I just got back from the American Alliance of Museums Conference. It was awesome, it was exhausting, it was….a conference. Somehow they always manage to be thrilling and overwhelming all at the same time!
You will hear more about why I was there and what I want to do with it NEXT week (I know, the suspense right?). For right now, I want to give you my ten tips for conference survival! Hopefully they help as you head off to your own professional conferences!
1. Wear comfortable shoes
2. Stay hydrated and fed
3. Make a plan but take it one day at a time so you don’t feel overwhelmed
4. Take breaks, it is ok to skip one session and go see your host city
5. Share outlets
6. Talk to strangers!
7. Bring business cards, even if you are a student or under-employed! Write notes of how you met people on the back of the cards you collect. Pen and paper is also always a good idea
8. Make plans to hang out with people you know. Constantly networking can get very tiring and lonely
9. Make plans to meet “in real life” the people you usually just connect with online
10. Go to sessions for the job you WANT as well as the one you HAVE. **I heard this one on Twitter, but can’t find who I should attribute it to!**
Go to conferences that are “related” to your field, not just ones that are clearly part of your field. If there is a day rate, or a way to attend as a guest, take advantage of those and network!
That is a great tip! So many networks intersect (AAM, NAEYC etc.) it is worth it to look “outside the box”
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