Professional conferences offer important opportunities for teachers to expand their skills and networks. Although the pandemic disrupted these communal milestones, in-person conferences remain a vital form of professional development, both on the national and regional levels, so all eyes are on the upcoming NSTA 2023 conference in Atlanta. One look at the tentative calendar and it’s obvious that the event planners have an awesome week in store for us, jammed pack with workshops, vendors, meet and greets, keynotes, and entertainment.
Attending conferences can be a bit overwhelming, particularly for first-time attendees or those of us who prefer smaller groups. But even the extroverts among us can run their batteries dry. To help teachers make the most of their conference time, we’ve prepared a list of some of our favorite tips.
Conference Survival Strategies
- NSTA Insider Tips: This is a great place to start for anyone attending their first conference.
- Travel Prep: Our friends at Salesforce offer the 5 Must-Have Items to Pack for a Conference.
- Conference Mindfulness: The Harvard Business Review shared some expert advice, which includes pacing yourself and remembering you don’t have to do everything.
- Networking: Vox’s Introvert’s guide to actually enjoying a party reminds all of us (not just introverts) to recharge our batteries.
- Vendor Engagement: A key part of any conference is the exhibit hall. The folks at Personify offer the 9 Questions to Ask Any Vendor at Your Next Trade Show.
Our advice? Plan each day around the one experience that’s most important to you. Maybe it’s a keynote, maybe it’s a professional learning opportunity, such as one of our hands-on workshops, or maybe it’s the simple joy of having a shared experience with peers. Either way, it’s never too early to start planning, especially if you want to join the fun of our 60th anniversary celebration in Atlanta. Visit Lab-Aids to learn more about where and when to find us at NSTA and how to win some prizes.
Enjoy the conference!