Tuesday, June 18, 2024

First-Time #ISTELive Attendees: Your Ultimate Guide to a Successful Conference

Are you ready for an exciting, inspiring, and jam-packed week at ISTE in Denver? As a first-time attendee, you might feel a mix of excitement and a bit of overwhelm. Fear not! Here’s your ultimate guide to making the most of your ISTE experience.

1. Wear Comfortable Shoes

ISTE is a massive event, spread out across multiple venues. You'll be on your feet a lot, walking from session to session, exploring the expo hall, and networking with fellow educators. Comfortable shoes are a must! Leave the fancy footwear at home and opt for something supportive and broken-in to keep your feet happy all day long.

2. Stay Hydrated

Denver's altitude can be a bit of a shock to the system if you're not used to it. Combine that with the hustle and bustle of the conference, and staying hydrated becomes crucial. Carry a refillable water bottle with you and take advantage of water stations throughout the venue. Your body (and mind) will thank you.

3. Plan Your Sessions in Advance

The ISTE schedule is packed with incredible sessions, workshops, and keynotes. Take some time before the conference to review the schedule and select the sessions you don't want to miss. Note the locations of these sessions to avoid any last-minute scrambles. Having a game plan will help you make the most of your time and ensure you catch the presentations most relevant to your interests. Check out this AI Tool created by SchoolAI that can help plan your schedule for you!

4. Explore the Expo Hall

The vendor expo is a treasure trove of the latest educational technology and resources. Make it a point to visit the vendors, learn about new products, and collect information that could benefit your school or classroom. It is sometimes nice to take this as an opportunity to chat with a friend and see what is out there in the tech world. 

5. Engage with Presenters

Presenters at ISTE are passionate about their topics and love engaging with attendees. Don’t be shy about asking questions during sessions or approaching presenters afterward. We genuinely enjoy interacting with attendees and hearing your thoughts, questions, and ideas. Your curiosity could spark an interesting conversation and lead to valuable connections. Do not be afraid to tag presenters in posts during the session. Just at @TheNerdyTeacher to anything you find interesting during a session and share it out. 

6. Check for Vendor Booth Sessions

Many vendors host special sessions right at their booths, offering deep dives into their products and how they can be used in the classroom. These sessions can be incredibly informative and often provide a more intimate setting for learning. Keep an eye on the vendor booth schedules for any sessions that pique your interest.

7. Pace Yourself

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and try to do everything. Remember, it’s okay to take breaks and recharge. Find a quiet spot to sit for a few minutes, grab a coffee, or simply take a walk outside for some fresh air. Pacing yourself ensures you’ll stay energized and make the most of the entire conference.

8. Have Fun!

ISTE is not just about learning—it's also about having fun and building connections. Attend the social events, parties, and informal gatherings. These are fantastic opportunities to meet new people, share experiences, and make lasting memories. Embrace the camaraderie, enjoy the atmosphere, and make the most of every moment.

Final Thoughts

Attending ISTE in Denver for the first time is an incredible opportunity to learn, network, and grow as an educator. By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate the conference, make meaningful connections, and have an unforgettable experience. See you in Denver!