By Tom Gump, past governor of District 5950 and a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Edina / Morningside, Minnesota, USA
Serving as a Zone Promotion Coordinator for both the Toronto and Hawaii Conventions and as an Assistant Zone Promotion Coordinator for the Hamburg Convention, I have come to realize that there is nothing better than an in-person Rotary International Convention. It is the best experience in all of Rotary!
Here are 10 reasons why:
- Immerse yourself in the local culture – This year in Houston, you’ll experience cowboy boots, Stetson hats, and bolo ties (not to mention wonderful traditional clothing from visiting members arriving from all around the world). Feast on Tex-Mex and Texas Barbecue and experience Southern hospitality in a way you can only do in person. Let’s face it – electronic barbecue just doesn’t taste that great.
- Catch up with your Rotary friends or make new ones – A Zoom meeting with your friends is great; but it’s just not the same as high-fiving them or giving them a hug in person! When you get to Houston, text your friends and tell them to meet you someplace fun – no advance planning necessary. Bring a few club flags to exchange.
- Visit Space Center Houston – See a Space Shuttle and maybe even shake hands with an astronaut!
- Attend Breakout Sessions – Interact with people before and after the session with no worries that the virtual platform will shut the meeting down before you can follow up on a vital point of business. Maybe even swap a few business cards. There are 70 breakout sessions to choose from!
- Have a different kind of fun – Throw some axes or ride an electronic bull. Now you can’t do that online.
- Recharge your Rotary batteries – Without going to a Tesla charging station. You will go back to your districts and clubs even more prepared to connect with the world and serve others.
- Visit the House of Friendship – Meet Rotarians representing Rotary Action Groups, Fellowships, interest groups, and vendors. It’s been a couple years since most of us have had in person events of this scale – it’s time to update our Rotary wardrobes!
- Meet current or future project partners – To help you start or complete your high-impact Rotary project, and don’t worry about telling them to “unmute!”
- Learn what happened at our most recent Council on Legislation – From the actual Representatives that attended the event.
- Meet Rotary Leaders – It’s your best chance to meet your Rotary Director, Foundation Trustee, or maybe even the current or future Rotary International President.
No matter what the reason you chose to attend the in-person 2022 Rotary International Convention in Houston, I hope to see you there.
Going to Houston? Download the Rotary Events app to plan your daily schedule, learn about featured speakers, download session handouts, and more. Find it in your app store by searching for “Rotary Events.”
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Lovely post by PDG Tom Gump. It is among the 10 most happening aspects at the Convention in addition to many other aspects that truly make a difference.
If anyone believes that item 10 is not very likely, I have had it happen to me twice. The first time was at my first convention in New Orleans (2011), whereupon one morning before 8:00 am I walked across the street and other Rotarian joined me. It was the future president Ron Burton. (2013-14). It happened again in Hamburg.(2019) I had just finished attending my last breakout-session at that convention. As I stood at the intersection of two wide halls, who should approach but none other than Jennifer Jones, our 2022-23 president. We exchanged greetings and I wished her success in one day becoming our first woman president. Both are wonderful memories, I now carry with me.