“Making the Most of BATW and Your Membership”
by Suzie Rodriguez, BATW Board Member
How about becoming more involved in BATW? Here are a few ideas to toss around:
Become the Program Chair: BATW’s monthly meetings over the years have been coordinated by a talented series of Program Chairs that included—since I’ve been a member, anyway—Marian Sanders, Bob Ecker, John Montgomery, Sandy Sims, Monica Conrady and Erin Caslavka.
Each of these people did an outstanding job, bringing us exciting speakers, programs and venues. Various Program Chairs have told me at one time or another that holding that position helped them overcome shyness, make new contacts and friends throughout the professional tourism community, and/or develop the desire to shape the organization (in fact, two of them, Bob and Marian, later served as BATW president).
Erin Caslavka is currently Acting Program Chair. She wanted to retire from her position at the end of last year, but nobody came forward to fill her place – so she graciously agreed to stay on another year. But at the end of 2013 Erin will bid a final goodbye to this position.
Bottom line: BATW needs a new extraordinary program coordinator—or perhaps a couple of extraordinaires—to share the job. If you think you’re that person, drop Erin a line: email@example.com.
Design a monthly program: To help Erin this year, Board members have taken responsibility for specific months, designing a program and pulling it together, often with help from a General member. For example, I’m working with Lee Daley on the August meeting, which is about the effects of climate change on the Bay and its surrounding lands.
If you have a good idea for a meeting in 2014 and want to bring it to fruition, get in touch with Erin at the email address above.
Bring a prospective member to a meeting: New members keep BATW fresh, exciting and moving forward into the future with new ideas and capabilities. I’m always meeting Bay Area writers and photographers at events (you’re probably meeting such people too), and if they seem interesting, I always suggest that they attend a meeting.
Now this is easier than ever to do, because Board member Marc Longwood recently designed business-sized “You’re Invited!” cards that show BATW’s url and give info about attending a meeting. Ask any Board member for a few cards to carry with you, and you’ll soon find yourself surrounded by fascinating writers and photographers dying to wrest one of those cards from your hand.
Share ideas and information online:
- Receive and send informative emails through BATW’s Yahoo Groups forum. You’ll hear about press trips, events and other timely subjects; members also ask questions (“Know of any good hotels in Hafnarfjörður?”) and ask for help (“I need a quote from someone who’s eaten that Italian cheese made with maggots”). Learn more at our website: https://batw.memberclicks.net/batw-discussion-group.
- Take advantage of BATW’s Facebook page. I actually need to start doing that myself. Really, this is a tremendous showcase of our photos and links to our own works and to events and news in the world of travel.
Let other members know the latest about you: Stand up at meetings and tell us where you’ve been traveling or the new market you’ve been writing for. Send the website editor, Carolyn Koenig, a short article about one of your recent triumphs (firstname.lastname@example.org). Offer ideas or suggestions to make BATW better than ever.