I’m sitting in my hotel room at the 2012 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention and Emerging Leaders Preconference in San Antonio, and I’m a little overwhelmed by the whole thing. This is not only my first time at this Convention, it’s my first multiple day conference, period.
I’ve gotten an incredible amount of amazing information and met so many people in such a short period of time. Here’s some of what I’ve learned in my few days here, and some of the best advice I’ve been given.
Bring more business cards than you think you’ll need
Never in my life have I received so many business cards. I could wallpaper my living room with the new cards in my case, and still have some left over. I’m trading cards at almost every interaction. I’ve met some folks, though, that have run out of cards, or didn’t have them with them. I’d say I’ve already forgotten about 80 percent of those people. Be memorable. Carry your cards, and bring enough.
You’re going to be hungry. It’s a given. “But Johnny,” you say, “my opening session has a breakfast, they’re providing lunch, and there’s a reception tonight. I don’t need to pig out.” It says they’re providing breakfast—it might just be a bagel and coffee. The lunch might be delicious and Texas-sized, but the speaker might be so enthralling that you only get to half of it.
By the time you get to the reception, your fellow arts admins might have descended on the poor, unsuspecting waitstaff like hyenas, leaving you with nothing but a quesadilla slice and three glasses of merlot.
You’ll be much happier if you’ve got an apple, some jerky, or a bag of Cheezits squirreled away. Read the rest of this entry »