A few weeks ago, Trusting Connections along with other nanny agencies and nannies all over the world joined together at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa for the 33rd INA Conference, hosted by the International Nanny Association.
It was my first INA conference and my first time visiting Arizona and as a first-time attendee, I wanted to take in as much as I can. If I were to describe Tucson in one word, it would be: Cacti.
Mountains and dry heat would tie for second place, but nothing beats the vast prickly defining plant you pass every 3 feet. Fun fact: did you know the seguaro cactus is protected under the Native Plant Protection Act? Becuase these plants take an incredibly long time to grow (having an estimated lifespan of 150-200 years), any removal or damage of the plant, anywhere, is a serious crime. You can face a felony criminal-damage charge and get up to twenty-five years in prison for cutting down a saguaro cactus. You sure don’t want to prick your way into that situation!
Besides the great view, I had a great experience at the conference. The attendees were all so welcoming and had a lot to share. I can tell that every single person there was passionate about childcare and genuinely love what they do. I strongly recommend anyone who is in the childcare industry or love working with kids to attend next year’s conference in the wonderful city of Jazz, New Orleans! There are many things you can invest your time and money in and the INA conference is an important one. Here’s a quick recap of my trip and hopefully it may help you see the value and worth of coming to next year’s conference!
Thursday Night – Opening Reception & Group Dinner
The conference started off with a happy hour reception with plenty of ice-breaker activities to meet everyone and introduce ourselves. It was an hour of fun-about-me facts, munching on delicious appetizers, and enjoying the scenery in awe. After meeting a few new agency friends, we all ended the night with a group dinner at El Charro, one of the most popular Mexican restaurant in Tucson, filled with good vibes and laughter.
Friday – Nannies, the Most Important People Ever
After a hearty breakfast and one or three good cups of coffee, attendees sat down to listen to our keynote speaker, Dr. Lynne Kenney, as she discussed on how we can elevate our productivity and live a better and healthier life. It was incredibly motivating and inspirational to hear. The conference strategically planned out several workshops that highlighted different topics and areas attendees can pick from. The topics ranged from financial planning and budgeting, marketing, recruiting, cultural sensitivity, to newborn care seminars. For new and experienced nannies and agency owners, attending these workshops is an invaluable opportunity. A key
takeaway from Friday, I believe, is that nannies are among the most important people in the world. The responsibilities of a nanny are critical. Nannies are in charge of taking care of the children, creating, molding, teaching, and manifesting the children’s behavioral skills and their overall development. A profound and very true statement indeed.
Friday Night – Dancing the Night Away, Western Style
After the information-filled day, I kicked off my heels and put on my first ever cowboy boots! Our TC team all put on our matching TC shirts and cowboys boots as we two-step our way over to Old Tucson, located adjacent to the Tucson Mountains, to enjoy a delicious southern BBQ feast! Old Tucson is a movie studio and premiere film location, known to film many classic western films starring John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Elizabeth Taylor and more! There was food, drinks, and lots of dancing.
Saturday – Importance of Branding
Sunday started with another good healthy breakfast and some mingling before the second day of workshops begin. I was very excited for today as several seminars and workshops focused on the importance of social media and other Marketing tips you can do to help your company. My takeaway from Sunday is that the essence and importance of your brand, your logo, and your behavior with clients and other agencies really do signify your company and what you stand for.
Saturday Night – Partying up with Trusting Connections
After two exciting days filled with networking and insightful webinars, Saturday night ended with a fiesta some attendees described as, “a perfect cherry on top” to finish their conference trip. It just wouldn’t make sense for Trusting Connections to pass the opportunity of having the INA conference be held in Tucson and not host a party for all the attendees! A big shoutout to our Co-Founder and party planner, Mrs. Rosalind Prather, for setting up an unforgettable party for the TC team and INA attendees. We’re talking about delicious food, chips and salsa, drinks, live music, a red carpet entry behind TC’s huge backdrop banner (with props for that picture perfect selfie or groupie), and a body-sized cactus pinata! I couldn’t think of anywhere else to end my conference trip than to be with my incredible TC team and everyone else.
INA Conference – A Worthy Investment
To sum it up, the 33rd Annual INA Conference was filled with educational and insightful workshops, fun group gatherings, multiple networking breaks, loads of food, unlimited Starbucks coffee, endless laughter and conversation, countless amount of selfies and snaps, and breathtaking view of mountains and Seguaros. Overall, I believe my first INA Conference was nothing but amazing.
If you are interested in learning more about INA or information about next year’s conference, please visit the International Nanny Association website.
Written by Kim Tran, Marketing Assistant at Trusting Connections Nanny Agency.