Saturday, June 20, 2015

Podstock 2015

Summer time is the time where I get rejuvenated and inspired at the various conferences I have the chance to attend.  My favorite conference of the summer is Podstock!

I write about Podstock every year, because I always come away with new learning, new friends, and new excitement for my the year.

Want more information about Podstock.. check out the website (and register.. you won't regret it!)

Preconference- July 15th
Conference July 16th-17th

The conference is one of the best ones yet.. but there is so much more that goes on with the conference than just the conference!

Are you attending Podstock.. check out these extras:

July 16th: The annual Podstock Gift Exchange.
Back story on the Gift Exchange.  The first ever Podstock Kevin had tweeted or Plurked out to bring something for a gift exchange. My mom helped me make an awesome Texas Gift Basket (that first year.. there were only 3 Texans that came) BUT.. no one else brought a gift to exchange. The next year began the official gift exchange.  All you need to bring is a gift that is $25 or less that represents you, your school, or your area.  It is highly encouraged that you actually make your item (you won't be kicked out if you buy it though too :)  This is one of my favorite parts, because it is so much fun to hear about all the different stories on why the items were chosen.  I am already working on mine!  If you join.. make sure that is an item that can travel back with someone that might be flying.

Another extra is the Podstock Photowalk.  The photowalk will take place on Friday July 17th. We will meet in the Old Town Hotel foyer at 7am.  Although this is early it is the PERFECT time to walk around and be a tourist.  Have you been a part of the photowalk before.. this year we are putting on an extra twist to those that attend!  I can't wait to use my new camera for this one.  It is a great way to be a tourist, meet new people and stretch your legs before the day of learning.

The Make, Create, Do, Teach (MCDT) Scavenger Hunt will be up and running again this year.  More information on that to come!

Tips on Surviving Conferences:

- Wear clothes that you are comfortable in.  I always love meeting new people and I love wearing cute clothes, but I try to remember where I am.. how is the weather.. what kind of activities will I be doing.  I have discovered that I am okay wearing t-shirt and shorts, but I still want to be somewhat professional- you never know who you will run into.
-Pack snacks and water! I often times drive to the various conferences that I attend.. so I pack my own and leave in the room.  If I have to fly, the first stop I make is to a local convenience store to grab water bottles, breakfast bars and snacks.  I also try to take a reusable water bottle.  (Podstock is one of those different conferences as they always have the BEST brownies, sodas, and water between sessions!)
-Be okay with missing a sessions.  I have discovered that I am an introvert.. and I need a little down time between sessions.  If you feel like you are going to miss something follow the Twitter feed.
-Be okay with meeting new people and inviting yourself to sit with people you don't know.  With most people wearing a badge or a certain shirt.. you automatically know that you will have a topic to talk about.  This is a great ice breaker and a way to step outside your comfort zone.

A HUGE TIP I HAVE- conferences are a fun place to be.. and there are lots of fun things going on.. just remember your social media usage.  If you are enjoying different adult things.. be careful what pictures you post.  Take a moment to frame your pictures so you can still show you are having fun.. but you are doing it "appropriately"

Just a couple of friendly suggestions and reminders.  My favorite part about Podstock.. is that I get to put on a costume one evening.  This year it is Steampunk! Who knew that the Victorian costume that I used when volunteering at the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum Christmas Open House would come in handy again! Still needs work.. but it is a great start! I can't wait to start sharing the other things I have up my sleeves for the conference!

What are your tips and tricks for surviving conferences?  Do you have a favorite conference?

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