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20 Things to Do Before ASTD ICE 2012

With just a few scant weeks to go until one of the most important eLearning events of the year, make sure you maximize your time and the company’s spend on your attendance.

Here are some ideas to scan through before you head out to Denver:

  1. Download the ASTD ICE 2012 Brochure.
  2. If you haven’t been to ASTD before, take a quick look at a video or two.  A short video (1:45 mins.) shows some summary takes of the 2011 Conference and Expo and highlights of the upcoming 2012 Conference. The same blog post by Linda M. David shares a video with scenes of the stunning Denver area, as well as some ASTD session links by categories, including Measurement and ROI; Learning Technologies; and Designing and Facilitating Learning.
  3. Make yourself a packing list at least 1 week before you leave to be sure you locate (and perhaps purchase) anything extra you might want to have and not have to track down while at your hotel. See the Conference Goer’s Packing List for some suggestions.
  4. Visit (and subscribe to the feed of) the ASTD International Conference – Blog.
  5. Watch a video emphasizing the international attendance and scope of the conference, as well as what to expect by session. YouTube will serve you up some related videos, too!
  6. Whether or not you’re planning to attend one of the Preconference Workshops, why not Google some of the presenters and listen or read some of their content prior to his or her sessions?  (Not included with ASTD 2012 Conference registration, generally the half-day workshops cost $225 for ASTD Members/$325 for Non-Members, and full-day workshops cost $475 for ASTD Members/$575 for Non-Members. Register as soon as you can because some of these programs sell out in advance.) You will be getting a free head-start exposure to their content. For example, you can listen to Lance Dublin (Wednesday, April 18th, from 1:00-2:00 pm ET/10:00-11:00 am PT) on his webinar A Whack on the Head Part 2 … Now What?? Re-Designing Learning Design.  Or investigate content early by registering for a live interview with Julie Clow (Head of Learning and Development at Two Sigma Investments, and author of “The Work Revolution”) by Sam Herring, CEO & Co-Founder at Intrepid Learning. (Wed., April 25th, at 11:00 AM PST). You’ll have the opportunity to pose your questions about how your company can get more out of today’s employees by working with their strengths and lifestyles.
  7. Go to the official conference LinkedIn Event Page and RSVP that you’re attending. http://linkd.in/H4OGI7. From there, you can add automatically with a pop up link to your Outlook calendar to block off these days. You can also reply that you are following the event if you’re not able to attend but might like to keep abreast of updates. Either way, you can introduce yourself, share information, or ask questions about the event.
  8. Check through list of attendees on the above event page to see if there’s someone you want to connect with via LinkedIn prior to the conference, or someone you know you’d like to arrange to see there. Currently 60 people have RSVP’d, representing 29 different business entities and 15 different industries/business functions.
  9. Check the list of speakers, and their websites, LinkedIn profiles, blogs, etc. to determine which sessions are a must-do for you and your interests and which are secondary. You can follow the ASTD 2012 blog for a few posts.
  10. You may want to also check out ASTD ICE groups and happenings on Facebook: TOPYX has created an event page there, and if you Click ‘Join’ and they’ll send you a free chapter of The New Social Learning: A Guide to Transforming Organizations Through Social Media, written by Tony Bingham, the President and Chief Executive Officer of ASTD, and Marcia Conner, a Partner at Altimeter Group.
  11. While on Facebook, you may want to join the ASTD National group page or an eLearning group, such as the Instructional Design & eLearning Professionals’ Group.
  12. Befriend a long-distance voyager or first-time attendee. With people hailing from over 70 countries, this is a great opportunity for some United Nations-class demonstrations of American hospitality and international relations on a personal level.
  13. While at the conference, be on the look-out for The Conference Daily, a print and digital newspaper providing attendees and industry professionals with conference news on the day’s events and upcoming activities.
  14. Try to schedule time to do something really fun while in Denver. After all, the theme of the show this year is “Learn something new, Perform something extraordinary.”  At the show, you can silk screen your own Innovation Worker T-shirt (Drop by Intrepid Learning’s Booth 1510 at the expo.) And bring a new friend or old colleague to the newly branded GP Strategies’ Booth 1024 to take advantage of a fun souvenir photo.
  15. Remind yourself to drop a mention to whomever approves your trade show expenses that you’ll be visiting the bookstore to pick up a few vital new releases for the company. Even if you don’t buy them then (remember ASTD members get a discount), you can flip through the actual books to assess whether they’re read-worthy. Many books have downloadable free chapters online, like 90 Days 90 Ways: Onboard Young Professionals to Peak Performance.
  16. Check out your hotel’s amenities and pack lightweight workout clothes. With the ice cream social and plenty of other receptions, dinners and goodies on the tradeshow floor, your body will thank you!
  17. If you’re one of the lucky ones who have booked a ticket with extra time in Denver before or after the conference, this time can be spent in numerous ways with activities for every taste. Besides the link on the ASTD website, see Things To Do In Denver. This page on the Crowne Plaza Hotel’s website has a handy Location & Directions page for an interactive map of the Denver area, along with links to the RTD website for info on Denver’s well-established transportation systems that uses light rail, trains and buses, in addition to a vast list of nearby Museums, Denver Live Entertainment and other attractions.
  18. Don’t forget to get on the Twitter stream to connect and share. The Twitter hashtag for the event is: #ASTD2012. Look for David Kelly to post valuable resources soon on the event’s backchannel on his blog.
  19. And if you’re really into Twitter and networking, don’t miss the May 6th #LBCtweetup. Make sure to register in advance.
  20. Be sure to take scads of notes, photos and make new connections and cherished memories and share what you’ve learned with others.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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