Whether you’re a conference veteran or still in your rookie season, we all know conferences can be some of the best times of the year. You probably also know then that they can be some of the most tiring times of the year. With having been to more conferences that we can keep track of, we felt it was our duty to provide you with a pre-ALTA Annual Conference survival guide. That way you can not only survive the week, but you can make it one of the best weeks of the year.
It’s basically destined to be a great conference anyway: In the heart of Boston, during the fall, changing leaves, and everyone knows your name [hint, the Cheers bar is in Boston]. There is this one minor thing called TRID that might be making some people a little apprehensive about spending a week at a conference. Luckily, ALTA has set you up to with with a TRID Solutions Center (aka, TRID emergency room), in case anything back at your home office requires immediate action, or training.
Without further delay, here’s our Conference Survival Guide:
- Get Sleep
- This one might seem obvious, but we’re not saying sleep a lot. Rather, get the right amount and be strategic. Naps are a conference secret to help extend energy and allow for more time socializing in the post-session hours.
- Always Be Hydrating
- We’re not exactly at high altitude, but your liver will thank you later. Drink as much water as you can, because it will help you out when you’re drinking everything but water. Also, high quality h2o will make up for a lack of sleep from not following our first bullet point.
- If you’re thinking personal power, than look no further then a strong cup of coffee. Our favorite local Boston coffee shop is the Thinking Cup, which is luckily just a couple blocks away from the Westin on Newbury Street. You’ll thank us later.
- As fas as technology power, follow the Scouts motto and ‘Be Prepared.’ The only thing worse than a dead battery is being chained to a power outlet trying to rescue a dead device while everyone else is listening to sessions and having fun. We recommend a portable power pack, specifically the Mogix ones (they charge two devices at once, so you can always help a friend out!).
- Lastly, common sense maybe, but if you’re a laptop user, charge your computer the night before, it can always serve as an emergency phone charger need be.
- Get Connected
- New school meets old school with this one. Obviously make sure you have plenty of business cards (how else will you win the raffle drawings at the vendor booths), but don’t overlook the power of social media. Make sure you have the Twitter app downloaded and are signed up. You might not think anything valuable happens on social media, but you won’t actually know until you join the conversation (#ALTA15). Some of our best industry friends were first introduced via social media.
- Don’t limit yourself to just the conference sessions to meet new people. Tag along to dinners and post-session drinks; and if you ever unsure where to go, there’s bound to always be a group setting up home base at the hotel bar.
- Take Notes
- Chances are you’ll have a case of information overload at some point. Whether it be all the new names, all the new acronyms, or just the sheer amount of information. Do yourself a favor and make sure you have a place to write down those details. Otherwise there’s a chance you might not remember it the next day…so find a good pen (like a Montblanc) or a favorite app (such as Evernote) and store and lock down those memories.
- Play the Game
- This might sound a bit confusing, but let us explain. There’s a lot of fun to be had at amazing dinners, cocktail parties, and trying local establishments. All should be enjoyed, but don’t forget that no matter how late you stay out, you always have to be sure and show up ready to go the next morning. If you’re going to play the game, you have to show up to the field on time (how well you play is up to you). Pacing yourself during a long conference is never frowned upon either, but always expect to have a great time!
We can only prepare you so much. It’s up to you to make the most of it now! We expect it will be a great time, and be sure to find us around the conference. You can let us know if this guide was helpful, or totally useless. Either way we’ll enjoy the conversation.
See you in Boston!