AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

TAG | Eval17

Jayne Corso

Hi my name is Jayne Corso and I am the Community Manager for AEA. Evaluation 2017  is only days away, so let’s focus on social media for the conference! Here are a few tips I have compiled for staying social during an event, especially through Twitter!  Why Twitter? Twitter makes your posts visible to people who aren’t already in your networking, therefore, increasing your reach.

Hot Tip: Use the Correct Hashtag

Almost all events have a hashtag, and Evaluation 2017 is no exception. Use #Eval17 when sharing posts related to the conference. Nothing is more frustrating than tweeting at an event then later realizing you used the wrong hashtag and have missed out on conversations. Through #Eval17, you can connect with others at the event and share your thoughts and comments on sessions, content, and presenters.

Hot Tip: Find the Right Balance

Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out how often you should be tweeting at a conference. Your posts should be informative and valuable, so you want to find the happy medium in content. My suggestion is 2-3 tweets per session. This gives you the opportunity to still have a social media presence without missing valuable education and networking time.

Hot Tip: Share Valuable Information

As mentioned above, you want your posts to be valuable to other attendees or even evaluators who couldn’t attend the conference. So, how can you do this?

1) Try asking questions – this can often spark a conversation. 2) Be helpful – share session suggestions, speakers you have enjoyed, topics that were interesting, and even restaurant tips. 3) Share photos and videos – visual content often receives more engagement than simple text postings, so this is a great way to share your experience with others.

Hot Tip: Have Fun

Have fun using social media! Your posts do not need to be series or educational. We enjoy seeing your personality poke through and how you are interacting with all aspects of the conference.

And one for LinkedIn…

Hot Tip: Make Connections on LinkedIn instead of Twitter

If you want to connect with a speaker or attendee, try LinkedIn instead of Twitter. LinkedIn is a more professional social media platform and an introduction on LinkedIn is often more personal and noticeable.

I will be tweeting at Evaluation 2017! I look forward to seeing your posts!

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on theaea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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It’s finally feeling like fall in the DC area, which can mean only one thing…Evaluation 2017 is right around the corner!  My name is Lauren Lawson and I am a member of the AEA education team.  I’ve worked for AEA since 2013, and manage the educational content (sessions) for the annual conference and Summer Evaluation Institute, as well as oversee all online learning including Coffee Breaks, eStudies, and Lunch Hours.

Since Evaluation 2017 is less than two weeks away, I thought I would take a minute today to share a few tips for maximizing your conference experience.

Hot Tip: Mobile App

With over 800 sessions and 4,000+ attendees, figuring out what to attend and who to network with can be overwhelming.  In advance of arriving in DC, I suggest downloading the mobile application* for the conference and creating a user profile.  After downloading the app, you can search sessions by TIG, speaker, or keyword, and by creating a profile, you can connect with similarly-minded people.  You can also save sessions to your personal agenda which should make navigating the conference a bit simpler when you arrive. The mobile app invitation is automatically sent to all registered attendees.

Hot Tip: Know the Session Types

Familiarize yourself with the various session types.  For example, ignite presentations are short 5-minute presentations with automatically advancing slides.  There are 10+ speakers organized into each ignite session and there are five of them during the conference.  There are also roundtables, demonstrations, panels, and more!

Hot Tip: Take a Break

Recognize that you don’t have to attend every possible session.  The conference days are long, so take a break and remember that missing a session here or there to connect with colleagues over a cup of coffee is a good reset!  Plan your agenda to see what matters to you, but don’t forget to take a step back to digest what you have learned.

Hot Tip: Meet the AEA Staff

Lastly, please reach out and introduce yourself to the AEA staff.  We will be at registration, at the info desk, helping direct people, and checking on speakers throughout the conference.  We would love to get to know you and hear what you think of the conference.  It’s always nice to put a face with an e-mail address!  I look forward to welcoming all of you to our hometown soon.

*The app invitation email also has a link to a web-based version if you do not have a smart phone.

 

Lauren Lawson is Senior Manager of Education and Learning Services for AEA.  She attended James Madison University and currently resides in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, Brian, 9-month-old daughter, Abby, and Bernese Mountain Dog, Harper.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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Hi my name is Kelly Laurie and I am the Events Manager for Eval 2017. We are less than 3 weeks out from Evaluation 2017 and I am very much looking forward to seeing the conference that’s been on the top of our minds for months come to fruition.

Food and beverage. Meeting space. Audio Visual. Hotel Rooms. Signage. Attrition. Exhibits. Wifi. Registration. Rehearsals. Contracts. Lighting. Deposits. Transportation. Entertainment.

As a meeting planner, these are just a few of the details that we think about daily in preparation for the conference. Our goal is to ensure every attendee walks away with a memorable conference experience.

Every decision we make has a direct consequence and as a team we discuss the impacts of those decisions and how they affect the association and attendees, and try to ensure that all decisions align with AEA’s core values.

We hope each of you enjoys the conference, has adequate opportunity to network with your fellow peers and takes away new information that you can use in your professional career.

Please be sure to introduce yourself to the events team while at the conference. We’ve been in touch with many of you over the past few months and it’s always great to put a face with a voice or email!

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Happy Fall! I’m Sheila B Robinson, aea365’s Lead Curator and sometimes Saturday contributor with some Hot Tips for first-time conference attendees at #Eval17 in Washington, DC.

Hot Tips: Here’s what I’ve learned both from my own experience and from many others.

  1. Build your agenda before the conference. There are hundreds of sessions, and no, you cannot attend them all! Use the online conference program to help plan your agenda. Try to attend a variety of session types sponsored by different TIGs.
  2. Leave your day job behind. This is your time for learning, networking, and having fun! Set up those “out of office” messages and try to give the conference experience your full attention to get the most out of it.
  3. Masquerade as an extrovert, even if you’re not. I traveled to my first AEA conference alone and didn’t know anyone there. I met my first AEA friend by recognizing the name on her name tag as someone who had authored an aea365 post I enjoyed, so I approached her and told her as much. We ended up talking, attending sessions together, and even having dinner. And regarding those “BIG NAMES” in evaluation, approach them too! After years of attending the conference, I’ve just about met all of them. Guess what? I’ve found them all to be genuinely nice people willing to chat for a few moments, sign books, and pose for pictures.
  4. Attend the Networking Events
    • First Time Attendee Rapid-Fire Orientation
    • Poster Exhibit & Meet the Authors Reception
    • Awards Luncheon (ticketed event- additional charge)
    • Silent Auction to Benefit Traveling Presenters

OK, #4 is probably more a continuation of Tip #3 but also important enough to warrant its own number. These sessions are fabulous networking opportunities. It’s easy to strike up conversations with poster presenters, the people who gather with you at a poster of interest, book authors sitting at their tables, and people shopping and mingling at the silent auction. You automatically have something in common with people when you’re in the same place at the same time. Why not let that be your icebreaker? Oh, and here’s another one. Go to breakfast at the hotel restaurant. Yes, really. So many people travel to this conference on their own that typically, the restaurants start asking people with the tell-tale red name tag and interest ribbons if they wouldn’t mind sharing tables. I’ve met some of the coolest people this way!

Get Involved: While there will be hundreds of high quality sessions and fabulous learning opportunities at Evaluation 2017, it’s meeting fellow conference-goers that makes the biggest difference to me. It’s how the learning extends far beyond the conference, and for me, the most joyful part of the experience. I hope this becomes true for you as well. Safe travels!

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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Hi my name is Jayne Corso and I am the Community Manager for AEA. Evaluation 2017 is just a month away! I have compiled a few ways you can prepare for joining us in Washington D.C. using some social media tools.

Hot Tip: Follow AEA on Social Media

Follow AEA on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest news surrounding the conference. We will be sharing key deadlines, education updates, and announcements about what to except during Evaluation 2017.

Hot Tip: Follow #Eval17 on Twitter

If you are active on Twitter, start following our conference hashtag, #Eval17. Many members of the evaluation community are using this hashtag to discuss their presentations and start conversations before Evaluation 2017 even starts. Don’t be shy, join the conversation!

Hot Tip: Search for Speakers

Connect with Evaluation 2017 speakers on Twitter. Many of our speakers are active on twitter and share relevant evaluation resources. Start following these speakers and make a connection before you step foot in D.C.

I hope these tips help you prepare for your trip to Evaluation 2017. Stay tuned for more tips on how to use social media and connect with AEA online during the conference. I look forward to seeing everyone in D.C.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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