By Leah Fisher Nyfeler

This title sure sounds like self-help clickbait; you’re probably expecting breezy info on super foods, mega-vitamins, maybe a cute kitten, and those five surprising things you’ll never believe! What would you say to info about and access to actual, practical tools for professional success? Let’s talk about Get Smart, then, an awesome yearly educational event hosted by Women Communicators of Austin (WCA). Call me a super fan—I enthusiastically attended for years before diving into leadership as Vice President of Professional Development in 2017—so I’m sharing my top five reasons for putting Get Smart 2018 at the top of any communications professional’s #mustsee list.


Power Up!

Who couldn’t use some positive professional love and career celebration? This year’s Get Smart committee piggy-backed off WCA’s Banner Brunch 2018 theme (“Sisterhood is Powerful”) to organize entertaining and motivational experts, presentations, and master classes around taking jobs and careers to 11. Whether Power Up! inspires you to activate, update, reboot, or amplify your professional life, attendees at all stages will find an exciting energy around this half-day educational event.


Colette Pierce Burnette

I first heard Dr. Burnette, CEO and president of Austin’s historic Huston-Tillotson University, when she spoke on a panel at Social Media Week ATX. She blew me away with her relatable style (she seemed to be speaking to me, one-on-one, as a mentor), impressive professional resume (from engineering to academia), and inspiring history of successfully tackling workplace and career challenges. I’m excited to have Get Smart 2018 attendees hear her Keynote Address.


Education and Inspiration

From 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., Get Smart 2018 is packed with amazing talent. Whether you are word- or image-savvy, corporate or freelance, financial driven or nonprofit-focused, and solopreneur or entrepreneur, WCA has tapped into truly outstanding resources from the communications field. Our main session speakers are addressing big topics—career disruption, professional communications, and business transformation—while a separate track of master classes (small groups with niche focus) provides more personal interaction. To complete the experience, WCA’s dedicated mentors will provide “speed reviews” of resumes and elevator pitches. To see the current list of sessions, speakers, and master class offerings, visit the Get Smart website (watch for rolling updates).


Big Impact, Price Performer

What does WCA do? We’re a nonprofit that “champions the advancement of women across all communications disciplines by recognizing excellence, promoting leadership, and positioning its members at the forefront” of their ever-evolving fields. WCA dedicates time, money, and people-power to helping communications professionals expand networks and take control of careers. Get Smart is designed to provide innovative tools and resources, and you just can’t beat $130 for cutting-edge access like this. That’s the non-member price; WCA members attend for only $85 (WCA student members for $35!) and that includes education, conference goodies, and item #5.


Networking Hour

I’m a conference junkie who appreciates making connections at great events. Immediately following the Get Smart conference is WCA’s Networking Hour (6–7:30 p.m.), which includes cocktails, light snacks, conversation, and an opportunity to wind down the day. Conveniently located onsite at the Phillips Event Center, that chance to chat with attendees, presenters, and sponsors is a perfect cap to an educational day—and cost is conveniently included in your registration fee. (Hey, you know you want to REGISTER NOW!)


I know where I’ll be on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. Let me leave you with a call to action:

  • WCA members, contact me if you’d like to be involved in future Get Smart event planning.
  • Attendees, say hello! Introduce yourself to me and the stellar, dedicated Get Smart committee on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018.
  • Can’t go this year? Become a WCA member and enjoy exceptional programming year-round; from monthly meetings to special interest groups, like Freelance Austin, WCA has a place for you.
  • Want to sponsor Get Smart 2018 and place your business in front of motivated communicators? Request sponsorship information.