I just finished the first day of my first AEA conference and so far so good. After registering for the conference I was sent off to a table with a variety of nice little descriptive colored ribbons that could be attached to my name tag. It creates a sort of infographic that lets people know some of your key interests on sight. Not a bad icebreaker, if only more participants played along.
Hot Tip: If there is no perfect session in a time slot, take a chance on something that may be outside of your comfort zone. I walked into a think tank session on Topical Interest Groups as Communities of Practice and thoroughly enjoyed the conversation. After flying in from the east coast this morning I considered just going back to my hotel room and taking a rest when I could not find my ideal session. I’m glad I decided to against that.
Rad Resource: If you’re not a twitter person but would still like to follow what people are saying about the conference on twitter, visit Eval Central. I put up a little box front and center that lets you follow all the #eval11 tweets. I’ll also be regularly blogging/cartooning about the conference on Fresh Spectrum.
Lesson Learned: There are a lot of people at the conference, which is great. But with so many people it’s hard to actually meet up with friends/colleagues without planning it first. I know this is going to change as the sessions get going but I spent a lot of time scanning large rooms of people looking for familiar faces.
If you’re looking for me, I’ll be at the Westat exhibit booth tomorrow morning from7:45to9:30on the second floor ring. Miss me there, you will definitely find me presenting at the Ignite talks Thursday evening and Friday afternoon’s Exploring Data Visualization for Evaluation session.