This is the first year in many I am not getting release time to attend.
But here are some strategies that have helped me:
Look at all activities offered before conference and highlight ones you do not want to miss.
Plan your day ahead of time including offsite visits to local museums or other places of interest.
Take a plastic container, a digital camera and a plastic bottle.
The first is to carry snacks if you do not want to take time out for a meal. The second is so useful. You can take photos of presenters, PPs, and visuals-helps remember better than note-taking.
The bottle is to refill at coolers because hotels charge up to $4 for a small bottle of water in the room
Take business cards to drop in vendors baskets to win prizes or get on mailing list and to exchange contact info with others.
Bring mesh bag to carry stuff -vendors give away sample items you may want to try out.
Find out local bus schedules and cheap transportation from the airport-I usually look for free airport shuttles to local transportation and save big money-taxis can be very expensive in many cities.
Find out if the hotel has any free shuttle services.
See if the hotel room has a phone directory-sometimes there are discount coupons you can use at local eateries. A penny saved is a penny earned.
Bring comfy shoes and an apron for onsite messy workshops.
Do not bring more items than you will use-bring clothing to layer for various weather conditions. I prefer a plastic poncho to an umbrella (available in the dollar store) because I can stick it in my bag and also because I am notorious for losing umbrellas.
When the vendors break down the last day they sometimes do a huge discount sell off. In the past I have purchased items and sent them back to my school from the hotel's business center.
Hope some of these ideas are useful.
Barbara from Boston
On Feb 28, 2010, at 5:22 PM, Cheryl Lloyd wrote:
> Hi all,
> Just doing some planning for Baltimore. I know we have discussed this in the past, but I wanted to start another thread about tricks and tips for the national conference.
> Any pointers you would like to share?
> Ceres, CA
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