Volunteering for Professional Organizations

2018 PMI Pittsburgh PDD Planning Committee

The PMI Pittsburgh Chapter held its 7th annual Professional Development Day (PDD) on November 7, 2018. The volunteer organizing committee rallied around the theme of “Adaptive Delivery”, which served as a common thread woven though our speaker’s topics and presentations.

For those not familiar with a PDD, it is 1- or 2-day “mini-conference” organized by a local PMI chapter for professionals to enhance their project management and leadership skills through training. Hundreds of volunteer hours go into planning and staging what is typically a chapter’s largest event of the year.

After holding PDD in the city’s suburbs for the past 5 years, the event returned to downtown Pittsburgh. We found the central location boosted attendance and we actually had to cut off registration in advance of the event.

Here are some observations that I made leading up to and during the day of the PDD:

  • It takes a lot of planning and volunteer hours to pull together an event like PDD – but it is well worth it!
  • Having a clear chain of command and defined roles/responsibilities keeps things moving smoothly.
  • Having a balance of “thinkers” and “doers” on the volunteer committee is key. Too many of one type creates bottlenecks in getting the work done.
  • The networking opportunities were awesome! I am now closer to my fellow committee members and had the chance to network with sponsor companies and well-known speakers from around North America. 
  • Spending social time with the speakers the day before the PDD made them feel more connected to our chapter. 
  • Reading survey feedback from session attendees is both very humbling and rewarding.
  • While it sometimes seemed like a second job, we could have fun too!
  • Lastly, volunteering for the PDD organizing committee is a great way to become immersed in your local chapter’s activities.

Looking forward to an even bigger Professional Development Day in November 2019! Please contact our vp_education@pittsburghpmi.org if you are interested in speaking at next year’s event.

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