Advice for First-Time Summit Attendees

This post is brought to you by Adam Evans, STC Senior Member

Register for the Summit today!If this is your first Summit, then you have an exciting adventure ahead of you! Every Summit is a buzz of activity: networking, social outings, educational sessions, and vendors galore! It can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.

My first Summit was seven years ago in Atlanta. I was a college senior, and I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. Luckily, I had long-time attendee friends who knew what they were doing. They helped me out, and I hope by passing on their wisdom, I can help you too. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Come with a plan—STC does a great job of publishing the schedule well in advance of the Summit. Make sure you take the time to create a tentative list of sessions you want to hit. You can always change it up in the moment, but having a plan of attack will make the day a bit less hectic.
  • Make connections (even before you arrive)—There are a number of ways to connect with upcoming Summit attendees. First, spend time on Lanyrd getting to know speakers and attendees. Second, participate in social media. This year’s hashtag is #stc15, and people are already using it! Get out there and join the conversation. Third, once you’re at the Summit, don’t just hang out with your friends and colleagues. Make it a point to socialize in the evening at one of the many events, like the Honors Reception, or even some unsanctioned activities, like this year’s proposed pub crawl.
  • Participate in extracurricular activities—You’ll be attending sessions all day, but don’t let that tire you out! Every evening, something is going on. And groups naturally form for dinner or after-dinner activities. One event that you can participate in is a Take me out to the ball game event hosted by the Northeast Ohio chapter! But keep your eyes peeled on social media for other social items that will inevitably pop up. Or start your own!
  • Get to know STC—Because this is your first Summit, take advantage of all the opportunities to get to know our organization. Visit the Expo hall to meet the vendors, attend the business meeting on Monday, chat with the host chapter (they typically have a table near the Expo hall), attend the closing keynote, swing by this year’s honors reception, and take every chance to network.

The Summit will go by in a flash. Making sure you’re equipped with a plan is key. I hope this is helpful. And if we bump into each other, introduce yourself. I’ll see you out there!

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2 Replies to “Advice for First-Time Summit Attendees”

  1. It’s implied by Adam but not stated, so I’ll state it — go to your chapter meeting before the Summit (if not a couple)! You’ll be able to pre-network and have a familiar face in Columbus.

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