Posted March 27, 2014 by Phylander Pannell 

Surviving and Thriving at the ACUI Conference

This post was written by Sarah Aikman, 2014 Conference Program Team chair. 

If you've never attended an ACUI conference before, if you haven't been to one in a few years, or even if you're a regular conference attendee, you might be wondering what to expect this year. The conference is in Orlando, a much warmer location than in the past few years, and at a large resort property. Here are a few suggestions drawn from my past experiences.Orlando

What to Bring 

  • Business casual attire to wear during the day to educational sessions, general sessions, and the ACUI Expo
  • A sweater or jacket as the air conditioning can make the meeting rooms cool
  • Comfortable shoes since this is a large hotel property and some walking is required
  • Dressy outfits for the Opening Gala and Closing Banquet
  • Shorts or casual clothing for the evening; some of the evening activities will take place around the swimming pool
  • A swim suit if you're interested in competing in the Battle of the Regions Race Against the Current
  • Exercise cloths so you can participate in the FUNd Run/Walk or take part in the conference wellness activities
  • Items to donate to the on-site community service projects:
    • For the Clean the World project, everyone should bring a travel size toothpaste, a single unit wrapped tooth brush, and a disposable razor.
    • Pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House project.

Navigating the Conference

  • Download the ACUI app to your mobile device prior to arriving at the conference. From here, you can access the conference guide. Review the schedule and select your educational sessions prior to arriving onsite.
  • Don't forget to add the conference-wide community service project to your schedule. This will be a good opportunity to meet new people from your new region.
  • If this is your first ACUI conference, attend the Newcomers Session on Sunday afternoon.
  • Keep track of your name badge. Your conference name badge allows you admission to all sessions, the Expo, and meals. Do not lose it; there is a fee to replace it.
  • The hotel elevators can be slow due to the large number of conference attendees; plan extra time to get to educational and general sessions.
  • Plan your thirty-second elevator introduction. In other words, be able to summarize who you are and what you do professionally in half a minute.
  • Tweet using #ACUI14! If you’re enjoying a particular session or event, let other people know about it.
  • Arrive a few minutes early to educational sessions as some sessions fill up quickly.
  • Make sure you take time to tour the 100th Anniversary Museum and learn about the history of the Association.
  • Support Battle of the Regions on Tuesday night. Volunteer to be on one of your regional teams or come out to cheer on your region.
Phylander Pannell

Phylander Pannell is the Director, Campus Activity Facilities at Georgetown University.

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