Top Tips for an Ideal Conference Experience
The National Council prepared top attendee tips for getting the most of out of your conference experience.
TO DO NOW
- Register for the conference! What are you waiting for?
- Are you a vendor with a product or service for the behavioral health community? Then buy a booth!
- Make your hotel reservation at the host hotel, Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center. Rooms sell fast!
- Do your homework. You can learn a lot about the National Council Conference by reviewing past years conference programs that are available online.
- RSVP on Facebook and find out who among your friends will be there.
BEFORE YOU ARRIVE
- Divide and conquer — if you come with teammates, coordinate your schedules to attend a variety of sessions.
- Read ahead — check out conference speakers’ books before you hear them speak.
- Download the conference app to get last minute updates, announcements, and schedule changes. It also has cool features like maps, contacts, and the schedule. iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry versions are available several weeks before the conference.
- Read the program online before you arrive. You have a lot of choices to make!
- Review the listing of exhibitors and make appointments in advance.
- Check out the handouts in advance online. We don’t have printed handouts onsite, and it’s a great way to get a sneak peak of what a session will be like.
- Bring your business cards (note how you met someone and what you discussed on the back, so you can follow up after the conference).
- Check in Sunday afternoon to get your badge and materials and avoid lines on Monday morning.
WHILE AT THE CONFERENCE
- Planning to apply for CE credit? Make sure the session you plan to attend are approved for your certificate, sign in and out at the room, complete the evaluation, and request your certificate within 30 days of the conference.
- Wear comfortable shoes and bring a sweater. You’ll walk a lot and meeting rooms can be chilly.
- Write your name on your program. You don’t want to lose all the great notes you’ll keep.
- Introduce yourself to everyone you sit next to. It’s the easiest way to meet someone with a common interest.
- Arrive to your sessions early. Some may be standing room only.
- Bring your water bottle. Conference days are long, and you need to stay refreshed.
- Check out the neighborhood on Google Maps. You can search for nearby restaurants and sites and even see pictures of the neighborhood.
- Plan ahead— make dinner reservations in advance.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! This is your chance to get answers from experts.