Reader, it's time to say goodbye. After 14 years at the helm of Association Meetings, I am moving on to another job in publishing. It's a bittersweet parting, for even as I look forward to the next step in my career, I am sad to say goodbye to this magazine and its wonderful readers.

I must say it's been a fabulous experience being your eyes and ears in the world of association meetings for the last (nearly) decade and a half, a span of enormous change and challenge for association conventions and trade shows.

It's quite a shock to realize that when I started writing this column, the Internet was still being invented, hoteliers would never think of charging an association attrition penalties, and meeting planners were just beginning their long battle for professional recognition and a strategic role within their organizations. It's just a guess, but I'll bet that half the convention centers out there today didn't even exist 14 years ago!

A lot of change and a lot of challenge are still ahead. (For more on this theme, check out the cover story, page 12.) I hope readers will continue to turn to these pages for answers, discussion, and points of view. As the “independent voice of the association meetings industry,” Association Meetings magazine will continue to elucidate the issues, uncover the trends, and deliver the tools to help you do your job more effectively.

I am sad, too, to part with so many talented, dedicated colleagues, many of whom have racked up more than a decade of experience in the meetings business. I truly have enjoyed working with the best editors and designers in the field, who collectively create and produce the Meetings Group's five market-niched meetings magazines. Leaving them feels in every way like leaving family.

To all of them, and to all of you, I bid a fond farewell. Keep safe, and keep kicking up the dust. As my mother never tired of saying, “The adventure is always just beginning.”