Have you heard? There IS a best-kept secret at MACUL, one that most people do not think about, and one that is SO easy to find once you’re here… Did I mention it’s free once you get to the conference? So what’s the best-kept secret? Spit it out already, you’re saying! The best-kept secret? It’s the NETWORKING opportunities. The best thing you can do at MACUL19 is NETWORK with other people at the conference. Here are five suggestions to get into the groove of networking at the conference!
Come prepared to the conference by signing up for a Twitter account.
There are really two reasons to sign up for a Twitter account.
A) It’s a great way to find other active users who are sharing resources and #MACUL19 is the Twitter hashtag we will use throughout the conference. People in sessions tweet out all kinds of resources and it’s a very robust hashtag! It’s especially helpful if there’s a particular session you want to go to but can only choose one, there’s a really good chance that the session’s resources will be tweeted out… People from around the world follow the hashtag to see all the resources, and you should, too.
B) Find new people to network with virtually.
Sit next to someone you don’t know at a session, and introduce yourself.
I’m calling you out… It’s easy to fall into the trap of going to sessions that your colleagues are going to because you don’t know anyone else… Pick the sessions based on YOUR needs as a learner, even if you don’t know anyone going to that session. Sit by someone else who is a “single”, too, and introduce yourself. Note the “introduce yourself”… Introducing yourself is KEY! You have a twitter account now, so share your twitter handle and “follow” each other!
MACUL19 can open the door to an entirely new PLN, and sometimes, new friends!
Go to the MACUL Party at Punch Bowl Social!
Not only do you get to see your new PLN in a different context, the party is at PUNCH BOWL SOCIAL, Y’ALL… A mix of vintage arcade, billiards, bowling, jenga, shuffleboard, karaoke. I know you’re in now, right? Don’t have anyone to come with you?
Reach out to me! I’ll be hosting a get together at the party for those who are solo, and we can do lots of networking! (Seriously, send me an email that you’re interested in meeting up – )
Get your booty to the exhibits!
The exhibits are not just there to give out free stuff, they are your opportunity to learn about all the new, updated and exciting things on the EdTech horizon. Look at the floor map before you come and see which booths you’ll get the most out of for your situation in education. Then, make an effort to check out those booths and meet the exhibitors. They have a wealth of knowledge and are a great networking opportunity!
If you’re coming to the conference and have a couple of hours to give, volunteering is a GREAT way to meet new people. The good news? You don’t have to know anything to do it, someone will walk you through it when you get there!
From volunteering in the Makerspace, to helping set up and assist during poster sessions, to helping check people in at registration, volunteers are the heartbeat of the conference and we couldn’t do it without you. You’ll meet lots of new people and make a big difference! (Sign up here!)
Kerry Guiliano (@kerryguiliano): Kerry is a technology coach at Monroe County ISD and MACUL Board member.