The CAI Illinois Conference & Expo is the first major event to kick off our calendar each year. CAI Illinois members, community association board members, volunteers and community management companies come together for a day of learning, networking and – of course – the exhibits.
With a schedule jam-packed with seminars, discussions and the ever-important expo hall, this annual event can be a bit overwhelming for newcomers. Having a game plan goes a long way to ensuring you have a memorable – and successful – Expo experience.
Innovation for a Stronger Community – you’re going to see these words a lot. At CAI Illinois Chapter, we don’t toss around buzzwords lightly. We understand the frustrations faced by homeowner association members, and we have made it our mission to develop innovative ways to help you build stronger communities.
As a board member or volunteer attendee, your reasons for attending the Expo will certainly be different compared to community association managers and service providers. But they’re certainly related. The name of the game? Building solid relationships and learning as much as you can to better serve your community’s association.
First, visit our events page to take a look at the variety of seminars available and choose those most aligned with your interests and responsibilities as a member of your association board.
Do you sit on the finance committee? Budgeting and related topics will help you fulfill your appointed duties. Join us Friday from 1:00PM – 3:30PM during our Homeowner Sessions for classes on Understanding Financials and Insurance Risk & Management.
Interested in legislative action? You’ll find a session describing the latest legal, legislative, and case law updates you can share with other members of your board. Our Legal, Legislative & Case Law Update session will be held on Saturday from 9:00AM – 10:30AM. Register to learn more about CAI-Illinois’ Legislative Action Committee.
Whichever classes you do attend, take notes in addition to the supporting material provided.There will be plenty shared and discussed in each session, so taking good notes ultimately means you’ll be able to take accurate (and actionable) insights back to fellow attendees and put the learning to work in your community.
The expo hall portion of the event will afford you the opportunity to meet new and existing vendors servicing your community — and many of the same tips apply. We publish a listing of all exhibitors prior to the event, so if you’re evaluating potential new vendors to fill a specific need in your community or want to say hello to existing vendors, you’ll know where to find them.
A word here: allow yourself time to have what conference attendees call “hallway conversations.” It can be a moment to connect outside of a session and exchange contact info — a board member from another community, a volunteer working on a project similar to your own, or even something more business related. These moments can often lead to collaboration down the road and those relationships can make you and CAI stronger.
For more information about exhibit space or to register for the event, please click here.