On the AADE Member Survey, one of the questions asked why I initially joined AADE. The answer: to get the discounted rate for Annual Meeting. I went to my first in 2001. I remember being so excited about going, so excited that I forgot to book a room! I did get a room, but it was not convenient. Fortunately, I was able to change to a hotel near the convention center the night before the meeting started. Augh!
Now, it is 12 years later and I am 12 years better at planning for the meeting. I would like to offer some tips that might be helpful to you as you think about attending AADE13. I look for others to offer some great advice, too.
- Join others: Ask around to see if any of your friends/colleagues are thinking about going. You might be able to share some travel expenses including hotel costs. And, it is nice to travel with someone. If you don’t find someone, not to worry. You will make friends once you get there.
- Register: The sooner you register, the less you pay. And, you will start getting information as it becomes available.
- Book your room: Don’t make my mistake. I checked the AADE Housing site and see there are several options currently available including the Headquarter Hotel and many others within a few blocks, varying in price and offering different amenities. If you book through the official AADE Housing site, you can save $100 on your full program registration!
- Plan: Look at the schedule and start planning. Do you see a pre-conference course you would like to attend? Product theatres? Do you need to start training for the 5K Walk/Jog/Run? Plan on attending the Communities of Interest Networking Showcase on Tuesday night. You don’t have to be in a COI (but you might be by the time you leave). Leave time for the poster presentations and networking break in the exhibit hall on Wednesday. Plan to attend the business meeting and start choosing your educational sessions.
- Shop: Get some comfortable shoes! The Convention Center is conveniently located near the hotels, but you will still be putting on some miles. What a great time to test out a pedometer. You might want to pack some comfy clothes for the yoga sessions. And, don’t forget your dancing shoes for the social events on Thursday night.
- Save up some money: The AADE Education and Research Foundation will be having the annual Silent Auction. What a nice way to support future education endeavors and bring home something great for yourself. Who isn’t up for a little silent auction competition? Think about donating something, too. I already have my items ready to go.
- Explore: It might be hard to fit in, but plan on venturing out while in Philadelphia. What an amazing city. There is great history, shopping, beautiful parks, and much more. One of my favorite things to do in Philly is right next to the Convention Center. Try to plan a lunch at the Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia’s historic farmers market. You’ll have your choice of a Philly Cheesesteak, Amish specialties or one of several ethnic options. Leave room for a home-baked good for dessert. You can also shop for handmade pottery, jewelry, crafts, flowers, and local wines. The energy in the market is GREAT!
- Get excited! Get ready to meet old friends, make new ones, learn, share, and get energized!!!
I am ready to start packing now! If you have been to the meeting, do you have ideas for others? Let us know. Hope to see you there.