Information and Tips for First-Time Attendees


Welcome to your first AACRAO Annual Meeting!  We are excited to have you join us in Minneapolis for our 103rd Annual Meeting. This is a great opportunity for you to further your personal and professional growth. Take advantage of all that is offered: 

Attend the Orientation and Welcome
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Don’t miss the AACRAO First-Time Attendees’ Orientation and Welcome, on Sunday, April 2, 3:15 – 4:45 p.m.  This is an opportunity for you to meet other first-time attendees, enjoy light refreshments, and learn more about AACRAO.  Many say the best part of the orientation is the small group discussions led by long-time AACRAO members. An invitation will be sent to all first-time attendees prior to the meeting. 

Seek Out the Minneapolis and Orlando Booths
Minneapolis-based colleagues staff the hospitality booth and can give you recommendations for sightseeing, restaurants, and shopping. They are experts on all that the city has to offer!  Pick up some local swag and maybe win a prize or two!  Be sure to visit the Orlando publicity  booth as well -- the 2018 Annual Meeting planners are excited to showcase their city for next year's meeting!  

Don’t Be Shy
AACRAO is a friendly group. All AACRAO members, officers, past presidents, regional hosts, and committee members will welcome your questions. If they don’t know an answer, they will find out for you. Just ask!

Be Visible
Attend your state or regional reception on Tuesday evening. Times, days, and locations will be posted in the onsite program…so join in! You will meet some great new people and see some familiar faces as well.

Visit the Exhibitors
The very latest in equipment, software, and other ‘tools of the trade’ are displayed in the Exhibit Hall. Note the hours of operation in the onsite program. Vendor exhibits are an integral part of the Annual Meeting. Pick up some free samples or ideas, talk with vendors about new products, see equipment and software demonstrations, learn how vendor products can work for you, and get some great ideas to take back to the office.

Read the Daily Update
The Daily Update provides last minute reminders and information on changes/cancellations/additions to the overall program. The first update is available at the registration area. Subsequent flyers are printed daily and distributed at registration and other locations throughout the convention center. 

Attend as Many Sessions as You Can
Start with the opening general session and plan your time from there. The workshops and sessions at the annual meeting cover a range of topics. There is something to suit every professional interest!  With the exception of workshops and ticketed events, you are free to attend whichever sessions you choose. If you signed up for a workshop/reception/luncheon requiring pre-registration and/or an additional fee, a receipt is included in your registration packet. The AACRAO Engage mobile app is a great tool to help you plan your days!

Offer Your Suggestions
Be sure to complete an evaluation for every session you attend. There will be a session evaluation notepad in your bag and you can also submit evaluation through the AACRAO Engage mobile app. Also, shortly after the conference, AACRAO will e-mail attendees a brief electronic survey to provide feedback on all aspects of the Annual Meeting. Please give it some thought, complete the form, and return it promptly as instructed. And by all means, be candid in your responses. Your suggestions are taken into consideration when planning future meetings. 

Be Creative and Have Fun
Make the Annual Meeting work for you! Seek out and attend sessions, which will do you the most good. Save some time for enjoyment and relaxation. Make time to see the city. Visit some local sights, catch a show, or try some restaurants with your new friends. You will find that you return to the office refreshed and energized with new ways of thinking about how you do things. Above all, have a successful conference.

Get Involved in AACRAO!
Contact people you met at the conference. Exchange information. Volunteer your talents to an AACRAO committee -- you can apply online. Attend local, state, and regional conferences and workshops. Share your expertise and experiences through program sessions and projects. You are a valuable part of the AACRAO network.  We have created a First-Time Attendee Handbook that outlines the “who and what” of AACRAO, things to know about, and how to get involved. It's a valuable resource! 

We hope you will make the most out of your time in Minneapolis and that you will return to the 2018 Annual Meeting in Orlando as a seasoned expert!