Every summer, information about the conventions for athletic professionals populate timelines, from discussion on who’s going and convention plans, to karaoke songs that will be performed at the after parties and discussions on how to best make connections.
If you’re unable to attend a convention, it may feel like you’re unable to take advantage of what they provide. But take it from someone who’s attended a few: that’s simply untrue.
Tip No. 1: Follow the Convention Hashtags // #NACDA18; #CoSIDA18; #NACMA18
One of my favorite ways to take advantage of what the conventions provide is to simply follow the convention’s hashtag. Last year, I attended the CoSIDA Convention and there were so many awesome panels that I felt like I was missing out on the ones I didn’t have a chance to attend. But chances are really high that someone is attending and tweeting about the panel you wanted to attend but couldn’t. And by following the convention’s hashtag, you may pick up knowledge from a panel you thought you had no business attending, like a “writing a press release” panel when you work in marketing. Knowledge is never wasted.
Tip No. 2: Check Out the Organization’s Website
Did you know that after the conventions, materials from a number of panels will be posted online? Women Leaders in College Sports will post the videos from their keynote speakers and highlights from their convention on their YouTube page, while CoSIDA posts convention materials on CoSIDA Connect (for members only).
Tip No. 3: Reach Out to Panelists and Attendees
Everyone attends a convention for the same reason: to learn. Did you check out the convention’s agenda and see a panel that really interested you, but can’t find any information on the panel after it occured? Reach out to the panelists directly. Most of the time, they’ll be more than happy to share their presentation materials with you. Did someone mention they attended a really informative panel? Reach out directly to the attendee. This tip is a two-fer: these are great ways to make and foster connections because you have something about which you’re passionate to discuss.
Being unable to attend your profession’s convention can leave you with a major case of FOMO. But do your best to take advantage of all the convention offers from the comfort of your couch!