PI Conference Notes: What I’ve Learned from a Year of Speaking Engagements
I travel a lot. My wife might even say I travel too much. In the past year, I’ve spoken at conferences, interviewed folks, or investigated cases in North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, California, Louisiana … all to share time with professional investigators. I speak. I share stories. I meet strange new people in smart new places.
I am impressed with the professional investigators I’ve met this year. The group of public defender investigators in Wilmington, NC impressed me with their passion and drive. The South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators wowed me with their curiosity and willingness to debate. The amazing folks at the North Carolina Association of Private Investigators showed me their professionalism and dedication to improving our image. The Texas Association of Licensed Investigators hit it out of the park with their organization and sheer volume of amazing investigators.
Here we are 75% of our way through the year, and I have five more conferences to attend. With the annual Florida Association of Private Investigators conference just wrapping up, It’s time to do a little reflection. I’ve learned so much from this year’s travels. FAPI just happens to be so fresh on my mind, that I’m going to focus on them.
Here are three things FAPI gets totally right:
FAPI has hosted their annual conference in the same hotel for the past few years. They’ll be back here next year, too. It’s your standard Hilton in the middle of Central Florida, nothing special. But FAPI occupies the place at the same time and in the same rooms every year. It somehow feels like home. On Thursday the good folks at FAPI dove into a full-day session on marketing and professionalism with me. We kept coming back to one key point: consistency. As Seth Godin says, “Show up and do the work.”
FAPI fosters a sense of belonging. Ana Carolina Barrero said to me Thursday morning, “You’re gonna find that we’re like a big family.” They support each other, professionally and personally. The members of FAPI routinely refer work to each other. I heard one tale six times: One of FAPI’s members injured himself in the field, found himself out of work for a long time. FAPI’s membership raised money to pay his house note. It doesn’t get more family than that.
3. Continuing Education
FAPI encourages their membership to continue learning. Not only do they host an entertaining conference with amazing speakers, they are looking for new and innovative ways to offer education—online, one-day seminars, webinars, etc.
I’ve been completely impressed with the professional organizations I’ve visited this year. Hats off to all of the investigators across the country who volunteer their time and experience to improve this profession. Special thanks to my new friends down here in the Sunshine State.
FAPI, keep up the good work.