2016 #MACUL Conference - Tipsheet 4

(This is the final tipsheet in the series of 4 to help you prepare for one of MACUL’s largest conferences ever!) 

Here are some other tidbits that might help you out as you arrive at the conference next week:

  • Layout: The Amway/Devos layout can be very confusing as it is two separate buildings.  

    • The Devos Hall has rooms on the main floor, and two additional floors that are accessible by escalators/elevators on either end of the hall. To help you understand how names match locations - River Overlook rooms overlook the river, Gallery Overlook rooms overlook the atrium area, Grand Gallery open into the atrium area, the Ballrooms are at the end of the atrium on the river side of the building.
    • There are two main areas for rooms at Amway - the end of the building where the skywalk connects and the Monroe Ave entrance is, and the middle of the building where the atrium and swanky shops are
    • The rooms at the end of the building are on multiple levels, and can be reached by stairs or elevator if needed.  These include: Pantilind Ballroom, Governors Room, Vandenberg Rooms, Imperial Ballroom, Ford Ballroom, along with smaller rooms Lyon, Campau and Robinson
    • The rooms further in the building are somewhat trickier to find - check out the map as they are on the atrium level, lobby level, 2nd level and 3rd level.  The largest of the remaining rooms is the Ambassador Ballroom.

  • Getting Around Town: There are three ways most people attending the conference use to get around town -

    • Walking: Many people walk between their hotels and the conference.  The skywalk makes this much nicer if the weather is cold. If you are attending by yourself, you should easily be able to find a group to join between popular locations - just let them know you are heading in the same direction and I am sure they will welcome you.  I’m amazed at the number of times I join a group to find out that everyone in the group has just met each other in the last 15 minutes.  You might do some of your best networking during these walks!
    • Shuttles: MACUL will be running shuttles from the following overflow hotels to Amway/Devos: Country Inn & Suites, Hampton Inn & Suites - Downtown, Hampton Inn & Suites - South, Hyatt Place, Prince Conference Center. Some other local hotels may also offer shuttle service.  Be sure to ask at the front desk when checking in if this is a service you might want to use.
    • Driving: some people do drive.  You have the parking deck across from the Amway hotel on Pearl Street.  There is additional parking around, but not so conveniently located.  
  • Parking: Parking will be at a premium with so many people descending on the area at the same time.  I would make sure to plan on some extra time to both secure parking and get to where you need to be in the case you have to cover a little more distance than anticipated.
Additionally, make sure to check out these special events going on at the conference - 
    • Exhibit Hall - the exhibit hall is where you can find vendors...but there is more-
      • REMC $ave game: In your bag at checkin you will get a “game piece” from the REMC $ave team - play to win many cool prizes!
    • Makerspace - a hit last year, this year the Makerspace will be held both Thursday and Friday
    • Student Technology Showcase - come see some projects by student led teams
    • Showcase Theater - poster sessions by 20+ educators, come to one area and take away many ideas in a short period of time
    • MACUL Party - MACUL is turning 40! Join us in celebrating on Thursday 7:30-10:30 at the Grand Rapids Public Museum! 
    • Other social events - if you belong to other special groups (such as the DEN) you might watch your email as they often have special events in the evening or day
Looking forward to seeing you!  Hope you have a fantastic time and learn lots.

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