In May of this year I had the fortunate experience of attending the 2017 AICI Global Conference in Mexico City. This trip proved to be beneficial in so many ways, and one that I am happy to have been a part of.
Attending the conference gave me the chance to travel, and to discover more about a beautiful country and culture. I got to meet new people, and make new friends from all over the world. It was also a great opportunity to learn and better myself.
There was a wide range of topics covered. Some of the best ones were about personal branding, effectively delivering messages, and innovation and personal change. I now feel equipped to add more value to the workshops and training sessions that I offer back home in the Philippines through my image consultancy company.
I believe in paying it forward when good things come your way. This is why I am sharing with you some insights that I picked up from this recent trip. Some are specific to the conference, and others are just generic insights that the experience has taught me.
Life lessons, insights, and nuggets of wisdom are everywhere, I tell you. You just need to be on the look out for them. Here are some that I picked up while attending the AICI Global Conference.
1. When you have the opportunity to be part of something, do it. Not only did I participate in this conference, but I also volunteered as a conference assistant for three of the sessions. A lot of learning happens behind the scenes through experiences and interactions. Volunteering placed me right in the middle of this, and it was an experience I won’t soon forget.
2. Take it all in. The sights, the sounds, the people, the cuisine, the stories, the photos, and the memories. Be in the moment, and take all of these back home with you. This holds true for any travel experience. Looking back, I’m glad I fully immersed myself in this trip. It has helped me grow as a person and as an image professional.
3. Embrace technology. It is really amazing when utilized properly. It was so easy for us to keep up with our schedules, and even learn more about the speakers and exhibitors through the AICI Conference App. We were all encouraged to download this app before the sessions started. What’s nice is, even handouts for the sessions were made available in the app. What a great way to save on paper and lessen waste during the conference.
4. Be responsible. On the first day of the conference, I got to listen to Stacy Flynn speak. She is the CEO of Evrnu, a company that works to convert textile waste into new, reusable fibers and fabrics. I was so enlightened by her message of recycling, and eliminating waste for the benefit of our world. I believe that we all need to do our part, whether big or small, to care for the Earth. Technology, again, comes to play here. New ways to live better and more intentionally are slowly but surely emerging. I see now that it would be so beneficial to the environment if more textile and garment manufacturers would practice eco-friendly solutions the way Evrnu does.
5. Be authentic. The second keynote speaker of the conference was Howard Roberts, a marketing guru. Through him, I saw how the image profession is a powerful one, and we hold in our hands the responsibility of influence. This places us in the position to also become advocates of powerful causes like authentic beauty and sustainable fashion, which we can further through our work.
6. Be caring. Another powerful advocacy that I discovered through the conference is that of inclusion, acceptance, and opportunity for persons with disabilities in the fashion industry. I learned about this from the keynote speech of Mindy Scheier, Founder of Runway of Dreams. This is a foundation that strives to bring greater awareness to adaptive clothing, and promote the differently-abled in the fashion industry. I was very touched by this session, and amazed by how the fashion industry can be a major tool in empowering persons with disabilities. Here’s a short video about them that I would like to share with you.
Enriched is the best word I can think of to describe how I feel after the 2017 AICI Global Conference. I cannot wait until another special experience such as this comes my way.
I hope you can take the time to read my other posts about my trip to Mexico, too:
Always remember, travel enriches life. It teaches us to enjoy moments, to say goodbye to stress and embrace joy instead. Experience has taught me this, and I’m happy that I get to share my journeys with you now, too. Anytime you need help and tips finding worry-free, budget-friendly places to see, I’m here to help!