I agree with just about all that Mag has said. The part about the exercise
is not necessary. Lordy...I was running from session to session, building to
building, walking to museums...no NEED for exercise because I was DOIN' it!
> 1. Wear your most comfortable clothes and shoes.
Jeans and sweatshirts/T-shirts are swell. Pack 1/2 as many as you think
you'll need. No one will remember you wore the same sweatshirt/pants 2 days
ago. Save your space for the STUFF you'll be bringing back. Take one fairly
nice outfit...slacks/shirt...for the Binney & Smith get-together.
> 2. When you pick up your registration materials, start going through
> the catalog of events and make a daily schedule, noting time and place
> and which FLOOR the session is on.
I don't have to save my catalog for the district's post-approval so when I
get my catalog, I quickly go through it, decide what I want to see, tear out
the pages I don't need, and write down my schedule noting the same as
Mag...floor, building, room, time.
> 4. Try to get to the sessions a little early and sit up front.
Probably the best advice in this whole email. Get there early...especially
if you know it's gonna be a good one. Sometimes I'll get there 1/2 hr. early
and talk to the other early-birds and take time to breathe plus pick my
seat. I always look for how the room is set up too so I'll know I will be
able to see the screen, whatever, for the prime seat. Sometimes the examples
are on display and you can take snaps with your camera before it gets
> 5. What to bring: preprinted address labels with your name, school, address,
Mag's right here too. Bring lots of filled address labels. There are raffles
both "on the floor" at the end of the vendors' stay and at a lot of vendors'
booths as well. The vendors like the address labels as well for ease of
sending you stuff. If you can get your email on them, all the better.
Business cards are nice too for trading with the people you will meet and
talk to and works well for trading and networking. You'll be surprised at
the lesson plans you'll pick up just by talking to the person next to you in
the elevator, sitting next to at dinner, having a coke, waiting in line. Be
chatty as well and share your wealth of ideas with others too.
> 6. Be nice to the vendors.
Absolutely! Get friendly with your vendors. Not on opening day, of course,
but tour when it's not screaming busy and you can really have some great
networking talks. I think doing this is JUST as important (if not more so)
as attending good sessions. Not only now but for your future.
> 8. As for finding the best speakers, unless you're a veteran, you
> probably won't recognize most of the names.
Ask around. You'll soon know who the veterans are. Some of the older
veterans wear state pins on their jacket/vest/whatever as we used to trade
state pins many years ago. Art teachers are not shy about telling it like it
is...if some presenter stinks...and there are always a few who do...you'll
hear about it.
>> Weather-wise, I know Chicago can be chilly, so is winter apparel
> It would be nice to have a coat...
I would say bring a windbreaker with hood and underneath dress in layers.
Good walking shoes are a must.
>> (I'm thinking of buying one of those rolling backpacks.)
I agree with Mag. You will lose friends by lugging a rolling backpack on and
off elevators and into the vendors' booths and sitting in presentations.
>> Should I bring my laptop?
I'd leave it at home too. You're going to be busy carrying everything else
under the sun so why bother? You probably won't be getting back to your room
before 11PM and journaling is going to go right out the window anyway.
> Have a great time. It's going to be strange to sit it out this year.
Me too, Mag. I'll miss seeing you again this year as well. It was always so
great to see you each year. Toodles.....Bunki