With National Conference only a few days away, here are some last-minute tips on how to make the most of Conference:
What to wear
For most of Conference, you should be in business attire. With 1,000 students attending Conference and even more professionals, you want make a good first impression. Be sure to wear something from your school for the Bring Us Something PRSSA Fiesta, a beach-themed outfit for the Pier Party (think what you’d wear to an office barbeque), and “classy” business or cocktail attire for the Academy of PRSSA awards ceremony.
How to prepare
There are a lot of tips out there to make your Conference experience fulfilling. Check out Central Michigan PRSSA member Rachel Esterline’s post in which she gives her top ten tips for attending National Conference. PRSSA at Kent State posted suggsestions, too. Also, be sure to have business cards, breath mints, stain remover and hand sanitizer (it’s flu season). I’ve made those mistakes and have since learned.
How to make the most of Conference
Though it might seem obvious, be sure that you and your Chapter members attend as many sessions as possible. Plan out each day and divide up who attends which sessions so your Chapter gets as much information as possible. Also, remember that it’s important to meet new people and Chapters. Some Chapters are sending as many as 30 members, while others only one. If you can, find another Chapter with which to have dinner (Saturday evening would be a great choice) so you can share ideas, best practices and make new friends.
What to do during free time
While Conference is packed with professional development sessions, networking opportunities and workshops, there is also plenty of time to enjoy San Diego. Be sure to check out some of the city’s top destinations compiled by the National Conference Committee. However, it’s also important to get your sleep. There are plenty of early mornings and you will likely be exhausted by the end of Conference. Remember to take care of yourself so you don’t miss any opportunities.
What to do after Conference
Conference follow up can be just as important as what you do during the event. You’ll be taking in a huge amount of information and meeting many new people. After Conference, digest what you’ve learned, who you’ve met and make a to-do list. Items on the list can include following up with the students and professionals you’ve met; connecting with fellow attendees on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn; or applying for jobs and internships you heard about at Conference. But whatever you do, be sure to complete these tasks in a timely manner.
There are still plenty of ways for you to check out the action in San Diego. First, make sure you’re following the #prssanc Twitter hash tag. If you use Twitter Search or Tweet Grid, you’ll be able to read updates from attendees posting about Conference. Additionally, there will be Conference recaps posted on the PRSSA Blog as well as the YouTube Channel, and be sure to read the next issue of FORUM for in-depth coverage of Conference.
What other tips do you have to share? Any advice for those attending Conference for the first time?