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An Organisers’ Conference in Canada, Eh?

With decluttering becoming more and more popular around the world, have you ever wondered what the organising industry looks like in other countries? As it turns out, there are quite a few that have associations just like APDO, that support organisers and keep industry standards high. The lovely Isabelle Lamy (IDea for your space) had a chance to go to the POC (Professional Organisers in Canada) Conference to give us the scoop from across the pond.

I recently had the immense pleasure of attending the POC conference in Toronto on behalf of APDO. This was my third international conference about the organising industry. In 2017 I had the chance to attend the NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals) conference in Pittsburgh with former APDO president Ingrid Jansen. Earlier this year, I attended the Journée Annuelle for FFPO (Fédération Francophone des Professionnels de l’Organisation) in Paris. And last month I attended the POC’s conference in Toronto, Canada. It’s really interesting to see how these conferences differ but their purpose remains the same: education, connection and sharing ideas.

First of all, I would like to tell you how incredibly welcomed I felt by the POC members I met. They were all very kind and rather impressed by the fact I came from London in England and not from London in Ontario (Canada)!

The POC conference was really special to me for many reasons.

Isabelle and her friends

Isabelle met many new organiser friends in Toronto

As the International Liaison for APDO, I’ve had the opportunity to regularly e-meet some of the leaders of organising industry associations through meetings organised by the International Federation of Professional Organizing Associations (IFPOA), which APDO joined in September 2015.

In Toronto, it was a real pleasure to meet in person, to discuss and have some great laughs with Dennise Conforti (President of POC), Susie Hayman (President of NAPO), Alison Lush (President of ICD and one of APDO’s conference speakers this year), Cindy Sullivan (President-elect of ICD who also joined us at APDO’s 2019 Conference) as well as other key players from these associations; Stephanie Deakin (POC’s immediate Past President), Laurene Livesey Park (ICD’s Certification Program Director) as well as Colette Robicheau who was a speaker at the 2016 APDO Conference.

In her introductory speech at the POC AGM, Dennise Conforti talked about relationships, both inside their professional association and outside, and with other associations in the world. It resonated a lot with me as it made me realise how happy, proud and honoured I was to be part of APDO.

Being part of APDO is a fantastic opportunity to meet with other POs in the London area where I am based but also with others based all over the UK. Over the last five years, the APDO leadership has actively initiated and reinforced the relationships with other professional associations in the world. We have formed affiliate agreements with POC (September 2017), ICD (February 2019), and through APDO’s ongoing membership of IFPOA. I feel that being part of APDO means we’re also firmly part of the international professional organising community!

POC conference

I hope some of you managed to see the videos on APDO social media of some of these international leaders sending their best 15th birthday wishes to our association; they are a testimony to the wonderful international relationships APDO has with some other associations!

I also really enjoyed the POC conference because it is quite similar to our own APDO conference in terms of attendee size. Around 110 people attended the POC conference, which, like our own conference, makes the event rather intimate. I managed to talk and to connect with many people there, even though three days still seemed too short.

It was also really interesting to see how POC organised their conference between plenary sessions, workshops, Conversation Café, expo hall… It’s always a wonderful source of inspiration to see what others do.

And last but not least, a lot of the attendees spoke French… Hooray! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m French so I certainly enjoyed the novelty of talking shop in my mother tongue. The next time I visit my daughter in Montreal I will make sure that there is a meeting held by the Montreal POC chapter so that I will have the pleasure of meeting some of them again. I will definitely be attending the POC conference again in the near future and would encourage you to do so too.

It’s all about fabulous relationships…



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