Insider Info for Getting the Most Out of Next Week’s Annual Meeting
By Diane Rusignola
The attendee’s key to a successful conference is all about knowing the best insider information so you can get the most for your time and money. At AM&P’s Annual Meeting next Monday through Wednesday, there are so many fun and special things to know, it’s time to start taking notes.
Before you even hit the registration desk, the Ronald Reagan Building is going to hit you with its majesty and prestige. While walking through the Atrium to pick up your badge, check out Route Zenith, a neon and glass sculpture located at the eastern end, and when you can find a few spare minutes later in the week, look for the three-ton section of the Berlin Wall.
Can’t make Monday’s Master Workshops? Don’t let that stop you from hopping on the metro after work to attend the conference’s opening reception. Everyone’s invited! Show up at 5:30pm for drinks and mingling, and stay for the 35th Annual EXCEL Awards Gala. With a photo booth, DJ, and dancing under an eight-story arched glass skylight, it’s sure to be the most unforgettable EXCEL Awards Gala yet.
With the conference in full swing, hop on the free wireless connection (user name: AM&P, password: 61417) and download the meeting’s mobile app. Here you can set up a profile that will help you connect with other attendees, but also follow the #AMP15 hashtag and mix-and-match your own schedule for the week. Customize your experience by picking the courses that most relate to your day-to-day work.
Bright and early on Tuesday morning, don’t miss Mignon Fogarty a.k.a. Grammar Girl’s opening keynote address — and visit her in the exhibit hall afterward to grab a selfie with her and an autographed copy of her book. You’re pretty important at your association, right? That means you’re qualified to attend AM&P’s second annual Executive Leadership Sessions. After meeting Mignon Fogarty, it’s your second opportunity in the span of a couple hours to rub elbows with a TED Talker; Amy Webb is your Executive Leadership keynote and moderator, and she’s going to help you dive into the importance of strong technology initiatives in the association workplace.
When the hunger pangs begin to hit, grab lunch in the exhibit hall and take a stroll around to connect with more than 40 amazing companies doing work in the association publishing industry. The more you connect with, the more raffle tickets you’ll accumulate, too — bonus! But don’t leave lunch before attending the first Tweet Up of the conference. Look for the signs pointing you toward the other social butterflies. Time to put faces with the names you always see on social media!
Tuesday afternoon offers five in-depth roundtables. Sit down with other association publishers to talk tactically when it comes to cross-platform publishing, monetizing sponsored content, vendor management, and more. And end the day with drinks to wind down — maybe even dinner with a new friend? The Ronald Reagan Building’s 14th Street location in downtown D.C. is walking distance from countless eateries.
On Wednesday, the top-notch content continues. Each education session you attend qualifies for one CAE credit, so get to it! Stop in to learn about SRDS’s brand-new exclusive research in the ad sales field, or learn from digital analytics experts about how to best report your publication metrics. Turn in all of those raffle tickets for the chance to win some great prizes and take a snack break in the afternoon. Make sure to stay until the very end of the conference for a special session that dives into real-time marketing and social media used at this very conference — valuable information you can surely take back to your association for its next event.
Still not registered for the AM&P Annual Meeting? It’s not too late! Walk-ins welcome, too. And when you’re finally onsite at the meeting next week, make sure you make the most of it. There’s something for everyone in the association publishing industry. Time to find your thing.
Diane Rusignola is the associate publisher of Independent Agent magazine, the official member publication of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. She is chair of the 2015 AM&P Annual Meeting.