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So You're Going To A Conference!


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You've gotten the O.K. to attend. What can you do to make the experience a great one?

Published in: Education, Technology, Business

So You're Going To A Conference!

  1. 1. So You’re Going to a Conference! by Diane Cordell “Pandora” Your request has been approved and you’ll soon be on your way! Make this a trip to remember...for all the right reasons.
  2. 2. Planning is the key to success. “Girl Writing” A bit of advance planning can really help maximize the experience for you.
  3. 3. Begin early. “f-178c” The best deals on hotels go quickly. Start checking airfare or explore other options, like trains, buses, or driving yourself.
  4. 4. Do some research. “Old Photos of Family and Friends Take some time to learn about the conference itself, your lodging (and its amenities) and the host city. Check with professional contacts and see if anyone you know (or hope to meet) will also be attending. If the conference has a website, check for session schedules and other information.
  5. 5. Pack carefully “Vintage photo” With your wardrobe, stick to a simple color palette and wrinkle-resistant fabrics. Pack sparingly. Layer clothing - warm weather outside may mean air conditioning (often to an extreme) inside. Bring comfortable walking shoes. Have a check list so that those priceless cords and device chargers aren’t left behind.
  6. 6. Be flexible. “circus05w” Leave some wiggle room in your schedule. Don’t be afraid to “monitor and adjust” as the events unfold.
  7. 7. Prioritize. “little girl and illustrated blocks” Highlight or star the must-see sessions. Note which vendors you especially want to visit and see them first.
  8. 8. Be prepared. “two” Have a back-up plan, in case of technical difficulties, like spotty or non-existent Internet connection. If you will be presenting a workshop, ask to see your assigned room, note the locations of outlets, be sure you have the equipment you’ll need. Ask a friend to be your on- site troubleshooter & aide.
  9. 9. Carry a camera. “A cat is posed...” “Take notes” of people, landmarks, events with your camera. Find out the conference hashtag and add your photos to the group feed.
  10. 10. Save where you can. “Tellers with money” Carry snacks, bring a refillable water bottle, have your big meal at lunch time. Find out if there are cheaper alternatives to taxis. Visit libraries and parks for free. Ask for AAA and other applicable discounts. Share rides, when possible.
  11. 11. Keep all your receipts. “Kitchen, Guest CHECKS” What isn’t reimbursed by your district or company might qualify as a tax deduction.
  12. 12. Take advantage of available mail services. “A clerk processing letters and parcels...” Many conferences have on-site postal facilities. The less you have to carry home, the better!
  13. 13. Arrange meet-ups. “steve memory - the witches photograph” Get together with old friends and cement new acquaintanceships. While elaborate dinners can be fun, breakfast meetings and casual lunches also offer opportunities for conversation.
  14. 14. Sign up for optional side trips. “Girl on beach donkey” Take advantage of the locale - who knows when you’ll return? Join a planned activity or grab some brochures and do a bit of exploring on your own.
  15. 15. Write it down. “Annual Board - 1912 Grinnell High School” Live blog, tweet, use an iPhone app - gather impressions, resources, contact information. Keep a record of who you meet, where you go, ideas you’d like to explore further.
  16. 16. Have fun! “ethyl-gasoline-1954” Although your main focus is on the conference agenda, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time. Be open to new experiences. Make the most of your time away from routine duties.
  17. 17. Reflect on your experience. “I sure am good looking...” What stood out for you, what worked well, what could have been better? Most importantly, did this conference give good value? Would you consider attending again?
  18. 18. Share what you’ve learned. “kodak advertising no 161” “My 5th grade classroom” You went to the conference for a reason: to grow professionally. Find ways to pass along what you’ve learned to your co-workers and/or students.
  19. 19. Dream a little dream... “Vintage postcard~Little Girl w/Dog” ..of future conferences, perhaps of being a presenter yourself. Consider the possibilities. Enjoy the memories!
  20. 20. Image Sources Slide 1: Slide 2: Slide 3: Slide 4: Slide 5: Slide 6: Slide 7: Slide 8: Slide 9: Slide10: Slide11: Slide12: Slide13: Slide14: Slide15: Slide16: Slide17: Slide18: Slide19
  21. 21. On Twitter, Plurk, Flickr: dmcordell Blogging at Journeys: