44 | COMMUNITY COLLEGE JOURNAL AACC.NCHE.EDU
Make the most of your
By Tabitha Whissemore
It can be overwhelming to attend the
American Association of Community
Colleges’ (AACC) annual convention—
seeing 2,000 of your peers in one place,
choosing from hundreds of sessions to
attend and navigating a large hotel and
convention center. And, many times, you
are doing this while trying to stay on top of
your day-to-day work. Here are five ways
to make your convention experience more
DOWNLOAD THE AACC CONVENTION
APP. The mobile app for the AACC convention is ready to download on your
iPhone, iPad, or Android, directly from
this site: https://crowd.cc/s/AgOg. Apple
and Android users can also search
for the app in the i Tunes store or Play
store. Once installed, you’ll have instant
access to the full convention schedule,
social sharing on Twitter and LinkedIn,
detailed information about speakers,
exhibitors and sponsors, as well as
maps of the convention hotel. You will
be able to plan your own schedule by
saving sessions to your schedule. You’ll
also receive notifications if there are
last-minute changes to the schedule.
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX. This year,
the convention will feature two new
types of sessions: ED Talks and working
sessions. The ED Talk, like the famous
TED Talk, features short ( 18 minutes or
less) presentations that highlight either
a big idea supporting student success,
a tech demo or a small idea that offers
an engaging take on an interesting
topic. Working sessions bring together
creative problem solvers to address
a specific problem. These sessions
focus on issues, such as organizational
strategy, that would benefit from a
collective, dynamic solution approach.
You can also stop by the AACC booth in
the exhibit hall to chat with staff. There
will be designated times to meet with
AACC’s government relations team,
communications staff, workforce development team and others. Check the app
for the schedule.
GET SOCIAL. Are you on Twitter? Make
sure to follow AACC at @Comm_College
to get news as it happens and see photos.
Did you attend a great session or hear from
a dynamic speaker? Tweet about it using
#aacc2017. You can also search by that
hashtag to see what your colleagues are
saying about their convention experience.
GO OLD-SCHOOL SOCIAL, TOO. It’s
great to reconnect with friends and
former colleagues. But the convention is also the perfect opportunity to
expand your network. Use the sessions
as an excuse to strike up a conversation with someone you’ve never met. At
the plenary sessions, sit next to people
from other colleges. Just by being at
the convention, you’ve proven you have
something in common. So, don’t forget
your business cards!
SHARE THE LEARNING. It’s easy to get
excited about new ideas while you’re
away from campus, but once you’re
back into the day-to-day routine of
work, sometimes those new ideas fall
to the wayside. While you’re at the
convention, write down two or three
takeaways that you want to share with
staff and faculty at your college. Make
sure to share these things within
the first week or two of your return,
while they’re still fresh in your mind.
If these are ideas that could make a
difference on your campus, it’s worth
taking the time to explore them.
One last tip: Wear comfortable shoes.
That one speaks for itself.
See you in New Orleans!