-Emma Reid, JCI Edinburgh Local President
In June, I had the pleasure of travelling to Bruges, a beautiful historic town in Belgium, for the JCI European Conference. As this was my first time at a European Conference and a conference of this size, I have to admit I was a little apprehensive.
There were going to be over 1,500 people there, in a new city, with so many cultures and personalities coming together at once – and as a bit of an introvert, it did seem a bit daunting. But as soon as we landed in Bruges, met up with JCI Scotland friends, and experienced the totally amazing opening ceremony, any worries I had were gone!
The opening ceremony and after party as standalone events were truly once in a lifetime experiences. To be sat in the city’s largest auditorium with friends from all over Europe and beyond, watching the European National Presidents on stage, listening to a hilarious (but inspiring!) keynote speaker and hearing a traditional Belgian band was amazing. But to top it off, the stage was then transformed into a dancefloor with a live DJ set and plenty of Belgian beer. Certainly, a night to remember.
Over the coming days I enjoyed and embraced many of the sessions the conference had to offer and had such an amazing time. It’s too hard to summarise my experience in one blog, so instead, I’ve decided to offer up my lessons as a first timer, which I hope serve as tips for fellow JCI members who are thinking of joining an international event next year:
I hope these lessons help someone else to take their first step into the international world of JCI – I can’t recommend it enough!