Looking forward to the 2013 AG Bell Symposium with much enthusiasm and expectation. This face to face conference will afford me the opportunity to “sharpen the saw” (Stephen Covey), spend some F2F time with my mentees and set the course for expanding my personal learning network (PLN).
Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your Symposium experience.
1. Choose to attend a session on a familiar topic. Listen for new ideas and wats to approach the subject. What has changed since you last read about the topic? What opportunity do you have to connect with this presenter in order to continue a dialogue virtually after the conference. Who do you know who would love to get this information?
2. Choose to attend a session on a topic that is new or a challenge for you. How do you compare the new information to what you have already known? What is your take away from the session? What is one idea that you have to apply this to your practice when you at home? Who are the thought leaders in this area? How could you connect with them to continue a dialogue virtually after the conference?
3. Walk through the Exhibit Hall with a new set of eyes. Focus on what’s new. Often exhibitors have demonstrations of new products. Watch and listen. Even if a product does not directly apply to your practice, can you identify a colleague who would appreciate the new resource or contact information? Visit the vendors that represent the technology of your clients. What do you need to know that would assist you in guiding and coaching your families to use or maintain equipment. Learn more about the vendors website, customer service, or trouble shooting guide. If you do not know, ask who your regional representative is so you can make a virtual connection when you get home.
4. Exchange contact information with seat mates in each session. If you attend 10 sessions, that would be up to 20 new LSL contacts to virtually connect. Are they on Facebook, LinkedIn, or twitter?
5. Attend the general sessions and Bell sponsored events. This is a great way to meet new professionals, learn from thought leaders and get more involved.
Attending a face to face learning experience should be more than earning CEUs or a chance to get away. It is a short term opportunity to up-level your practice and connect with others.
So, be of good courage, view the experience as a personal challenge to become more engaged in the LSL community. Expand your network then plan to continue engaging at home through the virtual world of social media.
You can follow the happenings of the 2013 AG Bell Symposium through twitter using hashtag, #LSLTalk.