When You Walk Into #ELGL18…

Posted on May 1, 2018

Morning Buzz by Kirsten Wyatt

  • What I’m Reading: Pardonable Lies – love me some Maisie Dobbs
  • What I’m (Re)Watching: The Office – it’s making me LOL all over again
  • What I’m Listening To: Sparkle Stories – can’t wait for this #ELGL18 keynote!

For this edition of my Morning Buzz, I’m going to share my top tips to maximize your #ELGL18 experience from the minute you walk in the door. These tips are compiled after six years of ELGL conferences, starting with our very first conference (#ELGL13) through the planning for Golden, CO this year.

  1. Geek Out When You Meet People “IRL”
    The chance to meet in-person is the number one reason ELGL holds conferences each year. As we all know, conferences take a lot of time, energy, and money to produce. But the chance to meet face-to-face, connect in real time, and get to know each other beyond a profile picture or avatar is a cornerstone of our mission: connect, communicate, and educate. So don’t be shy – when you meet your ELGL Twitter bestie IRL, give ’em a huge handshake and feel free to acknowledge that you know waaaaaay more about them than a coworker you see everyday.
  2. Dress Comfortably
    We’re not like a regular conference, we’re a cool conference… this means you can skip the tie and sport coat, or pantyhose and heels – and go for comfort and style. ELGL conferences are like drinking from a firehose: we don’t have a lot of breaks, and we have you doing stuff all day – you’re on a bus! you’re touring Golden! you’re meeting up to talk about budget! you’re going to session after session! you’re at a social hour! you’re crafting! So dress comfortably. Don’t wear jorts or be overly casual – this is still a chance to network professionally, after all – but recognize that you’re in for three days of non-stop local gov learning, so stay comfy.
  3. Go to Everything
    Your ticket price is all inclusive, so don’t miss out on the chance to take tours, go to meet ups, and attend the social events. A huge reason we plan these items into our conference schedule is to ensure that we don’t just conference in a location – we also celebrate it. This year, we’re excited to be in Golden, CO and so our tours and meet ups are honorific of that fact. And if you’re coming to the conference and don’t know anyone yet, we’ll be sure to help you connect quickly with other attendees.
  4. We’re All Equal
    You might find yourself sitting next to another city manager, or a city councilor, or a student, or a technology vendor… everyone at ELGL is equal and we don’t use badges or ribbons to differentiate attendees from each other. So when you meet someone new, take a minute to learn their local government story… one of our #ELGL18 objectives is to widen your network to include people who work for and with local government and you’ll meet lots of different people doing that in different ways.
  5. Share What You’re Learning
    The main conference hashtag is #ELGL18 so share what you’re learning on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. We’ll also have the presenter and sponsor Twitter handles in your conference program, so make sure you capture pictures and quotes from them, and Tweet and share at them. We know that a lot of our members want to attend #ELGL18 but can’t make it work from a travel or professional development perspective. So, share what you’re learning so they can follow along on social media.
  6. Bookmark
    We’re generally a paper-free conference, so bookmark the agenda on your phone so you can quickly find out what’s next and where you’re headed for the different conference events, activities, and sessions.

Those are my top six tips for making your #ELGL18 experience truly memorable.

For repeat attendees: what are your tips? For new attendees? What questions do you have about the conference?

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