My First Experience at a National PR Conference in the USA.


Tonight, our Robert Morris University Public Relations team attended the Ivy Lee Club opening event at the Loews Hotel; Philadelphia. The theme was 1920’s, so most attendees were dressed as flappers and mobsters wearing feather boas and fedoras. It had a very ‘Great Gatsby’ feel about it, which made it even more special. Upon entrance there were elaborate signs with a very similar design as the album cover of the ‘Great Gatsby’ soundtrack. As we walked in, a sea of feathers, sequins and tassels bombarded us. There was a live band with a classic-swing kind of sound, which really helped to bring the theme of the evening alive.

The first item on the agenda was to consume some food. The food provided was typical Philadelphia food. There was a make-you-own Philly cheesesteak station accompanied by a salad bar, a pretzel station and a dessert table; it was a nice selection. Although the food was tasty, and very apt consider it was our first night in Philadelphia, it did detract from the theme of the evening a little bit.

The rest of the night was filled with networking and socializing with others from other universities. I met a few people from Chicago who gave me information about a regional PR conference that they are hosting in their home city in March 2014. The event known as ‘The Loop’ will be a two-day PRSSA Regional Conference hosted by students from Columbia College Chicago. Luke, the boy that I was talking with was very proud of their university’s achievement and was extremely excited about the opportunities. It was very interesting talking with him.

Another person who really stood out for me was a girl who was studying in Florida, but is originally from Kuwait. We had an interesting discussion about different cultural perspectives of PR practice. She was very interested in my life in Australia and we spoke about her international background also.

For the rest of the night myself and other RMU students took advantage of the great music and danced together. The dance floor was full of very energetic people who were happy to be united with people from across the country.

The dance was a great way for me to meet people from all walks of life and from all over the USA. For me, this was very beneficial as I had the opportunity to hear different versions of the American accent and learn a little about different states.