In Part 1 of this series I shared many posts written by fellow #asae10 bloggers about their thoughts and preparations in advance of the ASAE Annual Meeting. With only a few days remaining before the meeting, here are some suggestions for things to add to your to-do list. Thoughtful of me, huh?

The Big Picture

First, think about why you’re going to this meeting. What are your goals? My goals this year are very different from last year. Last year I had just moved to Raleigh and was seeking an association position. This year I’m settled in and building a consulting business specializing in social media. I’m eager to see friends from last year and meet new ones. If you ask what most excites me about the association world, it’s my smart, fun and generous online association community, that’s what makes me grin. I’m also looking forward to the education and discussions that will get my brain clicking. And I’m hoping to find opportunities to give social media tips and advice to others, just a few minutes here and there so I feel that I’m giving as well as receiving during the meeting. I’m not going to LA with thoughts of sales and marketing. This experience is more for my brain and heart than for my wallet. Wise? Who knows, but it feels right.

My friend Camden Watts recently wrote a post that got me thinking about writing this series and sharing my goals. She wrote in anticipation of attending a social media conference here in North Carolina.

I also like this post by Dawn Foster about staying productive while at a conference. She advises us to stay focused on our goals and our purpose for attending, and to not multitask.

Valeria Maltoni shares excellent ideas for 21  things you can do at a conference. This is a list I will read over and over — really good advice.

Social Media

Your next stop is the Engage page on the meeting website. If you blog or tweet, add your URLs to those rolls. You can also download a badge for your blog or website. Also, check out ASAE’s meeting newsfeed page (the Hub) and its mobile version. Bookmark that. Check out the iPhone store for the FollowMe ASAE app. I have heard rumors of a Blackberry one coming but not sure if that’s expected before the meeting.

If you’re not already subscribed to ASAE’s blog Acronym, make sure you do. You can subscribe to an email or RSS feed for your Google Reader.

If you’re on Twitter, set up a search column in your Tweetdeck, Hootsuite or application of your choosing for #asae10 – the hashtag for the meeting. If you’re not on Twitter, you’re missing out on many professional development, networking and relationship building and reputation management benefits. Learn how to set up an account and create your profile.

On LinkedIn, let others know you’ll be attending by RSVPing for the ASAE Annual Meeting event.

Make sure your online profiles (website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn and any others) are up-to-date.

Save the attendee list to the computer you are bringing to the meeting. Review the list to see if anyone you know is attending. Check for those from your state. Is your SAE having a reception? If not, see if you can arrange an informal meet-up.

Your Schedule

Make a tentative schedule of social events and educational sessions you’d like to attend. I’m selecting my top three sessions for each time slot and noting the reasons why I want to go, so when I’m on site, I don’t forget and attend something else less meaningful and valuable. If I have time, I plan to check some of the handouts. I’d also like to have time to check out some of the speakers’ social media presence to see if they have blogs, SlideShare presentations or active Twitter accounts. Their online content might give me the information I need to make a decision between sessions.

Review the list of exhibitors and note the ones to visit. You can also make appointments to talk to them in the Business Connection Lounge.

Finally, see if anyone else is arriving at LAX the same time as you and arrange to meet up and share a cab. So, is anyone arriving at LAX around 4:30pm on Saturday? Contact me by email (deirdre.reid.nc at gmail.com) or Twitter if you are and we can exchange phone numbers and hope the sky gods grant us on-time arrivals.

The Packing List

You’re on your own with the clothing, accessories and all that, but here are a few items to add to your list.

  • Your laptop, netbook or (suppressing envy) your iPad.
  • Lots of business cards – do they include your social media profiles?
  • Cell phone charger and computer power cord
  • An extension cord and power strip in case you’re far from a plug and running out of juice
  • Good reading for the possibly long flights and layovers
  • Journal or notebook to capture all your brilliant ideas when you don’t want to pull out your laptop

Do you have any tips, ideas or items for the to-do and packing lists that you can share with us?