Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Making the Most of the Conference Experience

Seattle 2008 will be my eighth NACAC National Conference and I can’t wait to get there. I’ve booked my travel and started to email with friends who I plan to see during the conference.
I’ve also started to think about past conferences and what I’ve learned about making the most of the conference experience:

Your second choice might surprise you. There are extra efforts being made to assure seats in all the workshop sessions, but if your first choice is too crowded, check the schedule and choose something else. In the past, some of the most interesting sessions I’ve gone to have been ones that I didn’t plan to attend.

Think global, act local. Don’t skip your S/R association meeting – even if you’re not a member (yet). The affiliate meetings are a great chance to see NACAC attendees from your home area, to see what’s going on within the association and within the profession. Who knows? You might even fill out a membership form or volunteer for a committee.

2008 is an election year. Actually, every year is an election year for NACAC’s Board of Directors, but elections are just part of what goes on in the Assembly. More than 210 delegates will meet in Seattle to conduct the association’s business and make plans for the future. While only delegates can participate in the two Assembly sessions, attendance is open and gallery seats are available.Network, network, network. There’s no place like the NACAC conference for making connections…and friends.

Be special. More than 20 Special Interest Groups (SIGs) will meet on Friday and Saturday. You can check the conference program book for times and locations, but don’t miss this opportunity to connect with colleagues who share your interests and priorities.

Stand up and be counted. Attending the General Membership Meeting is the best way to have your voice heard. The agenda is still in the works, but the proposed Bylaws revisions and change in state of incorporation will certainly be important items of business. The meeting is open to all, but voting members should bring their voting cards (found in the registration packet).

All work and no play? No way. The Saturday night social at the Experience Music Project (EMP) is an opportunity to end your conference experience on a high note. Talk, dance and mingle with old and new friends from around the world while you explore exhibits ranging from Robots to Jimi Hendrix. The conference is going to be great, so let’s make the most of it.

See you in Seattle!

Lisa Sohmer
Director, 2007-08 NACAC Board of Directors
Director of College Counseling
Garden School, NY

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