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First Time Conference Attendee Tips
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Lisa CurrieAttend some breakout sessions presented by folks from various functional areas (besides your own) to gain an understanding of the breadth and depth of student affairs issues. And particularly for those doing Placement, don't live there! Attend the conference itself, too and network in breakout sessions and social events as well.
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Kelly LoughBe cognizant of your actions and conversations. Student affairs is a well-connected field and you never know who is around. An elevator conversation is how i got involved in convention planning.
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Mallory BowerAttend different educational sessions than your coworkers/friends. It will push you to meet new people and you can share what you learned when you reunite with your team.
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Vince McCannLeave yourself a few breaks...attending to many sessions is overload! Try to give yourself reflection time.
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Sara Jean GilbertAttend receptions with knowledge and/or interest groups. You can meet with other professionals who have the same interests.
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Kate McGartland-KinsellaAttend committee/network meetings. Wonderful way to get involved in the association, learn more about a specific area, and meet friendly new faces. You never know where it will lead!
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@Ellen_HatfieldTo realize that it will be overwhelming and to not dwell on that. Have fun with the sessions you attend.
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@DirronAllenfor a first time conference attendee, I would suggest be yourself and meet new people.
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@vanessasuziMake sure you remember to ask for business cards. And bring yours, too! Networking is KEY!
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@UTSA_VPSAStanding/sitting next 2 anyone-start conversation!
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@CrashaVPerkinsTIP: When you take a business card, write down something that will help you to remember 1 unique thing about the convo/person
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@DMarie2484Just one tip for a first conference? NETWORK! Share business cards, socialize, and follow up once you get home.
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@LailaMcClouddon't forget your business cards and have fun.
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@J_E_HayesSmile! :)
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@bethmoriartyPace yourself :) , step out of your comfort zone and participate in new experiences, don't just stay w/folks you know
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@CaraBChernoffStep outside of your friend circle. Hang out w/ppl other than colleagues & strike up convos with those next to you @ sessions.
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@ACES_groupMy advice for 1st time conference goers: set goals for what you want to learn/accomplish. #Bestrategic about capacity building.
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@TriciaCesarinoIn your sessions, sit down next to someone you don't know and start a conversation!
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@TNCradledownload cardmunch app to help organize those business cards you'll get!
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@joy_hoffmanAlways remember that the person standing next to you might be your next boss. Not the time to gossip/get drunk
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@AlanRuckertake every opportunity to network and meet ppl. Elevators, food courts, socials, sessions. Never know who you're meeting.
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@mcgnotesalways be in professional mode... Even when "just hanging out" w/friends.
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@SU_susdaRepresenting a number of first time conference attendee, we look forward to that advice!
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@UVMAmberBreathe. Don't forget to eat. Drink lots of water. Go to something out of your comfort zone. Have fun!
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@mdpistilliHave a backup session to attend if 1st is full or not what you wanted.
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@mdpistilliIt's ok to leave a session if it's not what's advertised or uninteresting.
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@mdpistilliALWAYS be careful what you say anytime you're not in your hotel, even if not searching. The field is small & word gets around.
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@Ryan_C_MillerKnow when it is time to take a break. Sometimes a few hours alone can make a huge difference in your interactions with people.
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@turneralyPrint an itinerary with lots of options. Don't feel pressured to attend a session EVERY timeslot. Take notes to compare w peers
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@turneralyWear comfy yet professional shoes (ladies)! Leave time in sched for socializing, networking, reflecting, and lunch!
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@CraigWhittonconference tip: give yourself intentional time during the conference away from the hustle and reflect on what you've learned.
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@ammamarfodon't be afraid to approach people you know from online communication. we're a nice field, we promise! :)
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@JeffBC94find a conference mentor, a seasoned attendee who can help you navigate and network!
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@EricStoller1) Bring lots of business cards...they are still relevant. 2) Bring every charging cable for any device. 3) Rinse & Repeat :)
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@KellyJoLarsenWear shoes you can walk/stand-in for hours. Even if they're cute, new shoes are never comfortable the 1st time.
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@GenaRae81Bring snacks & office supplies (stapler, paper clips, tape, etc); wear shoes you can stand/walk in for long time
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@ldaros13If you are traveling on a budget ask to have a mini-fridge put in your room (they are usually free!) and you can pick up snacks and food at a nearby place and keep it in your room. MUCH cheaper than hotel sandwiches & salads.
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@CatieHolkerAlways have pen and paper on hand! Whether it is to jot down someone's name as you're speaking with them or to take notes on whatever you're discussing.
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