Taking ROSNF from Sydney to São Paulo: How Can We Replicate the Magic?

Two ROSNF members with our pull-up banner at the ROSNF Sydney Convention booth
Having fun at the ROSNF booth!

ROSNF is growing rapidly, with more than 2000 members, a booming Facebook page and a real buzz happening in our community. It’s all looking good!

At least some of this success comes off the back of a very successful Sydney Convention, where our booth was alive with member interactions and our social media breakout was particularly well attended. As ROSNF Chair and Convention Director for 2013-14, I experienced the thrill of a very active participation in our Sydney Convention presence. It was a great experience. With three Board directors and many members joining in, the fun was infectious over five exciting days.

Realistically though, we had every reason to succeed in Sydney. The Board of ROSNF includes four Australian directors and we have an engaged local membership, so our capacity to field a strong team in Sydney Convention was only to be expected. We were in our own back yard.

Contrast that with 12 months earlier in Lisbon, where we only had a small team available to work on our booth and there were no local Board directors. Despite the terrific efforts of our volunteers, we simply did not have the numbers to keep our booth operating and as a result it was unattended for lengthy periods. Not a good look and one which drew criticism from members.

Now look forward to São Paulo. In an eerie similarity, Convention will again be held in a Portuguese-speaking country where ROSNF has no local Board members.

We will face decision time soon, as the time draws near for us to decide whether to reserve a booth at Convention ’15. To have another successful ROSNF presence, we will need ROSNF leaders and sufficient helpers committed to work on our booth. We cannot in good conscience expect a few stalwarts to forego the other great experiences at Convention just to staff our stall. That’s simply not fair.

The things that have worked in the past and could work again in preparing for Convention ’15 are:

  • Recruit more local ROSNF members to our Board group. That approach can work. By way of example, Sydney-based Kate McKenzie joined our Board less than 12 months before Convention ’14 and made a brilliant contribution to ROSNF and at Convention.
  • Encourage all our members to promote our proposed ROSNF presence at Sao Paulo. Ask them to help identify people who plan attend Convention ’15 and might be prepared to help out.
  • Equip our convention team with a new banner and all the consumables they’ll need to do the job.
  • Hold our AGM on day 1 of Convention, so that we can help promote our presence, recruit more volunteers and build enthusiasm again.

If we’re all really committed to a great ROSNF presence at Convention ’15, we do need to start planning and organising now. Can you help?

Kero O’Shea
Membership Director & Social Networking Adviser District 9465
& Past ROSNF Chair 2013-14

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