Last Revised: 1-17-2018
Welcome! We know that it is hard to be a newbie.
Where do I go?
What do I do?
Will I have anyone to talk to?
Each year, APSNA welcomes first timers at our national conference and they all survive and leave with a smile. Take some time to review the below tips to enhance your first (of many!) visit to our Annual Scientific Conference.
Before You Go
- Make sure you've read the conference brochure and online registration. You can access information regarding the 2018 Scientific Conference here.
- Book your hotel reservation at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa to enjoy discounted nightly rates for APSNA conference attendees. Discounted block closes April 8, 2018, and is on a space available basis.
- Check out our travel/transportation page to find great deals in and around Palm Desert.
- Use the link in your confirmation email to download presentation hand-outs to your tablet or laptop. Printed copies and printers are not available on site.
- Watch out for special emails or mailings from our partners about special events and opportunities hosted during our conference.
- Pick up your badge in our conference registration area located at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, Springs Ballroom – South Counter.
- Grab a conference tote bag in the conference registration area, which includes our Conference At A Glance Schedule, map and other goodies.
- Get your First Time Attendee ribbon!
- Talk to people - our members and other conference attendees are very friendly and helpful.
- Look for members wearing "Ask Me" buttons to assist you. You can also ask for assistance at registration desk from our friendly IntrinXec staff.
- Explore our host city during down time, and invite your new friends to join you. Walk around the hotel and its neighborhood the day before or early in the conference. It is useful to remember how close the nearest coffee/pharmacy/copy shop/deli are when you’re in a rush during the conference. This is also a great way to prepare to recommend quick places for spontaneous lunches!
- Wear your name badge to all conference-related sessions, events and exhibit hall, but do not wear out in the street.
- If you are a new member, pick up your new member pin at the registration desk.
What You Are Eligible to Attend
- Full (3 Day) Registration Includes: Educational Contact Hours, 3 Breakfasts, one Business Luncheon, Founders Award Ceremony and Reception (one ticket), Welcome Reception, Giveaways. ONLY Members can vote at the Luncheon, but registrants are welcome!
- 1 Day and 2 Day Registration does not include ticket to Founders Award Ceremony and Reception. Event ticket can be purchased for $125.
- The Pre-conference Workshop is an extra-cost event and is not included in the Annual Meeting registration fee. Preregistration is required.
- NOTE: Registration for the American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA) Conference is a separate subscription/registration and is not included with APSNA Conference Registration. The APSA Education Day Session on Thursday, May 3, 2018 is included with APSNA registration.
- Always carry snacks, drinks and business cards.
- Reference the maps provided in the Conference At A Glance Schedule to find out how best to get around the conference ballrooms, exhibit floor - and to find conference hotel information.
- Take notes during, or just after sessions, while the session content is still fresh in your mind.
- Take the opportunity to meet people. Pass up listening to music, social media, etc., when you could be networking.
What to Wear/Bring
- Bring your favorite walking shoes to keep your feet comfy as you cruise between sessions, the exhibit hall and special events.
- Presenters will dress up and you will need to decide for yourself how formally you want to present yourself to fellow attendees. Keep in mind that the meeting site may well be over-air conditioned.
- Bring layers because room temperatures can fluctuate based on time of day, location in the building and number of people in the room.
- Do not forget your tablet or laptop containing your session hand-outs so you can take notes as you go, and make sure they are charged!
- The conference organizers provide some food but you will want to supplement that. Keep a water bottle with you. (Session rooms usually have pitchers or dispensers where you can refill your bottle.) If you’re trying to limit your food budget, find a grocery store on your first night in town and stock up on fruit, granola bars, or energy bars—items that are portable and filling to sustain you through the day.
Network & Get Involved
- You are not alone! You should ask questions and learn from the thousands of surgical professionals from a myriad of backgrounds who are attending the conference with you. These individuals may currently, or in the past have faced the same challenges as you. If so, they will have acquired the solutions you may need. They may also have the position you aspire to, seek them out as a potential collaborator or mentor.
- See a panel guest, or facilitator you respect. Do not hesitate to introduce yourself - exchange business cards or contact information.
- If you want to get involved in the association, a specific committee, special interest group (SIG), attend meetings and introduce yourself to the chairperson, director, etc. Note that it is acceptable at times to arrive late or leave early committee meetings if necessary.
- Our tenured colleagues really love meeting newer members and talking about all that APSNA has to offer. We think you will find all of them approachable. If there is someone whose ideas interest you, do introduce yourself and discuss their ideas—or yours! APSNA is small enough that you can count on seeing these folks at receptions and in the halls. It’s okay if you meet just a few new people each year and then go back to your friends or your hotel room to recharge.
Stay Connected, Apply & Share the Wealth
- Make and keep connections! Make a note on the back of business cards you receive to trigger your memory of the exchange. Send follow-up email messages to the contacts and presenters you meet.
- Apply your experiences. Take time to review the notes and materials you collect as soon as possible when you return home, and how you plan to use the information in your position/library.
- Share and discuss the new ideas you learned with your co-workers.
When You Get Home
- Complete session evaluations for each session you attended to earn CE contact hours. The system is available for 3 months after conference. Upon completion of your evaluations, you can print a certificate for your files.
- Start planning to join us in Boston on Thursday, May 16 – Sunday, May 19, 2019, at the Boston Marriott Copley Place, for our next national conference and watch your email for news about our 2018 regional symposium!
Raquel’s Top 10 Reminders:
- Attend an orientation session.
- Bring business cards and network.
- Prepare a small 30-second speech about yourself.
- See how you can get involved. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Visit the Exhibit Hall. Vendors are a great source of information about products you likely use in everyday practice. Thank them for their support of APSNA- this goes a long way.
- Read the Tips and Tricks for Introverts (below).
- Attend socials not just APSNA sessions.
- Familiarize yourself with the APSNA Website.
- Become an APSNA Member.
- Alcoholic drinks will be available at certain events. It’s almost always cash bars, so plan accordingly if you plan to partake.
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR INTROVERTS
There is nothing that says introverts cannot enjoy large events and conferences—it simply takes different tactics and strategies than those used by extroverts. Extroverts, after all, need other people in order to keep their energy levels up. Leave an extrovert alone for too long and s/he will start to wilt. Introverts, on the other hand, start out with an ample energy supply at the beginning of events and need quiet time away from the crowd of Unknowns to recharge it. It takes planning and mental fortitude, but the rewards can be well worth it. You can leave the conference feeling satisfied that you did so much and that you made real, solid connections with complete strangers.
More Tips for Introverts:
Have further questions? Check our Member FAQ (even if you are not a member) or use the contact us form to get help.