7 tips to Get the Most out of ISTE 2017

Let me guess, ISTE first timer? Maybe second. And you arrive, waiting, checking your phone. Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Awkward. So we asked our favorite presenters at ISTE what is the one thing they make sure to take with them to a conference. Here’s what they told us…

1. Conversation Starters

‘What do you do?’ or ‘Where are you from?’, typical conversation killers. These conversations are always as boring as short. You will get tired of answering these questions. If you want to change it up a bit maybe start with a ‘any good info on the sessions today?’ or ‘Aren’t you excited about the keynote speaker coming up today?’. Network through excitement and common interests! You will get much deeper connections.

2. A Journal/Desktop app During Lectures

If you aren’t taking notes, you aren’t learning. It doesn’t matter how you take notes, but take them! It is useful to go back on those key insights to consolidate the learning. We recommend Google Keep, integrated with your google account and all your apps for education!

3. Portable Battery Chargers.

You will be on your phone and laptop. A lot. You will want to tweet out, share with your colleagues how much you are learning and how valuable this experience is. To not lose that, always carry a portable charger to ensure you will have enough power to get through the day.

4. A Game Plan/ The ISTE App

Don’t lose focus on what you’re really there for. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed — or even underwhelmed — by the workshops, keynotes and people to meet. Review the conference agenda and highlight the most relevant sessions on the ISTE app to help you stay on track. Research the people who are attending and schedule meetings to get some networking done!

5. Be Vulnerable

We all get tired of shallow empty small talks in which we exchange contact info, knowing that this is just a formality. We are not ever contacting each other. Attending a conference can be intimidating, no doubt. The more willing you are to work with this discomfort, the more you will be able to connect. Simply starting a conversation with ‘This is my first conference, any tips?’ can bring an awesome discussion and who knows, maybe even a great planning partner!

6. Your 30-Second Pitch

The question you’re going to get asked the most is “what do you do”. Make sure you have a clear and concise 30-second pitch that communicates who you are and, more importantly, what you are looking for. Most people say what they do, but very few say what they are looking for.

7. Mints to Share

Talk about an incredible icebreaker! If you struggle to start a conversation, a mint can be a great excuse! This will win you friends and breath-taking conversations ;) Try having one while you’re chatting with a group…someone will notice and get a bit insecure about their breath and most likely ask you for one. Next, you’re chatting on co-curriculum planning!

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