It’s almost that time of year again. Over nine months removed from the 2014 APA National Conference in Atlanta, the UCF Emerging Urban Knights Planning Association is gearing for this year’s conference in Seattle. Guaranteed to be jam-packed with budding and experienced planners, this year’s conference dubbed “Sustainable Seattle” will surely not disappoint those yearning for the best planning theories, practices, and techniques coupled with healthy and equitable development and globally competitive business districts. For those new to the planning profession, it will only take one of the conference’s success stories of a once-thriving, turned dying and desolate, but now resurging city to quickly dissolve any apprehensions about this passion for “good” planning. While there may be many perceived differences among the attendees hailing from every state in the union and nations abroad, there is one unifying characteristic: Planners are dedicated in making their respective town, city, metro, state, region, nation and even the world a better place to live, work, and play.
To say the only reason to attend the conference is to gain professional expertise would be a gross misrepresentation of the truth. Some of the best experiences will occur after hours with a plethora of networking opportunities which will have your LinkedIn account buzzing all summer long. Remember, it is important to mingle with your local Chapter, but make sure to branch out! Venture to geographically exotic groups or various units of government and private sector entities. Wherever you end up after the conference lectures—whether networking or exploring the city itself—you are bound to have a great time and stories to tell to your coworkers or classmates.