Just curious if anyone knows a way for me to go to this year's conference for reduced cost?
Here is my situation:
I graduated with a BLA in 2007 and like many of my classmates was unable to find a job as landscape architect because of the economy. I ended up taking other jobs which eventually brought me to my current position as an AmeriCorps member for a nonprofit environmental group in Northern California. My work is related to landscape architecture in ways but I'm not working under a RLA. I receive a very limited stipend but would like to keep my hand in the ASLA world. With my stipend I would not be able to attend the conference under the "professional" registration amount ($400+) but am willing to volunteer or apply for scholarships. I've been in contact with someone at ASLA who explained I have to be a student to volunteer and I no longer qualify for the "emerging professional" discount. And they don't have any scholarships to apply for registration costs.
I've basically come to a road block - I would really like to attend the conference but am not a professional LA, no longer an emerging professional nor a student. Can anyone think of any other options for me to look into? Creativity is welcome. I can't imagine I'm the only one out there that never got a job as a landscape architect and I'm a little frustrated ASLA doesn't provide a discounted registration for others in similar situations as mine. Looking forward to some insight....
Kelly, I suspect from your comments that you may also not be an active member of ASLA, so if this is not true, please fast forward...I think your dilemma is certainly going to be more common, but what is not common is your dedication to staying involved with ASLA, when you can hardly afford it. For that, I think many within ASLA would commend you. I'm going to suggest an idea that perhaps your local chapter could consider to assist you, and it likely will take some legwork by you to see it through...I would hope that others in the chapter might see the merit in this and perhaps this can perpetuate into the future.
I would consider approaching local (and maybe not-so-local) industry vendors with the idea of establishing sponsored scholarships for ASLA memberships and annual conference registrations. I think the qualification for recipients would require service within the chapter, or maybe as an industry liaison between their company and the chapter...somehow the professional should gain from the experience within the chapter or with the efforts of building relationships between the company and the members.
Times like these cause many to consider non-traditional ways of being involved in the industry, and I will always attest that any industry experience is valuable to your professional development.
Hope this helps...and that we see you in the chapter and at the annual meeting.
Eric, That is a great idea to see sponsorship from a local chapter or even calling the San Diego Chapter directly to see if you are able to volunteer in exchange for a reduced or free registration. Their executive director follows thru and calls back right away. I remember when I wanted to go to the National Trust Conference on Historic Preservation when it was in Los Angeles. They were so shorthanded at the last minute that I got to go for FREE and volunteer to do light administrative duties without any issues. I learned so much at that conference to help me complete projects I needed to do. Like Eric said times like these call for a creative spirit amongst all professionals. It will turn around... time is all it takes.
Thank you for the great ideas! I have not been a member of ASLA for 2 years now but was a member throughout school and 1 year after school as an emerging professional.
As suggested, I've contacted my local chapters of ASLA without any response. The San Diego Chapter responded but no good news there--they already gave out all their "comp tickets" and volunteer opportunities.
National ASLA let me know that there would be $25/day expo tickets available closer to the day of the conference. A former professor suggested I go without registering to network in the common areas. Those are both great options for networking but many of the education sessions seem noteworthy too. Today is the final day for early bird registration but perhaps I can get into contact with some others before the conference for sponsorships.
EARLY REGISTRATION ENDS TODAY!!!!!!
If you want to get in before the rates go WAAAAYYYY up, you have 45 minutes. Keep in mind, if you change your mind, you can request a refund up to September 16th, but they keep $65 for their trouble.
maybe try checking out the group for emerging profssionals
they also do a pro bono group, which (As name says) does pro bono land arch jobs around n. california.
you would be able to work with RLAs then