Know Before You Go!
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The AORE Annual Conference gives you the opportunity to design educational experiences that support your professional goals. From hearing world-class experts to attending innovative sessions, use the official #AORE2017 Mobile App to build the conference experience you want.
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Conference Etiquette Dos and Don’ts:
Getting The Most From the AORE Annual Conference
Originally written by Bob Phibbs; modified by Emily Thomas and Aaron Wolowiec
Following are a variety of do’s and don’ts on how to make the most of your conference attendance:
- (Do) Bring plenty of business cards. It is awkward when you reach into your wallet or purse to discover you are out. You never know who will want to follow-up with you – so carry plenty of cards just to be safe! And if you don’t have an official business card, consider printing simple cards at home or via an online platform like Vistaprint for a nominal fee.
- (Do) Take notes and remember a note-taking device (e.g., notebook, iPad or laptop). Listening to a presentation is really just a gateway. Through their words, the notes you jot down should be a summary of actions or brainstorms you have that might work for you or your organization. Back home, your own words will have much more meaning.
- (Do) Listen. Be in the moment. We spend too much of our time distracted; turn off your cell phone and be present. No one is so important they need to “take this call.” People will wait, that’s why there’s voicemail. Focus, instead, on the new ideas you’re presented and the new people you meet.
- (Do) Say “Hello” and introduce yourself to anyone sitting next to you before a session begins. Everyone is overwhelmed and feeling out of their respective comfort zones. Instead of waiting for them to come to you, take the first step.
- If you’re on Twitter, (do) use the conference hash tag #AORE2016 and post golden nuggets you hear or see throughout the event.
- (Do) Tell organizers if you really like something. They’ve gone through a lot of hard work to make it special for you. Specifics are best. If you really loved the music – tell them. If the speaker moved you to change something – tell them exactly what. Just one or two things in person or by email are appreciated more than you will ever know.
- (Do) Drink plenty of water. The truth is that you probably will eat and drink differently than usual. That coupled with less sleep is a recipe for dehydration.
- (Do) Wear comfortable shoes or sandals. You know what’s comfortable given the amount of standing and walking that’s done at conferences.
- (Do) Bring fancy clothes to wear to the Friday evening awards banquet.
- If you are a job seeker, (do) bring copies of your resume and trip logs for distribution.
- (Do) Design your schedule ahead of time using the mobile app. Select 1-2 education or symposia sessions every hour to give yourself options. Choose sessions to challenge your assumptions, grow your knowledge base and explore new ideas. And don’t get stuck attending only the sessions that align with your expertise. You’d be surprised how much you can learn and grow by attending even one “stretch” session.
- (Do) Allocate time for the exhibitor hall. And don’t be shy; ask questions regarding products as you move from booth to booth.
- (Do) Offer your feedback on evaluations. Help make the learning and networking offerings stronger for future events. Share your thoughts and recommendations, both positive and constructive.
- (Don’t) Sit with the same people you always do. Later you’ll have time to go to dinner and connect. Remember lifelong friendships (and solution providers) could be waiting for you in another aisle.
- (Don’t) Immediately analyze what you didn’t like about a speaker or a program. Instead, try to find a specific idea or takeaway and share it with others. You’ll find more people will be encouraged and glad they spent that time listening and connecting with you.
- (Don’t) Zip through the exhibitor hall just to complete your passport or to gather swag. Exhibitors are important to both the viability of the conference and the success of the industry. Be sure to approach them with the respect they deserve.
- (Don’t) Be afraid to arrive late or to leave early… choose an easy seat for this. Ultimately, if the session you’re in doesn’t seem to be meeting your needs, follow the “Law of Two Feet” and find one that does!
- (Don’t) Engage in intimidating, harassing, abusive, discriminatory, derogatory or demeaning speech or actions. AORE aims to be inclusive to the largest number of contributors, with the most varied and diverse backgrounds possible. As such, we are committed to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and religion.
Attendee Reflection Tool
AORE is committed to being more intentional about helping attendees reflect on their key takeaways and then transfer them back to their organizations upon return from the conference. Take a moment to pause and capture the ideas you'd like to take home with you with our Attendee Reflection Tool. By reframing an idea as a future action step, you are more likely to follow through on the insights you've gleaned.