It would be difficult to come up with a stronger lineup of speakers than what SC&RA has assembled for the 2006 annual conference. They have written best-selling books, Broadway plays, influential magazine articles and training manuals; appeared on such television shows as Today, Oprah, and Ripley's Believe It or Not; and received numerous major awards, including an Emmy, The Business Journal's Most Inspiring Business of the Year, the National Speakers' Association's Council Peers Award of Excellence; and the National Press Club Headliner Award. Be sure to catch these inspirational and educational presentations:
• “The turbocharged brain” by Bob Gray
• “Accident reconstruction - your company's future could be at stake” by Steven Rickard
• “What Vince Lombardi, Mary Kay and an old crank could teach you” by Vicki Hitzges
• “Passion: do what you love; love what you do” by John Powers
• “Creating the ultimate customer experience” by Scott Deming
• “Attitools for success” by Scott Rizzo
You can tone up your muscles while setting the tone for a successful annual conference.
Choose the sporting events that suit you best:
• Golf: the traditional SC&RA tournament will be held on the Robert Cupp Course at Palmetto Hall Plantation, one of the most attractive and well-conditioned courses in the area.
• Tennis: The Westin Hilton Head offers 16 tennis courts, featuring all three Grand Slam surfaces. It's the perfect venue for the annual round robin-mixed doubles tennis tournament.
• CCO 5K Run/Walk: Stretch your legs along the pristine beaches of Hilton Head Island in the company of your fellow attendees.
In your free time, enjoy the resort's full-service, health club, pools and other recreational facilities or venture off-site for kayaking, sailing, deep-sea fishing or horseback riding.
3. Products Fair
For three full hours, the Products Fair will be the only scheduled activity at the annual conference. With more than 50 exhibitors of products and services designed especially for your industry, you'll discover developments that could help your company make its next big breakthrough. Enjoy free refreshments. Pick up literature and free promotional items. Put your name in for the cash-prize drawings.
4. Job of the Year competitions
You will feel even better about your industry after watching presentations for the hauling and rigging job of the year competitions. Settle in with popcorn and a soft drink while you enjoy these big, inspirational shows. Participating companies will provide answers to that inevitable question: How in the world did they do that?
5. Committee meetings
Discover why year after year SC&RA accomplishes more than other associations with much larger professional staffs. Choose from over a dozen committee meetings to see how SC&RA's members, working through committees, make decisions on issues affecting your industry. Unless otherwise noted in the program, meetings are open to all attendees.
Virtually every event during the annual conference provides opportunities to network with hundreds of others who have similar interests and concerns. Often, networking continues beyond scheduled events. Many lasting alliances and friendships will be born or strengthened at Hilton Head.
7. Social functions
The Annual Conference is the place to meet and talk with friends, customers and employers. Among the noteworthy functions are:
• First-Timers Reception: Association officers and staff members will welcome newcomers to the Annual Conference and provide a brief introduction to SC&RA. President's Reception: Meet SC&RA president Jerry Thomsen and his wife Pam on the pool deck while taking in breathtaking views and sampling the Westin's fabulous hors d'oeuvres.
• Spouses Meet & Greet: Here spouses can learn about each other and activities to enjoy throughout the week.
• Pandora's Box Dinner Dance: This gala event offers fine dining, dancing on the ship deck, gambling with funny money; everyone receives a personal Pandora's box, which may contain prizes such as $500 cash.
• Closing Night Awards and Recognition Dinner: Learn the winners of major SC&RA awards, including the Job of the Year competitions, SC&R Foundation Scholarships and Safety Awards. Plus, the Association will recognize current leaders and welcome the new slate of officers.
8. Tours of the area
This year's annual conference offers two superb options for exploring charming areas in and around Hilton Head. Less than an hour's drive from the resort is Savannah, Georgia, the city that was so vividly portrayed in the best-selling Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. This historic tour includes lunch at Mrs Wilkes' Boarding House, famous for its southern cuisine.
The second tour will give you a better understanding of the long and illustrious history of both Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, South Carolina. See how the area has evolved from graceful antebellum homes (circa 1825) to modern day residential plantations.
9. Fine dining
Although your conference fees cover many of your meals, the Westin Resorts offers additional dining options, including the Barony Grill, a AAA Four-Diamond restaurant featuring choice steaks, chops and seafood; the Carolina Cafe offering casual dining throughout the day; and the Turtle Beach Bar and Grill, which affords great oceanfront views to enhance yours enjoyment of tropical cocktails and light fare. And there are more than 250 additional restaurants to choose from on Hilton Head Island.
10. Luxurious accommodation
Nestled amid lush landscaping along a pristine stretch of white-sand beach, the resort provides guests with superior quality and service in an elegant seaside setting. Enjoy breathtaking views from your private balcony, the Westin's own Heavenly Bed, and luxurious, comfortable furnishings characteristic of the homes of the Old South.
If you have yet to make plans for the Annual Conference, act soon. Register for the Conference by March 31 to save $50 per person. You also should not delay in making hotel reservations. SC&RA's special group rate expires after March 30. If accommodations remain open in the group room block after that date, requests will be filled on a space and rate availability basis. Go to www.scranet.org event to register online or call (703) 698-0291.