Whenever I go to conferences, I get much more done if I set goals ahead of time. Stepping back to look at the big picture of what I want to accomplish over the two or three day conference period helps me focus and reminds me of specific reasons I am there.
For this ITC ELearning Conference, then, here are my goals (in no particular order):
- Meet at least 10 new people and exchange contact information.
I include this goal because when I travel by myself, I have a tendency to be a wall-flower. Watching is what I do best and I will often not interact unless I have to. But, setting the goal of meeting new people and exchanging contact info means that I need to not only meet them but engage them in meaningful conversation and get to the point where we care about staying in touch. Last night on the van I already met two really great individuals from different ends of the country. So, I am on my way!
- Post learnings and reflections to this blog.
So often when I go to conferences, I learn a lot of really cool things many of which I write down on the conference brochure or on other little scraps of paper. Then, when I get back to work, the brochure and scraps of paper all go into a pile on my desk somewhere with the promise to “get to it” later. Later is often months later when I see the pile and glance through all those cool things I wrote down. With the promise to blog, I will be attending the sessions thinking not just of the learning I can archive for myself but the learning I can archive for other people that I know. I am better at “delayed blogging” than “live blogging” so will probably wait to recap the day each evening.
- Promote my presentation.
This conference runs until Tuesday at noon. My initial plan was to stay until Monday evening then return in time to teach classes on Tuesday. However, those plans changed when I found out I don’t present until Tuesday. I guess someone has to have the last slot and that would be me (and a few others). Yep…last day…last slot. I will probably be winding my way to the presentation room through a sea of attendees with rollerbags heading out to the airport. So, I made up some little bookmarks (see below) that promote my session and provide my contact info (see…this fits in with the first goal!) and will be handing them out to the people I meet. Shameless promotion is necessary, I believe, when you get the cellar spot on the ticket.