2015 MACUL Conference - Tipsheet #3

The MACUL Conference is just over a week away!  This is the third tip sheet in a series of 4 to help you get ready for Michigan’s largest education conference.

Today I'm sharing some general tips for getting the most out of the conference.

Checking In: Checking in on Thursday morning can be overwhelming!  Here are some bits of advice to avoid missing the opening keynote session (you don’t want to miss George Couros on Leading Innovative Change - he will truly inspire you!):
  • If you come into Detroit Wednesday prior to 5pm, go to registration then instead of waiting until Thursday
  • If you come into Detroit Thursday morning, registration opens at 7 am Thursday - plan to get there around that time to avoid long lines

Getting Help: There are over 100 volunteers (including myself!) available to help you if you have questions during the conference.  If you are unsure of anything, please ask!  Ways you can identify people that can help:
  • People carrying around “Ask Me” signs
  • People wearing shirts that have the MACUL logo on them - on Thursday most of the MACUL leadership team will even be wearing plum (purple) MACUL shirts
  • People with lots of ribbons attached to their name badges (not all of these people are official volunteers - but they probably have the experience to direct you to the right place!)

To Stay or Not To Stay?:  You may get into a sessions and 5 minutes in know that it really wasn’t what you thought it was about.  At this conference we ENCOURAGE you to quietly get up, exit and make your way to another session you had targeted. This conference is about your learning - do not be held hostage by politeness into losing 60 minutes of your precious time!

Network, Network, Network: Take time to connect with others!  It may be hard for you, but it is so worth getting to know many of the great educators there are in our the state. When to network?:
  • There is always a half hour between sessions - part of this time can be used to chat with other people are attending the same session, even the presenters.  I don’t even know of a featured speaker that doesn’t enjoy talking to conference participants!
  • Thursday’s lunch is a longer period so you can go through the exhibit hall - and for the SIGs (Special Interest Groups) to have their annual meetings and lunch.  Look up the SIGs and see if one fits your interests - it’s a great way to meet new people! Just prior to the lunch break, the SIGs will be available in the SPARK session area so you can meet some of the officers and ask questions
  • Use the social events - the party Thursday evening, spur of the moment Tweet-up gatherings (follow #MACUL15 on twitter for these!), and vendor sponsored events are all great ways to connect with each other.

Be Comfortable: You will probably do LOTS of walking during this conference.  Please dress comfortably so you can fully enjoy it!  Many of us will be wearing comfortable pants - like khakis - with comfortable shirts - such as polos.  Most importantly - wear shoes that stay comfortable on your feet for the full day.

Looking forward to seeing you at the conference!

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