As I am doing a little mental pre-packing, I thought I would share some items I am planning to bring to the ASCA conference.
What to wear?
I have seen people dressed in everything from shorts to business attire. The key to dressing for ASCA is to consider your purpose. Are you attending only for your own professional development? If so, wear what makes you comfortable. Are you looking to network and make connections with other professionals? Maybe go with business casual. Are you looking for a school counseling job? There will be school districts looking for new hires, so you might want to wear more business-type clothing. You never know who you will be sitting next to on a shuttle bus or in a conference session. Whatever you decide to wear, be sure to bring a sweater or jacket as conference rooms are usually VERY cold.
What to bring?
Technology, charging cables, and power packs. This year ASCA is going paperless so you will need some sort of technology (phone, tablet or laptop) for accessing the ASCA app to see all different sessions being presented. Be sure to download the ASCA18 app and start looking at sessions before you arrive. Sometimes, presenters will have participants engage in an on-line activity and there are times you may want to photograph PowerPoint slides or tweet to your school district about your awesome learning. Batteries drain quickly and electrical outlets are a premium so bring your own pre-charged battery pack and cables for back-up. You will be glad you did!
Paper, pens, business cards. Some like to type, some like to write, but even if you like to type, you may want the old fashioned pen and paper too. Business cards are important for entering exhibitor drawings, making new friends, and networking with other school counseling professionals.
School purchase order or personal credit card. I love being able to actually look through materials I have only been able to view in a catalog. Whether it is from an exhibitor or the ASCA bookstore, I always find something I want and with a school purchase order have been able to make a purchase without it coming out of my bank account. Check with your administration and bookkeeper.
For breakfast, ASCA is providing "lite bites" from 8-9 am in the exhibit hall before sessions start. Some folks bring pre-packaged snacks and a water bottle for mid-morning or mid-afternoon breaks. ASCA also provides a nice box lunch in the exhibit hall since attendees have limited time between sessions to leave, get lunch and return to the conference. In the evenings there are usually groups who have connected at various sessions who go to dinner at local eateries. Don't be shy, introduce yourself and ask your new friends about their dinner plans. School Counselors tend to be very friendly and inclusive.
Optional Box for Mailing. Last year I flattened out a medium size box and put it in the bottom of my suitcase. I had so much in the way of freebies and books I had purchased I needed to send some things home rather than pay the additional weight on my luggage. Something to think about.
Can't attend ASCA?
Sometimes there are barriers that prevent us from attending conferences. ASCA knows this and has a Virtual Conference option available. Click HERE to learn more about the cost of registering as a virtual attendee and the sessions being live streamed.
I can't wait to get to LA and hear all the great professional development waiting for me! I will be sharing highlights from my ASCA experience, so be sure to check back for all the details.