LAWG Week: David J. Bernstein and Valerie Caracelli on the Local Arrangements Activities for Evaluation 2013

We are David J. Bernstein, Senior Study Director with Westat, an employee-owned research and evaluation company and Valerie Caracelli, Senior Social Science Analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). We are honored to be the Local Arrangements Working Group (LAWG) Co-Chairs for the upcoming 2013 AEA Conference. The LAWG is a group of 74 volunteers working on several subcommittees (Local Orientation, Diversity, International, AEA 365, Capitol Hill) to make your conference rewarding, educational, and enjoyable.

When you are in the registration area, stop by the LAWG table and say hello. Volunteers will provide information about the area and answer questions, including “Where can I get a quick bite to eat?” (just south on Connecticut Avenue are Bethesda Bagels, Cosi, Five Guys Burgers, and Chipotle); “Where is the nearest pharmacy?” (Rite Aid is one block south on Connecticut Avenue), and “Where are the nearest coffee shops?” (the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is in the Hilton; Filter Coffeehouse and Espresso Bar is nearby on 20th St NW).? There are lots of other options too. How do we know?

Hot Tip: With the support of Washington Evaluators (WE), the local AEA affiliate, the LAWG created three guides about DC. The DC Restaurant Guide has suggestions for quick bites, local favorites, and group friendly restaurants, including a “look it up yourself” section with links to do your own searches; a Getting Around DC Resource Guide with tips on traveling around DC, including public transportation information; and the Suggestions for Your Leisure Time Guide detailing activities for before and after the conference and in the evenings. Bookmark the Conference website for links to the guides. If you have questions at the Conference look for members of the LAWG (and our local friends) wearing the “Ask Me About DC” ribbons.

First Time Attendee Tip: In the registration area pick up a First Time Attendee ribbon for your name tag, and then marvel as total strangers start saying hello and asking how your conference is going. Look for the friendly evaluators wearing a “Conference Ambassador” ribbon. They are experienced evaluators and AEA members, and they’ve volunteered to answer your questions.

International Attendee Tip: The International and Cross-Cultural Topical Interest Group and the LAWG International Sub-Committee are sponsoring an International Buddy Program (IBP).  Those wishing to volunteer to serve as a buddy to an international visitor or international visitors interested in having an AEA buddy for the conference can learn more and sign up at the International Attendees Webpage.

Need More Information? The AEA Conference website has other useful information about the conference, including a conference schedule, searchable program, information on pre-sessions, accommodations, and even more conference activities.

davidValWe look forward to seeing you in October. You’ll recognize us…we’ll be wearing Conference Ambassador and Ask Me About DC ribbons!

This is the last of three weeks this year sponsored by our Local Arrangements Working Group (LAWG) for Evaluation 2013, the American Evaluation Association Annual Conference coming up next month in Washington, DC, October 14-19 at the Washington Hilton. They’re sharing not only evaluation expertise from in and around our nation’s capital, but also tips for enjoying your time in DC. 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 contribute to aea365? Review the contribution guidelines and send your draft post to

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