First-time Attendees

Welcome to your first ATA Conference! We are excited to have you join us in Chicago. And, to make your experience productive and enjoyable, we are providing these tips:

Prior to the Conference

  • Plan which sessions are most important to you, who you’d like to meet and which exhibitors offer the most value for your time. Check the ATA18 website and the mobile app (launching in early April) where you’ll find speaker profiles and presentation titles. You can also view the current Exhibitor list here.
  • To make it easier for you to meet other first-timers, use the mobile app and reach out them via the app and schedule a meeting while at the conference.
  • Follow ATA18 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and download the ATA18 Mobile App, when it’s available in April, and follow trending topics, speakers, and other useful information throughout ATA18. You don’t have to wait until the conference to post; start using #ATA18 now!
  • Bring a copy of your resume and pack extra business cards if you are attending the ATA Career Fair during the show. The Career Fair is a great way to interview with organizations and network with industry employees…all in one, convenient location.

At the Conference

  • In order to meet other first-timers, you might want to attach a “First Time Attendee” ribbon to your nametag. They will be available at the Ribbon Bar throughout the conference. And, you’ll certainly want to attend the Newcomer’s Breakfast on Sunday, April 29. It’s designed to provide first-time attendees with an overview of ATA18 and provide suggestions on how maximize time at the conference.
  • Have a question? Ask an ATA Staff Member or volunteer. You won’t be able to miss them in their bright orange shirts. You can also stop by ATA Central for assistance.
  • Use the Mobile App throughout the conference for daily updates on events and important information.
  • Tweet using #ATA18! If you’re enjoying a particular session or event, let other attendees know about it.
  • You can use your laptop or smart phone during a session. Typing notes during a talk is okay; so is tweeting. Just be mindful of other attendees and respectful of the speakers. Don’t forget to turn down the volume on your device as well.
  • It’ OK to leave a session before it’s over. The speakers and their presentation titles for each session are listed in the Mobile App in the order in which they will be presented. If you plan on staying for just a short period of time, grab a seat near the door so you can easily slip out.
  • Visit the Exhibits. Exhibitors come from all over the United States and abroad, with hundreds of organizations showcasing a wide range of products, publications, and services. So, you’re sure to find something that will help you when you return to your workplace. Demonstrations of new and innovative equipment are offered daily!

After the Conference

  • ATA e-mails attendees a link to an electronic survey following the conference. We encourage you to fill it out so we can include your feedback as we plan future meetings and events.
  • Follow up with your new contacts. Send an e-mail to those you’ve networked with to follow up on a question or discussion, or just to say “It was a pleasure meeting you.”
  • Watch recorded presentations. Miss a presentation or want to see one again? Many of the presentations are recorded and will be available a few weeks following ATA18.
  • Get involved in ATA! Become a member.
  • Plan to join us at ATA19 in New Orleans April 14-17

General Tips

  • Join in! Participate in discussions, introduce yourself to others, and talk to speakers following their presentations. Our speakers love to meet new colleagues and are eager to hear about your own research and ideas.
  • Make friends! ATA18 is a great place to meet colleagues…old friend, and those you meet at ATA18. The opening session, receptions, socials, exhibits and main events are great places to connect with others.
  • Pace yourself. It’s okay to skip sessions and take a “time out” each day; it’s not a good idea to skip meals.
  • Stay hydrated. Throughout the conference, carry energy snacks, drink plenty of water, and bring a reusable coffee cup or water bottle to reduce waste.
  • Network. Exchange contact information with those you meet. Hold business cards in the back of your nametag or use the mobile app.
  • Be sure to choose what truly interests you from our wide variety of sessions.