Back to Blog

PRIMA Institute’s Small Group Setting Makes Networking Easy

Posted by Janet Hayes on August 27, 2015 at 9:27 AM

PRIMA Institute provides a great experience for risk management professionals who are new to the arena or the more seasoned veterans.

Unlike other large conferences, PRIMA Institute (PI) allowed me to make friends with colleagues around me. Mostly because the program facilitator, Marilyn Rivers, would not allow anyone to sit in the same place day-after-day.  And since we all attended the same sessions I really had no choice but to be engaged and talk to people. Sitting at individual tables during the sessions, eating lunch together and networking at night with such a small crowd allowed me to gain perspective of others in my same position as a risk novice as well as glean information from the more seasoned risk professionals. This combination of various experience levels makes the learning environment beneficial for the newer risk professional to gain the knowledge necessary to progress in their future career paths.

The personal connections I made during the conference were insurmountable. By the end of PI 12’s conference curriculum, I had  built professional relationships –people I email when I’m dealing with something difficult and need advice, and personal relationships- people I email just to say hi. These are some of the reasons I keep coming back to PI. With such a small group of attendees and Marilyn at the helm of the program, in PRIMA Institute 2013, I was forced out of my comfort zone and presented in front of the group which is where the real learning began!

Since so much time is spent learning, relaxing in the evenings becomes important and they are always full of fun and entertainment. Some PI nights start with group sponsored events where you get to see the personal side of people and interact outside of a training environment. Some evenings include attendee-organized sporting events, shopping, experiencing the local food and of course, sightseeing!  These less formal interactions always tricked me into building even more relationships that spill over into the next day of learning. They have also helped put me at ease with my peers. Together, you have fun and laugh and joke which makes learning about risk management so much easier.

After feeling like such a novice, I felt part of the PRIMA Institute family and energized to be part of the public risk management profession. In fact, PRIMA Institute has helped me develop in many ways and this year at PRIMA Institute 2015, I will be presenting a session about law enforcement relationships with risk management. This will be my fourth year attending PRIMA Institute and it won’t be my last. PI is an awesome experience, come join me in Albuquerque in November to see what all the talk is about! You won't be disappointed!