I’m probably a little shy of the age (that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!) when I can use phrases like “back in the day” but I don’t remember there ever being so very many options for different industry organizations to join. I remember groups like the American Institute of Architects and the American Medical Association – old school professional organizations that seem to have been around for eons. Now, however, and especially with the explosion of activity on LinkedIn, there seem to be half a dozen professional organizations for every industry, sub-industry, niche profession and one-of-a-kind vocation on the planet. If you’re a left-handed pediatric veterinary cosmetic micro-surgeon, there’s a place for you. The dilemma we sometimes face now: too many options. But for BC pros, the Association of Contingency Planners makes it an easy choice.
Naturally the Association provides a number of excellent reasons for joining but for me it boils down to a single reason: opportunity. Or maybe two single reasons: opportunity that leads to more money earned and more money saved by our clients. Then there are the opportunities for education, networking and enhancement of my company’s BC and DR plans and suddenly, joining up makes a whole lot of sense. Annual dues (just $125) are pro-rated monthly so if you join this month you only have to pay for the rest of this year. It’s a bargain. Full disclosure: I don’t work for ACP in any capacity but Continuity Housing is indeed working with the Association in order to re-introduce their popular and free webinar series for its members.
[Speaking of which . . . the first of the webinar series will be "Securing Guaranteed Hotel Rooms For Your Organization In a Deployment: A Tale of Two Companies (Case Studies)" on Tuesday, August 12th at 10:30 Central presented by yours truly. There are more than 60 negotiable terms in a hotel’s group booking contract, and this session will equip you with creative, unique ways to craft those contracts to your organization’s best advantage to fit the unique aspects of a crisis management booking. Find out more and register for this free, fast-paced, 45-minute webinar here.]
So what’s the ROI on joining the ACP? Results will vary depending on your level of commitment but let’s take a little field trip across the last eight years of my professional life:
- 2006: I created Continuity Housing’s patent-pending program to guarantee companies hotel rooms on a contingency basis without having to pay an arm and a leg for them.
- 2009: I joined ACP. (Should’ve joined earlier.)
- Which begat a presentation I made to a local chapter about avoiding the pitfalls of securing guaranteed housing for critical personnel in the event of a disaster and/or a business interruption.
- Which led to me being asked to present similar material to other chapters.
- Which resulted in me getting to meet ImpactWeather’s business continuity team managed by Ed Schlichtenmyer and, at that time, Mike Thomson who asked me to present not once but twice at the company’s annual Hurricane Symposium.
- Which in turn introduced me to Ed Goldberg enabling me to present in a number of the original ACP Webinar Series which started in 2011.
- Which fomented (I’m running out of terms that mean “which led to”) a continuing series of invitations for me to make presentations at national industry conferences hosted by Continuity Insights, EEI, ACP and CPM – as well as the webinar next month for ACP (we posted about that this past Wednesday) and presentations to local ACP chapters in CA, CT, FL, MA, NY, TX and WA.
- And they told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on, and so on, and so on… (Click here if you’re too young to understand that reference.)
- And all along the way and with increasing frequency, Continuity Housing has been exposed to more opportunities. And by opportunities, I mean contracts. And by contracts, I mean revenue.
And no, it’s not all, or even mostly, about the monetary gain. It’s the less tangible bennies that keep me coming back to ACP.
One of the Continuity Housing team members goes fairly far offshore to fish from time to time and more than once in the past he’s told me about the informal but rigidly obeyed tradition of mariners helping each other out whenever a nearby crew or their boat is in trouble and that the entire BC community acts in much the same way. We don’t keep secrets. We share what we learn so that we all get better at what we do and learn new ways to keep even more people more efficiently out of harm’s way. In fact, we attended a gathering the week before last hosted by the South Texas Chapter (see photo) and had a great time learning some new things, making some new connections and reconnections and hearing about what’s next, which for this particular chapter is a very cool 90-minute boat tour of the Port of Houston in mid-August before the monthly chapter meeting and lunch.
So that’s what you get out of the ACP. An engaged, devoted community, new approaches, better results. And that’s the real benefit.
For more information – including where your nearest chapter meets – visit the ACP website and click on the Membership tab at the top.
Continuity Housing helps companies enhance their business continuity plans by pre-arranging guaranteed housing and providing logistical support for mission-critical employees during disasters. Subscribe to the Continuity Housing blog (in sidebar at right) and follow us on Twitter, on YouTube, on LinkedIn and on Facebook. To subscribe to our mailing list and/or to find out about a free 30-minute consultation, let us know.