Tips for First-Time Attendees
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Before the Conference
· Registration is located in Salon B at the Hilton Chicago. Lines may be long, plan to arrive at least thirty minutesbefore your first session or event begins. You may pick up your materials beginning Tuesday evening, February 11, from 5:00 to 7:00 PM.
· Dress in layers. The temperatures in session rooms can fluctuate. Bring healthy snacks and keep a refillable water bottle on hand.
During the Conference
· Post on social media using #CAA2020. If you’re heading to a session of interest or enjoying a particular event, let other people know about it. Track the hashtag on Instagram to see a stream of conference photos.
· Keep track of your conference badge. Your badge allows you admission to all sessions, the Book and Trade Fair, and various museums and cultural institutions around the city. Don’t lose it—a replacement costs $50!
· Check times closely. The conference app will show the most up to date times and locations for all sessions, events, workshops, receptions, and other conference activities as well as cancellations. Information screens on each floor of the Hilton Chicago will show the day’s sessions and events.
· Session-hop. The speakers for each session are listed in the conference app in presentation order. All sessions are 90 minutes in length.
· There is a thirty-minute break between sessions. Give yourself enough time to move from session to session.
· Laptops and cellphones. You can use your laptop or cellphone during a session. Typing notes during a talk is okay; so is tweeting. Just be mindful of your neighbors and respectful of the presenters.
· Please silence your phone during sessions.
· Share your posts using #CAA2020.
· Ask a question. Chairs usually reserve time at the end of the session for audience questions. Write down your question in advance and make sure it’s related to the discussion. Don’t forget to state your name and your institutional affiliation. If you’d like to respond to the presentations with your own comments, talk to a speaker afterward and get their email.
· Introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you. A big part of attending the conference is networking. Before the session begins is a great time to introduce yourself and make a connection!
· Visit the SEPC Lounge. It is a place where you can network and relax, as well as find more information about CAA and the Student and Emerging Professionals Committee.
· Get involved! CAA Professional Committees and discipline-specific affiliated societies regularly host their own sessions. Attend these talks and introduce yourself to their representatives afterward.
· Partner with friends or colleagues to cover sessions happening at the same time. It’s not possible to do everything, so decide in advance who will attend each session and take notes for each other. You could then meet after the sessions, or wait until you get home, to regroup and discuss.
· Don’t spend all your time with your friends. You’re at the conference to network, so leave your comfort zone and set a goal to meet at least two new people every day. Get their business cards and jot down where you met them and what you discussed so you’ll remember later.
· Attend the Meet and Greet. First-time conference attendees, those interested in learning more about what the conference has to offer, and anyone who has arrived early are invited to attend an informal Meet and Greet on Tuesday, February 11, 6:00–8:00 PM, in Kitty O’Shea’s on the Lobby Level of the Hilton Chicago. A cash bar will be available.
· Discounts at the Book and Trade Fair. Saturday offers the biggest discounts on art books and supplies. Many Book and Trade Fair vendors offer reduced rates—anywhere from 10 to 50% off—on books, art supplies, journals, and other materials on the last day of the fair. Some publishers even allow conference attendees to reserve copies of books in advance of the Saturday sale—ask a booth representative how you can do this.
· Some Book and Trade Fair vendors extend their discounts up to a month after the conference. Collect product catalogues and paper order forms from them and make sure to use the proper discount code when ordering later.
· Mail your purchases from the Book and Trade Fair to your home address if you are traveling by plane. Ask the seller. This will prevent your luggage from breaking your airline’s weight limit. Alternatively, bring a larger suitcase with more room or an extra carry-on bag for your purchases.
After the Conference
· Follow up with your new contacts. Send an email to those you’ve networked with to follow up on a question or discussion. Connect with your new contacts on social media and extend your professional network.
· Complete the post-conference survey. After the conference ends, CAA emails a post-conference survey to all registrants. Please take a few minutes to let the association know about your experience. CAA carefully reviews survey responses as it plans future conferences and events.
· Submit a proposal for the CAA Annual Conference, New York February 10—13, 2021 During the 2020 conference, think about a proposal for a paper or presentation you’d like to submit or speak with colleagues about a session you’d like to put together. In early March 2020, CAA will open the 2021 Call for Proposals. Watch the CAA website and CAA News for more information!