Check out these tips to make the most of the 2023 Annual Education Conference (AEC) before you leave for Vancouver.
1. What are your learning objectives? Are there topics you want to learn more about or skills you want to develop? Think about your goals for the AEC to make the most of your time at the AEC.
PRO TIP: Talk to your supervisor about their expectations for you. If others are attending from your team, make a plan to divide and conquer. This will help you choose which of the many enticing panels to attend during the concurrent sessions.
2. Speaking of those concurrent sessions, read the conference brochure before you arrive — you may not have time to dig into the details once the conference is in full swing!
PRO TIP: If you’re flying to Vancouver, print a copy of the brochure to read on the plane. Note that the most current information is on the conference website and in the conference app, but we can’t guarantee you will have Wi-Fi on board, and we want you to use your flight wisely.
3. Check out the Vancouver page on the NALP website for more information about Vancouver and the AEC, including restaurants, non-conference activities, and travel tips.
PRO TIP: Check with your cell phone carrier and credit card company to see if there are any steps you need to take to be able to use your phone or card outside the US.
4. Attend the Newcomers Webinar on Tuesday, April 11 at 3 pm ET. Register in advance at Meeting Registration - Zoom.
PRO TIP: At the webinar, learn more about the Ready, Set, NALP! Scavenger Hunt (yes, there WILL be prizes!).
5. Download the conference app once it is available. The app will be your virtual conference brochure, attendee list, and more!
PRO TIP: You can take notes during conference sessions directly in the app, which saves you from having to keep track of which notes go with which session.
6. Review the attendee list, which is available on the conference website, in the Logistics email, and in the conference app, and highlight the people with whom you wish to connect. For law firm members, this may be team members who work in other offices or CSO staff from schools where your firm recruits. For law school members, this may be CSO staff from other schools in your region or with whom your school collaborates or legal professionals from firms that recruit at your school.
PRO TIP: If you are the only person from your team at the AEC, consider reaching out to others — such as your conference host or members from nearby schools or firms — before the conference to make dinner plans for Tuesday and Thursday nights. Some people traveling in larger groups will already have made dinner plans for these evenings by the time they get to Vancouver. You can also meet others at the Newcomer's Orientation and at the Opening Reception and make dinner plans from there.
7. Pack for comfort! You are welcome to wear business casual clothes and comfortable shoes for conference sessions, and jeans/casual clothes for downtime and social events such as the Member Celebration and Late Night event. Bring workout clothes and shoes if you plan to participate in the 5K on Thursday, April 27 at 6:30 am.
PRO TIP: Bring plenty of business cards. You will need them to exchange with people you meet (and to enter vendor prize drawings!). If you like swag, consider also bringing a collapsible tote or large bag for vendor goodies.
8. NALP is so much more than the AEC! Take some time to think before the conference about what you want your involvement with NALP to look like in the future. Do you want to connect more deeply with your region, a particular section, or an affinity group, with conference planning, or in NALP leadership? Learning a bit more about how NALP works before you get to Vancouver will help you prioritize opportunities to connect and network during the conference.
PRO TIP: Log in to NALPConnect and join some groups if you haven’t already.
9. Last but not least, watch for the Logistics email a week before the conference with important information, and be sure to read it!
PRO TIP: Print that email and any linked information you need prior to departure to have access to the information at all times.
These tips were compiled by the 2023 Annual Education Conference Planning Team.