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The following ideas are those of HCNW's Chair

As a CIBSE member, you’ll belong to one of the 19 regions around the world. The cost is a tiny proportion of a member subscription. Run by dedicated volunteers, regions deliver seminars, visits, networking, sponsors and referees, informal mentoring for applications, a forum for advice, a furnace for new technical ideas.

Wherever you are, you’ll share knowledge and need local connections. Every region has a dynamic personality, brought by elected volunteers, who act as representatives too.

CIBSE’s regions have always been diverse, cyclical communities of practice - a kaleidoscope of specialist opinion, knowledge, training and experience. Many are keen to serve a larger proportion of CIBSE Members in their territory, to attract other disciplines and even the general public. Adapting, some regions lead on emerging issues affecting the art and science of building services engineering alongside the technical reviews and regulations – and sometimes that can be one step ahead of the game.

Today’s regions are less stately, lighter, and eager to present an inclusive, faster-acting welcome – no stereotyping, less ice-breaking. Drawing upon our networking skills, person-to-person exchanges at regional events don’t compete with social media, but they do offer a sense of belonging and identity in a professional community.

It’s your region. So why miss out? You can influence the programme too at the annual general meetings. In fact, why not volunteer? Staying the elected term requires commitment, but we often hear leading CIBSE figures talk about good times on regional committees.

Regions connect real people with real people and remove barriers. Because friendships and mentoring often crystallise in the regions which outlast a job, a role, or location.