This will be my first trip to NECC, but I've attended other conferences in the past. My favorites are CUE (Computer Using Educators Conference, in Palm Springs), and the ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) conference I attended in Chicago. Good times and a wealth of learning opportunities.

Here are a few tips to share for your conference experience.

1. Get comfortable.

The conference experience is an exciting one, but think about it. You will be walking a lot. Sitting a lot. Prepare yourself. Bring comfortable walking shoes. Bring snacks and water. Dress casually for the humid weather. Check out the weather forecast here.

2. Bring your laptop.

Sure, using your cell phone would be easier for travel. However, this is a technology conference. You will be absorbing a great deal of valuable information. Do you really want to be thumbing it all on your cell phone? Bring the laptop in a comfy bag so you can type away.

3. Plan ahead.

Attending a conference like NECC can be overwhelming! Sure, you can just show up and hope for the best. If you want to make the most of it though, plan ahead. Choose workshops and post them in a GoogleDoc or use the NECC planner. Then pull it up on your laptop (or cell phone) during the conference.

4. Check out the social networks sharing information about the conference.

NECC Ning: The Community Network

ISTE Connects

Twitter hashtags: #necc, #necc09, #edubloggercon

Blog Tags: bloggingnecc

5. Be flexible.

If you are not sure about a session, sit in the far back and sneak out to another one if it doesn't meet your needs. I used to think this was rude. It is if you sit in the front. Otherwise, be discreet. Presenters know you paid a lot to be there. Make sure you are in a place where you are learning.

6. Attend the Debate

Joe Corbett just posted the names of the panelists for this year's Oxford Debate, taking place at NECC. Read his blogpost for more details. I am so excited to hear from Michael Horn, Cheryl Lemke, Brad Jupp, and Gary Stager.

* Tuesday, June 30, 8:30–9:45 am (live audience of 4,000)

* At the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Ballrooms A–C, Level Three

7. Network!

Yes, the sessions are great, but the networking in between is awesome! You don't have to attend every session. Take time to meet people and network in one of the lounge areas or attend a playground. Bring business cards and pass them out to people that you connect with. It is great when you can contribute to someone's experience, collaborate on a future project, or allow then to help you when you need it. Build a community. Add to your PLN.

8. Take time to blog.

You are fortunate to be able to attend NECC. With recent budget cuts and financial strain on our economy, there are many that could not attend NECC that would have wanted to. Contribute by sharing your experience. Keep notes in a GoogleDoc during workshops. Stop by the blogger's cafe to write about what you've learned. Pass along links, files and ideas in a blog post. Share the love.

If you want to follow the conference through your colleagues blogs,...

If you plan to blog about NECC like I do, add your name to the Google Spreadsheet.

Check out: David Warlick's 2cents on How to Web 2.0 your NECC 09

Add your stuff to: coolcatteacher's Slideshare Group

9. Make time for fun.

Besides the obvious touring and sight-seeing opportunities, there are other great events taking place during the conference. Some will be organized on the spot. Here is a list of a few events that are already planned. Please add more to the comment section that we'll want to know about!

EduBloggerCon 2009: The all-day "unconference" for educational bloggers and members of Classroom 2.0. This is a free event with the space donated by More information at!

EduBloggerCon 2009 & Classroom 2.0 Meetup: Steve Hargadon is the founder of Classroom 2.0. Celebrate CR 2.0's Ning growing to 25,000 members. There will even be a virtual option for joining the party. All virtual snacks welcomed!

Tweet-Up: Registration is closed. Check out the link as a reminder, if you already signed up for this event.

Storm the Hill: Registration is closed. Check out the link as a reminder, if you already signed up for this event.

NECC Unplugged: Sign up to present, either on-site or virtually.

10. Create a Google Map Tour

Take time to recharge so you can have energy for the busy schedule. Consider creating a Google Map to create place markers for all of the restaurants you want to try. Add the airport, hotels, and the convention center. Or, leave that personal information out so you can share.

Load your Google Tour with a great list of food, drink, and cultural experiences to check out. The Washington Post has a helpful site for restaurants, movies, mus... Click here to start your search for fun. Use the collaborate tab to share your map with friends.

Have any more tips to add to the list? Share them here!

Views: 63

Tags: ISTE, NECC, NECC09, conferences, edubloggercon, necc_unplugged

Comment by Peter Lane on June 24, 2009 at 10:35pm
As one of those who is feeling the pinch of the economy (and unable to attend even free conferences), I look forward to seeing what you pick up while in DC. Blog early and often...
Comment by Donelle on June 25, 2009 at 11:04pm
Will do!

Did you know you can attend virtually? Here are links for Edubloggercon (Saturday) and NECC Unplugged. (Sunday-Wednesday)


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