Posted By Ryan M. Collins,
Friday, February 13, 2015
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With SEAHO little more than a week away, it’s time to start making those last minute preparations. With so many different activities packed into three short days, proper planning can make a huge difference in your conference experience. Here are a few things to consider in the days leading up to the conference:
- Plan your schedule. Download the conference schedule from the SEAHO website (seaho.org). Identify which activities you need or want to attend, and mark them in whatever technology controls your life (phone, Google Calendar, etc.). It may also be helpful to print a physical copy of the schedule. When planning your schedule, you should definitely include the following:
- Newcomer’s Meeting – Wednesday at 10 AM
- Opening Lunch – Wednesday at 11 AM
- Involvement Fair – Wednesday at 5 PM
- Grad Social – Wednesday at 10 PM
- SEAHO Business Meeting – Thursday at 8 AM
- State Meeting – Thursday at 5 PM
- Closing Lunch – Friday at 12:30 AM
- Guidebook is also an exceptionally helpful tool for scheduling, and you can even use it to set reminders (Guidebook info should be sent out from the host committee in the next few days).
- Pick your programs. There are nearly 80 programs from which to choose at SEAHO, so you should be intentional in your choices. Take some time to read through the program titles and descriptions in Guidebook, and add your favorites to your schedule.
- Review your commitments. In the excitement of registering for SEAHO, you probably signed up for a lot of things (program moderating, volunteering, case study, pro/am). Numerous emails are coming out in the weeks before the conference reminding you of these commitments, so make sure you know what you signed up for and plan accordingly. In addition, make sure your travel plans allow you to honor all of these commitments. Don’t volunteer to take tickets at the closing lunch if your flight leaves at Noon on Friday!
- Contact your Pro. If you signed up for the Pro/Am program, you should have or soon will receive your assigned Pro. This year there is a designated Pro/Am meet-up time on Wednesday, but it’s a good idea to reach out in advance, share contact information, and start learning about one another.
- Get to know Mobile. One of the great things about SEAHO is the chance to experience the many amazing cities of the Southeast. Review travel sites and other resources to learn more about the attractions (and obviously the food) available in Mobile. While the conference schedule doesn’t allow much time for site seeing, if you are arriving early or staying late, it’s a great time to check out the area.
- Pack your bags! If you’re like me, you may tend to put off packing until the day you leave. It’s important to do a little more advanced planning for conferences, so you don’t find yourself halfway to Alabama when realize you forgot to pack pants (seriously, this happened to a colleague of mine). Don’t forget to check the weather so you know whether you need your winter coat or rain jacket! Here are some basic necessities to remember for conference:
- Business or business casual attire for all three days of conference (as a grad student, you may want to up your game a bit to impress future employers)
- Casual but classy clothes for evening socials and travel
- Name tag
- Business cards
- Laptop or iPad
- Padfolio or notebook (something in which you can take notes and also keep handouts and other items you receive throughout the conference)
- Messenger bag or other tote to carry personal belongings around the conference.
- Healthy snacks to keep you going between meals
- Breath mints
- Entertainment for your travel time (book, music, etc.)
- Homework (worth a try, right?)
- Remember to take care of yourself. As noted above, there is A LOT to do at SEAHO, and you can very quickly find yourself going non-stop from 8 AM to midnight every day. Make sure that you are not overcommitted, and that you schedule downtime to rest and recuperate. This is especially important if you are participating in placement, or if you identify as an introvert. It’s absolutely OKAY and necessary to take time for YOU!
And lastly, GET EXCITED!
See you in Mobile!
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