Conference Tips at a Glance

Programs and Meetings
•    Don’t be overwhelmed by the program guide! Use it to revise your schedule as needed.
•    Don’t schedule things too tightly.
•    Meetings and programs are held at many different hotels in the city. Use the program map to help locate them and plan your days.
•    It’s okay if you arrive late or have to leave early from a program.
•    Take advantage of the free shuttles.
•    Meet people. Introduce yourself and exchange business cards or contact information.
•    Make notes during or just after meetings while the content is still fresh in your mind.
•    If you want to get involved, attend committee meetings and introduce yourself to the chairperson.

Exhibit Hall
•    Allocate plenty of time for the Exhibits. Don’t try to see them all at once.
•    Use the program guide to help select and find exhibitors you want to visit.
•    Check your Expocard, make sure it has your correct information.
•    Use your Expocard – exhibitors can scan it to send you information later.
•    Visit the Exhibits early, especially to enter vendor giveaways.
•    Don’t pick up everything. Ask exhibitors to send you information after the conference.
•    Use the Post Office in the exhibits hall to send home what you do pick up.

Other Conference Tips
•    Bring business cards with you.
•    Check Cognotes, the daily conference newspaper, for last-minute additions and changes.
•    Wear your badge to meetings and social events, but NOT on the street.
•    Attend vendor receptions, talk to people in meetings, on the shuttle buses or at events.
•    Avoid listening to your MP3 player or reading when you could be meeting people.

After the Conference
•    Keep connections! Follow up with new colleagues and presenters via email, Facebook, or ALA Connect.
•    Apply your experiences. Discuss new ideas you learned with your co-workers.

Based on “Tips for a Successful Annual” on the Annual 2009 conference wiki.

Also check out Camila Alire – Making the most of conferences.

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