D.C. '04 travel tips and how to get the most out of your conference experience

D.C. '04 travel tips and how to get the most out of your conference experience2004-01-0154Association Newsfalse

Whether it is your first conference or your 21st, you are a student or staff member, new professional or veteran; the Conference Program Team wants your experience to be memorable. The team wants you to make the most of your conference experience. How? By connecting with others, exploring opportunities that present themselves, and challenging yourself.

Take some time to embrace this thing called ACUI—listen to the stories, mentor someone, try something different, but most of all enjoy yourself and those around you.

CONNECT

If this is your first ACUI annual conference, attend the Newcomers Reception on the first day (Friday, Feb. 27). You will have an opportunity to meet colleagues from around the world and find out all that ACUI has to offer.

Volunteer at the conference in the ACUI Bookstore, ACUIRES, registration, Silent Auction, etc. You can sign up to volunteer ahead of time by calling 812.245.ACUI (812.245.2284) or on site next to the conference registration area.

Go to the Fireside Chats—learn about and from the amazing people who call ACUI their home.

If you are a graduate student, sign up for the preconference Career Development Institute—find out what makes this a genuinely rewarding profession and how you can become a successful professional.

Meet someone new on the elevator or in a session—you will be amazed at how friendly members are and the great stories they have to share.

Don't miss out on Club ACUI—if you thought member's personalities were larger than life before … "you ain't seen nothin' yet."

Attend the Community and Education Council meetings that are specific to your interests or passion. These meetings complement educational sessions as a great way to find solutions to issues on your campus.

Undergraduates, remember you are the basic reason this conference exists. Embrace all that it has to offer; get involved, ask questions, participate, meet fellow students and professionals.

Trade pins! Get out there and swap pins; what an easy way to meet people.

EXPLORE

Extended learning sessions offer unique opportunities to engage with experts during a period of time that allows for in-depth exploration of topics and issues. Many of these programs take place in the Washington, D.C., community and provide a great way to see the city.

Tours of Washington, D.C., are offered before and after the conference directly through Gray Line Inc. A few of the tours are offered by ACUI's own members from the D.C. region. Check the Conference Overview and Web site for details (www.DC04.acui.org).

Attend workshops outside of your area of expertise—how often do we get to do or learn about something outside of our job descriptions? Use this as an opportunity to share with your colleagues who didn't have an opportunity to attend the conference.

Students, if you are considering a career in unions and activities, take advantage of the collective knowledge and explore every avenue and opportunity presented to you during the four days you are in D.C.

CHALLENGE

If you are a veteran, take a tour or attend a workshop on personal development.

Be a mentor to a newcomer or student—share your story! This is the way that we can make a difference in the lives of the people who will follow us. Remember the person who made a difference at your first conference and remember why we are all here.

Go to a workshop, meal function, or event without other people from your institution—challenge yourself to think outside your comfort zone. As a wise mentor once said, "I see you every day of the week; go meet someone new."

Fill out the conference evaluation form at the end of the conference. The Association and conferences can only improve with your input and feedback.

Updated Nov. 9, 2012