Go in with a Plan
Attending the Annual Meeting & Conference is an investment in your professional development. Having a comprehensive learning plan can help you make the most of the experience.
Starting Your Conference Experience
- Utilize the AALL Annual Meeting app and customize your profile and schedule.
- Download/print relevant handouts for programs you plan to attend. Speakers will be uploading materials to their sessions in the app.
- Review the exhibitor list. Make a list of vendors and products you want to see. Hint: You can “favorite” these vendors in the app.
- Volunteer. Many attendees have such a great experience that they do it year after year.
- Set clear goals. Prepare a list of questions you’d like to find answers to at the meeting.
- Keep plenty of business cards handy. Hint: Your badge holder makes a handy business card holder.
While in Washington, DC
- Attend programs and workshops in your area of responsibility.
- Attend Sunday’s keynote address at the Opening General Session. Use the topic as a conversation opener when you meet new colleagues.
- Venture into new territory. Attend programs outside your area of responsibility, with an eye toward how they can be applied to you.
- Distill each session down to one key takeaway. Keep a daily summary of what you have learned. Hint: You can take notes within a session’s page in the app.
- Actively participate. Ask questions from the audience and contribute to roundtable discussions.
- Recap and discuss programs with fellow attendees to gain additional insight.
- Talk with speakers after presentations.
- Attend and participate in a Discussion Den.
- Tweet/blog/post about programs on social media (Facebook, #AALL19, etc.).
- Attend Monday afternoon’s AALL General Business Meeting. Ask questions from the floor during the Open Forum.
- Socialize. Attend the Exhibit Hall Opening Reception and the Association Luncheon.
- Talk with an AALL officer and/or staff member.
- Attend Monday morning’s “Meet the Candidates” event and ask them questions.
- Schedule time to visit the Exhibit Hall and talk to vendors.
- Preview new products and services. Ask vendors, “What’s new?”
- Attend an Exhibitor Showcase session.
- Ask vendors to send additional information after the conference.
- Explore the Member Services Pavilion and Activities Area.
- Check out the Poster Sessions; talk to poster creators.
- Introduce yourself to at least five people who you don’t already know—and initiate introductions between
people who you think ought to meet. Hint: We’ve got some tips for first-time attendees.
- Wear your badge and shake hands. Practice introducing yourself in one sentence.
- Tour a local library, museum, or historical site.
- Rest and refuel. Join colleagues for a meal, tour, or social event.
Once You’re Back at Work
- Create an action plan to follow up on what you have learned.
- Follow up with new colleagues you met at the conference.
- Check out recordings of sessions you may have missed when they’re made available.
- Get inspired to plan a program or speak as a presenter next year.
- Volunteer to participate in an activity for next year.
- Get involved as a mentor or mentee, or both!
- Volunteer to write an article for AALL Spectrum, or an SIS or chapter newsletter.
- Tell your supervisor what you learned and express gratitude for the opportunity to attend.