Monday, June 2, 2014

#ASCA14 1st Timer Tips

I've been seeing and hearing the buzz via social media from other school counselors about going to the upcoming ASCA conference in Orlando, FL.  The exciting part is that many of the counselors sharing the buzz are 1st timers going to the conference.  Now that got me "buzzing"!  I had absolutely no idea what to expect my first time attending the conference either.  So here are a few tips that I've learned to share with first timers or even tenth timers at the conference.

-Attend the reception events where you'll have an opportunity to mix and mingle with other counselors in a non-presentation style setting (meaning you can talk more).  I actually met a lot of counselor friends that I still keep in touch with at the first timers reception, dance and tweet up (all are fantastic opportunities for networking and fun).

-Bring plenty of your business cards to share, which is another way to stay connected with other school counselors.

-Pack comfy business casual clothing and shoes. It's usually chilly in the session rooms, so a sweater (or in my case cardigan, I love cardigans) or light jacket will help to keep you warm.

-There's usually food (lunch and snack) at the conference, but I always pack my own snacks just case.  

-Take some time to see the host city!  But of course especially since it's Disney (that's a no brainer).

-Make a shopping list of things that you'd be willing to purchase at the conference.  The vendors section can be overwhelming because there's so much to choose from and you'll just want it all (ok maybe that was just me).

-Download the conference app.  Having a conference app is awesome, you have the ability to take a look and get an idea of the sessions you'd like to attend.  Some fabulous school counselor blogger & Twitter friends will be presenting this year and I 'd like to mention their sessions for you to consider attending:

Monday 06/30 9-10:15am- Brand and Market Your School Counseling Program (Jeremy Goldman & Jeff Ream)

Monday 06/30 9-10:15am- Build Your Professional Community With Social Media (Lisa Savinon, Carli Segal, Carol Miller)

Monday 06/30 11:15-12:30pm- Help Girls Unlock Their Leadership Potential (Julia V. Taylor)

Monday 06/30 1:30-2:45pm- Going Gaga for Google (Russ Sabella)

Monday 06/30 3:45-5:00pm- Wi-Fi to Sci-Fi: Motivate anad Teach Students via Technology and Literature (Angela Poovey)  

Tuesday 07/01 11:15-12:30pm- Empower Girls Using Narrative Theory (Lee Grimes & Natalie Spencer)

Tuesday 07/01 11:15-12:30pm- Professional Development in 140 Characters or Fewer (Danielle Schultz & Erin Mason)

Tuesday 07/01 1:15-2:45pm- Create a Data-Driven Anti-Bullying Action Plan (Raychelle Lohmann)

Tuesday 07/01 1:30-4:30pm- Creating Magic Through Group Counseling (Matthew McClain, Rhonda Williams)

Wednesday 07/02 9-10:15am- Teach Students to Recognize and Report Sexual Abuse (Rebecca Lallier)

Oooooh, as I type these sessions I'm getting so excited!!!  Unfortunately I will not be attending the conference this year.  I have an amazing opportunity to participate in an educator study abroad program in Europe so I'll be following the conference through social media (use the hash tag #ASCA14). Please tweet, post and share your experiences so those of us that aren't there can "be there" via social media.  I look forward to seeing what others share from the conference this year.

What other tips would you give for 1st timers attending the conference?

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