DEI Spotlight * Conference Ambassadors

Conference Ambassador & First Time Attendee
The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Spotlight is a new periodic feature that will highlight people, organizations, programs, or projects that are making a difference in DEI in the economic development world. If you have a suggestion for a future spotlight, send your ideas to us at [email protected].

Diversity isn’t achievable without inclusion and the first step to making that happen is creating a welcoming environment from the very beginning. Based on feedback provided to EDAM from newer members, the Member Services Committee launched a pilot Conference Ambassador Program at the 2024 Winter Conference. The Conference Ambassador Program connected new members and attendees with seasoned EDAM members whose goal was to not only help new members to feel welcome but also provide introductions and facilitate networking opportunities for each new attendee.

“Walking into these large networking events where many of the people in the room already know each other and are catching up with old colleagues and friends can be very intimidating for someone new who doesn’t know anyone in the room.” explained Member Services Committee member Ruth Tucker. “It’s not an intentional effort to leave people out of conversation, but very natural human behavior to want to connect with those you haven’t seen in a while. The purpose of the Ambassadors was to make a conscious effort to include the new attendees into these already existing conversations and help them make meaningful connections when we all come together.”

The pilot program was a success with ambassadors connecting with an array of new members providing introductions and informing new members about the opportunities within EDAM. When asked for feedback on the program from new members, EDAM received great reviews regarding the ambassadors' outreach and the conference overall.

If you are interested in becoming a conference ambassador for the Summer Conference in St. Cloud or if you’re a newer member who would like to be connected with an ambassador at the upcoming conference, please reach out to us at [email protected].