If you’re heading to the ASHA Convention next week, chances are you’re under water right now trying to prep ahead of time! It can be a hard time of year to miss students but the learning opportunities are so valuable at the ASHA Convention. If you can go to one near you, I highly recommend it!
I wanted to give you a few tips to make your conference a smooth one! Affiliate links are included in this post below.
1. Create your schedule with a few “layers” of priorities in mind. Look over the booklet and search for topics you NEED hours in. Cleft Palate? Apraxia? Start by scheduling those first. You can use the conference app, but I suggest making yourself a google document with your selections that you can easily pull up and look at on ANY device. After that, look for any specific presenters you’re excited about. Next, look for courses that will apply to as many of your students as possible. That’ll help make your trip immediately applicable!
2. Schedule time in the exhibit hall. Your local conferences have an exhibit hall that you can hit in between sessions but if you’ve never been to ASHA you can’t even begin to imagine how giant the exhibit hall at ASHA is. Schedule an hour to browse it on a few different days!
3. Pack a variety. When I pack my clothes for ASHA, it’s the most stressful part of my trip. Jeans? Slacks? What the heck should I wear? You’ll see a variety, but I’d say most people do business casual. A comfy dress with a sweater, colored jeans and a top, or trouser jeans with a nice top are all acceptable.
4. Shoes matter. You will walk a ton, so make sure you pack comfortable shoes. I’m not kidding when I say, the wrong shoe choice could ruin your trip.
5. Bring a bag. You’ll get a giant Super Duper bag at the conference, but honestly do you want to carry that bag, plus your purse, and another bag with your iPad? I usually just bring a backpack and throw my wallet in there. I can put exhibit hall swag in it, fit my iPad, and shuck it everywhere I go. Backpack for the win!
6. Speaking of technology, pack your tablet. You’ll need technology to download the handouts. I recommend bringing a tablet instead of your computer. Download the handouts each night in the hotel room before you go over to the conference center. If your phone can be a hotspot for wifi, make sure you know how to do that. Internet access is usually expensive to purchase and never free. Just use the data from your phone instead of the paying for wifi.
7. Bring a charging brick. The service in the conference hall can be iffy which can drain your battery. I have this Power Master one that I use and love.
8. Sessions get pretty crowded. If there is one you are dying to go see, do the exhibit hall the hour before so you can go early and get a seat.
9. Enjoy the city. Make plans with friends or with strangers you meet at lunch. Spend your evenings enjoying the new city!
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