As I prepare to greet you in this issue, the temperatures are finally rising and the snow melting. What a winter we have witnessed! I am also aware that the arrival of daylight-saving time means that we “spring forward.” However, I find that the “spring” in my step is not as vibrant as it was 40 years ago when I planned for my first national conference.

I think I am somewhat like the young lad who was told to sit down by his father. He did so, but he was heard to murmur, “I am still standing up on the inside.” It is true that I approach each new conference a bit more methodically and with less fanfare; however, every meeting or conference seems to have a life of its own that is equaled by no other.

The excitement springs from deep within as we witness attendees, staff members, speakers, and leaders giving their best and rising to every occasion with vigor and commitment.

As I share these words with you, I am just a few hours of sleep and another flight away from arriving in another city and venue to plan for a future conference. The e-mails and schedules are coordinated, and within the next 48 hours we will meet with representatives from more than 20 lodging facilities. These sessions are capably scheduled by the expert talent of convention and visitors sales and staff members. “Thank you — for the professionals you are.” What a joy it is to work with people who have spirit and excitement as prominent characteristics. I applaud you for your dedication and for the “spring in your steps.”

I continue to be amazed by the flexibility and adaptability of the hard-working people who comprise the support teams of the many complex venues around the world. We have certainly come a long way from the methods that I learned 40-plus years ago. I still feel excitement when given the opportunity to meet many of you for the first time, and I experience additional excitement as we blend our efforts together for great meetings.

Enjoy productive meetings in 2008.
T.M. Jackson