By Kathleen Federici, MEd

Are you ready? It’s here! Next week thousands of our friends, friends we have yet to meet, and colleagues will be gathered together in Anaheim for the IPMI Conference & Expo.

You might find it helpful to search Anaheim in your LinkedIn contacts and send some personal emails to people that you might want to meet while there–you can also message fellow IPMI members through Forum, or start a conversation there asking who’s going and what they’re planning. Send a message using Twitter saying that you’ll be at the IPMI Conference in Anaheim, Calif., and let people know you’re coming. Especially if this is your first time at the Conference, you might be able to strike up friendships/contacts ahead of time. Perhaps even mention some of your business interests, exhibitors, or sponsors that you are looking to meet. Download the IPMI2019 app and reach out directly via its message function!

Before you go, tie up loose ends and make sure your workload is controlled so you can focus on the event. Know the weather forecast. I was surprised to see that the 10-day forecast has the evening temperature in the 50 degrees. Pack the right shoes. The Convention Center is large and if you are like me, you can get grumpy wearing uncomfortable footwear! Make sure your playlist is ready for the time you’ll be in the air.

Prepare for the experience you want. Check out the schedule here and write down what is appealing. Or download the Conference app and check out all there is to do each day! You can click on Agenda in the app and create your schedule there. However, it is key to be flexible with your schedule and allow opportunities to arise. Note that some of the education sessions fill quickly–get your seat early! Enjoy yourself. This doesn’t happen again until next year! Pack your business cards and follow up with colleagues or friends once Conference ends.

If you are like me, you have already started to prepare for Conference and the time away from the workplace and family. I’m ready!

Kathleen Federici, MEd, is IPMI’s director of professional development.