I’ve made my to-do list to prepare for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Annual Meeting & Exposition in Toronto starting this weekend, and decided to share it with all of you. I did many of these things long ago, but wanted to give you some ideas about what to do before leaving for ASAE09.

Laptop – Download Tweetdeck. Create search column for #asae09 (official Twitter hashtag). Follow association tweeps who are also attending.

Blackberry – Download UberTwitter. Create bookmark for ASAE’s Hub and authorize my Twitter account on the My Contributions page.

ASAE resources

  • Add myself to the Twitter and Bloggers page in the Engage section. Add the ASAE badge to my blog.
  • Send my blog feed URL to Scott Briscoe at ASAE. I’ll be tagging any conference blog posts with ASAE09 so they’ll show up in the Hub’s Newsfeed.
  • Save the attendee list to my laptop. Search for those attending from North Carolina as I’m new to the state and want to meet my fellow NC attendees. Upload to Gmail and then Twitter so I can follow them.
  • Review handouts for sessions – this helps me make some decisions on which to attend. Save and print the ones that interest me. What do I want to learn about or explore?

Schedule

  • Enter my “must do” events into my Blackberry Calendar.
  • Create a Word doc of “must do” and possible events for my binder.
  • Think about issues and questions related to sessions I might attend.
  • Create list of booths that I definitely want to visit.

LinkedIn – Add travel dates using TripIt app. Update status while I’m there.

Research and find a few nearby brewpubs (or places with local beer), coffee shops and moderately-priced restaurants.

Call Verizon to activate my SIMS card, Global Data Feature and Nationwide+Canada for the time I’m in Canada – will cost less than $10 for this temporary addition to my regular plan. Will call *228 (option 2) before leaving the US on Saturday morning.

Call my bank and credit card company to notify them that I’ll be in Toronto so they won’t deny any debit or credit card transactions originating there. Stop my mail using the USPS web site.

Back up my laptop C drive to my external hard drive.

Items on my packing list

  • Laptop and cable, extension cord, power strip, Ethernet cable (just in case)
  • Blackberry and charger
  • Business cards
  • Binder with program guide, conference badge/express check-in doc, travel docs (itinerary, flight boarding pass and coach e-ticket, Southwest schedule between Buffalo and Raleigh/phone number, Coach Canada schedule between Toronto and Buffalo/phone number), miscellaneous docs, my schedule
  • Passport

Figure out my transportation options from Coach Canada terminal to hotel. Print out my Southwest boarding pass 24 hours ahead. Weigh my bag so I avoid any fees for excess weight.

This short period of time will bring many opportunities to connect with old friends, meet online friends in real life and make new friends. It’s a time to learn together and share crazy ideas, thoughts and challenges. It’s a time to be a sponge and absorb as much as you can from both the sessions and social gatherings. Get into conference mode as soon as you start traveling there – you may meet some fellow attendees on the way!

And remember, wear comfortable shoes, try to eat somewhat healthy, talk to strangers, don’t drink too much and get a decent amount of sleep each night. Oh, and have fun!

What did I miss? Please let me know in the comments. What are you doing this week to prepare for ASAE09? Let’s help each other make this the best experience possible.