Pause for Thought: What is the Real Benefit of Going to a Global Murals Conference?
It's a Long Way to Tipperary ... and Costly Quite Often
Since the great majority of Murals Societies around the globe are made up of volunteers, who normally have to pay their own way to any conference afar, it's a significant question to ask: Why take part in a Global Mural Conference?
N.B. NEXT STOP MARCH 2008 IS TASMANIA AUSTRALIA
This was the theme that Winnipeg called on the Global Association's Founding President Dr Karl Schutz to address, and he should know some good answers since he has been exhorting the rest of the world to do just that for two decades now. Karl Schutz writes:
Getting the Home Team Organised
"We found that organizing a group of devoted volunteers and staff if you have them to wave your flag in a different country or City is a most rewarding experience both personally and collectively. There are actually two elements to this process. First is the organization at home to get as many into the delegation as possible. Invitations and presentations should be made to every organization as well as supportive local industry. Keep in mind that this trip can be used not only to sell your community as a whole, but also become a mini-tradeshow of the assets you have and why other individuals should in turn be visiting you. [In a recent survey it was shown that mural town enthusiasts have on average visited some 8 other towns each.]
Most effective are those who have their own distinctive trademark, clothing, T-shirts, hats banners etc. While partnering with City Hall, tourism organizations, economic development, Rotary International, the airlines and industry is exposing your organization's project or cause to them, all the very fact of doing it opens many new relationships for future growth in the home town.
The second reason is the dynamics of being at the Conference itself. You will be working as a team marketing your project and community, having a booth to showcase your assets, establishing a team approach to make sure every delegate is getting your message. Host a Community Party with local produce and/ or beverages. During a day off, visit as a group all businesses in town handing out your marketing materials and inviting them to your community.
Without fail, every year we learn of new projects and ideas being introduced by Cities we have scarcely ever heard of before in the Global Association. It's fun to learn and potentially productive back home.
At any Global Conference there is a unique opportunity for marketing your achievements, publicizing the City and your country to more than 100 delegates possibly from 60 different cities from at least twenty states across three continents. That's who is at a Global Murals Conference. You are only limited by your own imagination and the more outside the box you are thinking the more you will be noticed.
What to Learn at The Conference Itself
The Conference can be compared to a 'University of Action Learning', where delegates will find all the latest relevant ideas and knowledge about marketing, publicity, financial resource development, legal aspects, the skills of negotiations, public relations and media management, commissioning artists, chosing the right paints and surfaces, maintaining the murals... just to mention a few of the most obvious.
But there is international networking, making new friends, opening the doors to new opportunities, enriching your personal life with new knowledge and energy, recharging your batteries with ever greater enthusiasm. The camaraderie of Murals Societies around the globe has to be seen and experienced to be believed and it can be readily seen at work at the Global Conferences.
Who does [and should] take part?
The list is perhaps obvious. It should include all stakeholders in Downtown Economic Development and/ or Revitalization, especially through the arts & tourism development. All City and community Leaders, Mayors, City administrators and Economic Development Officers should think of attending as should managers of creative tourism expansion. Of course we should expect the artists themslves who create the fine mural paintings, and public art managers, consultants and planners, school & university art teachers as well as the owners/ managers of galleries. In short, any individual who knows that ‘THE ARTS’ are as important to the well-being of our heart and soul as sports are to our fitness, and are willing to lead an arts resurgence in their own community.
We are all enriched
Meeting at the Global Mural Conference in a different city each two years [and its past and future venues include BC, California, Saskatchewan, Nevada, Scotland, Tasmania and Georgia] is much more than an adventure. The journey is also a re-education, a doorway into history of other communities, other cultures. Some may call it a vacation, but it is much more than that. When people think of a vacation they think of doing whatever they want while having fun. The Global Conference is all of that but in addition it is highly educational and enriches every one’s life through a mind altering experience. And the host town, with its commitment to murals art, is there to see that every moment is potentially rewarding.
Travelling together across the world as a group representing your community, your project provides a unique opportunity to get to know each other on a different level. Without doubt it is a fabulous experience for all who participate.
Published Date: November 14th 2006