Regarding the presentations, if you find a presentation by anyone on
this list, chances are, it's going to be awesome! As a veteran NAEA
conference attendee, I have my favorite presenters that I search for
every time I go - These folks always have great ideas that I can use
immediately when I return home from the convention. SOME of these
are Ken Vieth, George Wolfe, Harold Olejarz, Linda Popp, Nancy
Walkup, Debi Barrett-Hayes, David Chang, Clem Pennington - I could
go on and on, but this will give you a start.
Also, most definitely, wear jeans and sneakers. The rooms can be
cold/ or hot, so wear layers.
Wear a watch so that you can get to the presentations on time or
early. As others have said, get to the "good" ones early. If I
recall, the rooms at the Chicago conventions are really small, so,
you'll want to get to the room early. You can just wait outside the
room (quietly) until it's time to go in.
Before you start taking pictures/recording the presentation, ask the
presenter if you can - Don't assume that you can. Many presenters
don't like people taking photos and/or videotaping their presentations.
Take a small sketchbook/notebook. You can take notes AND draw quick
sketches of things you want to remember.
Don't ask for or take extra handouts "for your friends back home" -
presenters do not get reimbursed for their handouts and try to bring
as many as they can afford to.
Thank the presenter at the end of the presentation - contrary to
popular belief, presenters ARE NOT paid to present (not even a free
registration) - they are there to share their ideas. Show your
appreciation for their time.
If you go to Binny & Smith. Try to resist the urge join in on the
feeding frenzy and the "grab everything in sight" crowd. Binny and
Smith are very generous in hosting our opening event and it's
embarrassing to see some of our own acting like they haven't eaten or
haven't seen a centerpiece in years. You can wait in line, eat,
drink and have fun without being a part of the pack.