pique no matter what the topic.  Yeah, we all get butterflies standing up in front of people, but this is your opportunity to stand proudly beside whatever cool thing you and your facility did.  

7. Get a serious booster shot of inspiration.  

There goes Bill, inspiring us!

For as long as you're at the conference, you're immersed in some feel-good stuff.  Yeah, you'll get motivated by presentations.  But you'll also get some great ideas from that trainer you met while sipping mai tais at the pool, or the veterinarian you ran into at a site visit.

6. Get facetime with your gurus.  

Sometimes they even sign books!

We've all got 'em.  You know, the people who make us go, "I WANT TO BE LIKE THEM!"  Chances are, they'll be at the conference.  That means you can see them in action and actually meet them IRL.

5. Eat.  

Trainers lurv the foods


Is that us having a Peeps eating contest? Um, yes it is.  (I didn't win)

You're in a vacation destination, in a tropical location, and you're a hungry, hungry animal trainer.  You know you want to stuff your face.  And guess what?  You're in good company.  There's no better way to forge new relationships or make new ones than to break bread with them.

4.  Meet new people....  

Well Boromir, you don't know everything, cuz they do at IMATA conferences.

Maybe you're going to actually meet your Facebook contacts! Whaaat!  Or you'll have a great chat with someone you'd have never met, and find out that you've got a lot to offer each other.  No matter who you meet anew, you avoid the normally-awkward animal trainer problem: meeting new people means you struggle with not bringing up your animal friends too much.  But at IMATA conferences, you're surrounded by like-minded people who would love to talk shop all day, all night.  I dare you to not whip out your phone to show a picture of your favorite sea lion.

3. ...and catch up with old friends.  

This might be my favorite part of conferences.

People you know from your internships or jobs don't stick around forever.  It's one of the saddest parts of this career: our human friends tend to move on (or we move away from them).  You can keep up on Facebook or text every so often, but ain't nothing like talking about the good ol' days in person.  In the Bahamas.  On the beach.  Oh man, I can't wait!

2. Land an internship or job at career night....  

A sea of opportunity (ha ha! I'm so punny!)

Especially for you aspiring trainers, or trainers looking for new opportunities, this is not only a great way to land a job, but at the very least you're meeting prospective employers in person.  You can't put a price tag on that.  You can meet a lot of people from a lot of difference facilities in one night...and there's no other opportunity like it.

1. ....or, if you're already an established trainer, pay it back.  

Here I am as an intern/aspiring trainer enjoying flexibility I no longer have in my old age.  

For those of us who have a job, or who are part of building our team, let's not forget to pay it back.  Mingle with the future trainers, answer their questions and do for them what someone once did for you!

Here's a bonus reason to go to the conference: you get to see the awesome work Peppermint Narwhal does!

Let's not forget about the art contest, silent auction, and some of the free stuff you get.  So I'm basically telling you there are BONUS reasons for coming to this year's conference.  Hopefully I've inspired you to come to the Bahamas; see you there*!

Wanna go? Register here! You can still pre-register online!

* I'll be at the buffet

1 comment:

  1. Um excuse me Mr. Chester you are too cute to handle...

    I wish I could go!