The Book Publishers Association of Alberta (BPAA) has started a new professional development program, with funding from The Canada Council for the Arts.
It's a very simple program: we have lunch at a local restaurant and invite one of our members to discuss an area of interest or concern. We order lunch, then listen to the speaker/discussion leader, have lunch, discuss the topic and leave – all in an hour. Thus far we have had sessions on used books, e-books and developing and using blogs.
Kathy Shute, Executive Director of the Book Publishers Association developed this program. It's been well received by the members of the association who have welcomed the opportunity to meet, enjoy a meal, and learn something about an interesting topic, all for $10.
Learning and networking at lunch or coffee time is not a new concept, but organizing a professional development opportunity every few weeks is new to this group and probably to most professional organizations.
The program is an excellent way of providing professional development opportunities to people within an industry or working area. The cost is low and the time required is minimal.
Thanks, Kathy: and thanks also to the BPAA and the Canada Council for the Arts.