As an FGS Ambassador we are provided with blogging prompts each month. Here are the responses to the questions we have been asked for June/July.
Deciding on the conference schedule depends very much on my selection of lectures which changes several times over the months prior to the conference. When the program first comes out I go through it and mark all the lectures that appeal to me. A few months later I will go through it again in a little more detail and narrow some streams down. Then a week or so before I leave I go through it for a final time and try to narrow it down to one lecture per stream.
Once I have narrowed the lectures down to hopefully one per stream, if not I hope that at least one of them is being recorded, then I decide on what exhibitors I want to visit during the conference. This can depend on what is of interest to me at the moment, new programs that have come out that I want to learn more about, new databases being released by the larger companies and sometimes it has to do with where the conference is being held and if I have any family connections to the area.
How I keep track of when and where I need to be usually starts with the small brochure that is included in our registration bag. I circle things and review the next day’s happenings the night before. In 2012 the FGS had an app that was very useful. I had it on my IPod Touch and could check at an instant where I needed to be. It made things very easy. I haven’t heard anything about this year’s app yet.
My schedule can change during the day at the conference because sometimes you are presented with an opportunity you can’t say no to or you meet up with some new friends and decide to try something different. Don’t schedule the whole conference before you go, be open to anything that may come up during conference. You never know what you might learn or who you may meet.
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