Archives for Convention

Day 8: Setting Your Schedule

ASHA ‘14 Convention: A How-To Guide

Setting Up Your Schedule at #ASHA14! | Come see how I set up my schedule for the convention on my blog: http://www.speechykeenslp.com/blog #slpeeps #slpbloggers

You’ve received your ASHA planner, you’ve begun finding sessions that peak your interest. There are so many to look through, how will you ever decide? And how do you even begin to start building your schedule?! Here is peek into what work apps for me…

Picking a format

I like to set my schedule up outside of the ASHA planner. I like having more control, the details I want at a glance, on and off line access, color coding… What can I say? I am a detailed oriented person!

To get my schedule the way I want, I create a spreadsheet in Google docs. This gives me the ability to edit on the fly from any computer while also letting me access it from my phone, save it to my device and/or print it out.

Setting up

My first column on my spreadsheet is time. I start it at 7am and end it at 8:30pm. I typically like to do this in 30 minute chunks, since that is the amount of time between sessions.

The next three columns are for my first, second and third choices for that time frame. I don’t always fill up all three columns for a time slot, while other times it helps me narrow it down to JUST three choices.

Why would I need that many choices?

  • The session you want has filled up and the doors are locked.
  • The session you want has been cancelled/withdrawn
  • The session is just too far away and you are too tired
  • The session you went to first is horrid. It is actually expected that you walk out of a less than stellar talk. Just be sure to make that choice quick  as you need to be at the majority of the session to earn the CEUs.
  • You heard a great speaker and want to make them your FIRST priority for future talks this weekend!

The forth column I label “posters” and put any poster sessions that look interesting. I place up to 4 in the time slot that they are “open” for CEUs. More on this in a few days.

The final column I label “exhibit hall” and put the hours for the exhibit hall.  Nothing is more disappointing than to finally have time for the hall and realize they closing in 10 minutes!

Check It Out!

Click here to see a blank version of my schedule – feel free to download or “save as” to your own Google Drive and use! At the end of this week I’ll let you see who has made it onto my planner!

How are you planning out your weekend?

– Tara. the Speechy Keen SLP

______________________________________________________________

Tara Roehl owns and operates a private telepractice clinic in Colorado focusing on social cognition, executive functioning and the use of technology in therapy. Previously she has worked in Illinois, California, Rwanda and the Philippines in both public schools and private practices.

Be sure to hear Tara during her four presentations at ASHA ‘14!

  • Session 1115: Camp Confidence: From Zero to Hero
    [Thursday 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm]
    This presentation will address current bully/shame cultures and introduce participants to therapy techniques for building self-confidence in students dealing with speech and language delays while addressing their therapeutic goals using active and engaging activities including games, iPad apps, and life skill tasks.
  • Session 1212: iPad to iPlay 2.0: Teaching Play Through Apps for Preschoolers
    [Thursday 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm]
    This presentation will introduce participants to popular tablet gaming apps and creative adaptations to improve active participation in therapeutic activities for the development of problem-solving, speech and language development, interactive play, pragmatics, executive functioning skills and behavior modification. Applicable for preschoolers and adaptable for older clients.
  • Session 1441: Get Out of That Box! Four Creative Mold-Breaking Models of Private Practice
    [Friday 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm]
    This presentation will introduce participants to four unique models of private practice. Four clinicians will share their history, mission, and their unique service models. This session will encourage participants to develop professional resilience and shift service-delivery patterns as we face healthcare reform and other trends that affect reimbursement.
  • Session 1768: iPad to iPlay 2.0: Teaching Play Through Apps for Elementary Through Middle School
    [Saturday 2:30 – 3:30]
    This presentation will introduce participants to popular tablet gaming apps and creative adaptations to improve active participation in therapeutic activities for the development of problem-solving, speech and language development, interactive play, pragmatics, executive functioning skills, and behavior modification. Applicable for elementary to middle school clients.

Day 7: Happy Feet!

ASHA ‘14 Convention: A How-To Guide

Make sure your feet are happy by the end of convention! | Read more at: http://www.speechykeenslp.com/blog #slpeeps #asha14

This post is for the ladies. Lets talk about the true workhorse at convention – your feet. They will be carrying you to the convention, around the exhibit hall, up the lines of posters, off to meals, between your sessions and back to your hotel again at night. There is always a true tell sign of it being your first convention – ridiculous shoes. When you come strutting into the Orange County Convention Center on Thursday, we all know you’re a newbie with those adorable heels. While we’ll all think they are cute, we will also think you’re crazy. And after a day in the convention center you will be doing the walk of shame back to your hotel room – shoe shame that is. You know the walk… While you started out the day strutting like a graceful swan, you’ll be stumbling like a gangling goose back to your room. Don’t fall victim to the lure of those cute, yet ridiculous, shoes in your closet.

Making the cut…

Now, this doesn’t  mean you have to don your running tennies with your cute skinny jeans at the convention center. It just means to be wise in your shoe selection. Convention floors are about as soft as Superman’s abs of steel.  You want to be rocking this convention through to the closing party on Saturday night… Don’t  let an aching back, sore hips and  hurting knees get in your way! Choose some sensible shoes – here are some of my favorites:

Comfortable Convention Shoes

 

Break them in

Be sure the convention isn’t the first time you’ve worn these shoes. Give yourself time to break them in! Blisters and convention don’t play nice – and even the most sensible shoes can leave you limping.

Be prepared

Come prepared – even your most trustworthy pair of shoes can suddenly “misbehave” when you are on the road. Don’t let them let you down! I always travel with a few packs Moleskin. You can find Moleskin in the pharmacy area of your local store, in the aisle dedicated to feet. It comes in sheets, so I throw a small pair of scissors into my bag as well. One side is super soft, the other is VERY sticky. Any place where your shoe is rubbing, put the moleskin! It creates a gentle and cushioning barrier, protecting you from a blister. Some people stick it to their shoes, while others stick it to their foot. Whichever works for you is fine! Quite frankly, it’s fantastic. Throw a few band aids into your bag too, in case you don’t apply the moleskin quite soon enough. Or all those papers in the exhibit hall give you a paper cut…

Hope to meet you at convention with some happy feet!

What shoes will you be wearing?

 

– Tara, the Speechy Keen SLP

______________________________________________________________

Tara Roehl owns and operates a private telepractice clinic in Colorado focusing on social cognition, executive functioning and the use of technology in therapy. Previously she has worked in Illinois, California, Rwanda and the Philippines in both public schools and private practices.

Be sure to hear Tara during her four presentations at ASHA ‘14!

  • Session 1115: Camp Confidence: From Zero to Hero
    [Thursday 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm]
    This presentation will address current bully/shame cultures and introduce participants to therapy techniques for building self-confidence in students dealing with speech and language delays while addressing their therapeutic goals using active and engaging activities including games, iPad apps, and life skill tasks.
  • Session 1212: iPad to iPlay 2.0: Teaching Play Through Apps for Preschoolers
    [Thursday 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm]
    This presentation will introduce participants to popular tablet gaming apps and creative adaptations to improve active participation in therapeutic activities for the development of problem-solving, speech and language development, interactive play, pragmatics, executive functioning skills and behavior modification. Applicable for preschoolers and adaptable for older clients.
  • Session 1441: Get Out of That Box! Four Creative Mold-Breaking Models of Private Practice
    [Friday 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm]
    This presentation will introduce participants to four unique models of private practice. Four clinicians will share their history, mission, and their unique service models. This session will encourage participants to develop professional resilience and shift service-delivery patterns as we face healthcare reform and other trends that affect reimbursement.
  • Session 1768: iPad to iPlay 2.0: Teaching Play Through Apps for Elementary Through Middle School
    [Saturday 2:30 – 3:30]
    This presentation will introduce participants to popular tablet gaming apps and creative adaptations to improve active participation in therapeutic activities for the development of problem-solving, speech and language development, interactive play, pragmatics, executive functioning skills, and behavior modification. Applicable for elementary to middle school clients.

Day 4: Additional Accessories

ASHA ‘14 Convention: A How-To Guide

ABM_1413866913

I’m all about making my life easier at convention. I want to get the most out of each day, so any sort of hassle takes away from the experience. I take all my notes digitally, as well as live tweet every session I attend. Up until last year, I had a phone with a keyboard and could out tweet anyone. Well, the era of the keyboard phones has passed, so I upgraded to an S4. I was in total panic about trying to tweet from a touchscreen. I started looking at ways to minimize this problem, and fell in love with this beauty…

keyboard

Why I love it:

  • This Anker keyboard connects via bluetooth, so I can type to my phone or my tablet device.
  • The battery life is amazing, I bet it could last me the whole weekend of convention if I forgot to charge it!
  • They keys have a little resistance, so you get the tactile feedback when pressing a key.
  • The keys are higher than the edge of the keyboard (not so with many iPad keyboards) – so my hands can hangover when moving back and forth across the keys.
  • It’s super thin – so it takes up almost NO space in my convention bag!
  • It charges via micro USB – same as my Android phone, battery pack… no extra cords!
  • It costs $30… wow!

 

I also like to add this beauty to my Amazon order…

stand

If I’m lucky enough to have a surface to prop up my device, it is rarely big enough for my iPad’s case stand. This tiny gem let’s me set it to any angle, prop up my tablet or device and then type away without it falling. I’ve even propped it on a seat next to me or on the floor, with my keyboard on my lap! It’s great for on the flight to convention, during sessions, at lunch or breaks when I can find a seat… I use this ALL the time. It is even great on the kitchen counter when I need to read a recipe or watch a show on Netflix while doing the dishes!

Neither of these are as critical as your battery pack and power strip purchase. But they will make your life so much easier during convention – and afterwards as well!

– Tara, the Speechy Keen SLP

______________________________________________________________

Tara Roehl owns and operates a private telepractice clinic in Colorado focusing on social cognition, executive functioning and the use of technology in therapy. Previously she has worked in Illinois, California, Rwanda and the Philippines in both public schools and private practices.

Be sure to hear Tara during her four presentations at ASHA ‘14!

  • Session 1115: Camp Confidence: From Zero to Hero
    [Thursday 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm]
    This presentation will address current bully/shame cultures and introduce participants to therapy techniques for building self-confidence in students dealing with speech and language delays while addressing their therapeutic goals using active and engaging activities including games, iPad apps, and life skill tasks.
  • Session 1212: iPad to iPlay 2.0: Teaching Play Through Apps for Preschoolers
    [Thursday 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm]
    This presentation will introduce participants to popular tablet gaming apps and creative adaptations to improve active participation in therapeutic activities for the development of problem-solving, speech and language development, interactive play, pragmatics, executive functioning skills and behavior modification. Applicable for preschoolers and adaptable for older clients.
  • Session 1441: Get Out of That Box! Four Creative Mold-Breaking Models of Private Practice
    [Friday 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm]
    This presentation will introduce participants to four unique models of private practice. Four clinicians will share their history, mission, and their unique service models. This session will encourage participants to develop professional resilience and shift service-delivery patterns as we face healthcare reform and other trends that affect reimbursement.
  • Session 1768: iPad to iPlay 2.0: Teaching Play Through Apps for Elementary Through Middle School
    [Saturday 2:30 – 3:30]
    This presentation will introduce participants to popular tablet gaming apps and creative adaptations to improve active participation in therapeutic activities for the development of problem-solving, speech and language development, interactive play, pragmatics, executive functioning skills, and behavior modification. Applicable for elementary to middle school clients.

Day 3: Don’t Die! (or: How to make friends and stay charged!)

ASHA ‘14 Convention: A How-To Guide

Don't Die! | Part of the ASHA '14 Convention: A How-To Guide! Something else you may want to order for the convention - it's sure to make you friends and keep your devices powered up!

 

Yesterday you read about the battery chargers us techie ASHA alumni have come to love. But today I have an additional suggestion for keeping powered up (and making a few friends!) when you do have access to an outlet!

Sometimes you hit the jackpot – a seat, in a great session, right next to an outlet! Even if you have your charger on you, don’t miss this opportunity! Plug in your battery charger and a few devices to make sure you stay charged through the night!

But wait… you are about the break a few social rules if you take over that whole outlet. Or, heaven forbid, someone has beat you to both outlets! Now what?

This is where the Monster “Outlets to Go” Power Strip comes in handy! It is compact, so it stashes into your convention bag easily. And it has FOUR outlets (two on each side). And Amazon sells it for only $11.12!

outlettogo

 

So saunter up to the outlet hogger, flash a winning smile and sweetly ask “can we share?” while you show them your power strip. Instant genius status!

And it doesn’t just help on the convention floor! Have you ever tried to dig around in a hotel room to find enough outlets, only to end up with half of your devices charging in the bathroom? This will be a hotel life-saver as well!

But wait! Don’t order YET! I still have a few more things you’ll want to include on that order… come back tomorrow to see!

– Tara, the Speechy Keen SLP

______________________________________________________________

Tara Roehl owns and operates a private telepractice clinic in Colorado focusing on social cognition, executive functioning and the use of technology in therapy. Previously she has worked in Illinois, California, Rwanda and the Philippines in both public schools and private practices.

Be sure to hear Tara during her four presentations at ASHA ‘14!

  • Session 1115: Camp Confidence: From Zero to Hero
    [Thursday 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm]
    This presentation will address current bully/shame cultures and introduce participants to therapy techniques for building self-confidence in students dealing with speech and language delays while addressing their therapeutic goals using active and engaging activities including games, iPad apps, and life skill tasks.
  • Session 1212: iPad to iPlay 2.0: Teaching Play Through Apps for Preschoolers
    [Thursday 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm]
    This presentation will introduce participants to popular tablet gaming apps and creative adaptations to improve active participation in therapeutic activities for the development of problem-solving, speech and language development, interactive play, pragmatics, executive functioning skills and behavior modification. Applicable for preschoolers and adaptable for older clients.
  • Session 1441: Get Out of That Box! Four Creative Mold-Breaking Models of Private Practice
    [Friday 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm]
    This presentation will introduce participants to four unique models of private practice. Four clinicians will share their history, mission, and their unique service models. This session will encourage participants to develop professional resilience and shift service-delivery patterns as we face healthcare reform and other trends that affect reimbursement.
  • Session 1768: iPad to iPlay 2.0: Teaching Play Through Apps for Elementary Through Middle School
    [Saturday 2:30 – 3:30]
    This presentation will introduce participants to popular tablet gaming apps and creative adaptations to improve active participation in therapeutic activities for the development of problem-solving, speech and language development, interactive play, pragmatics, executive functioning skills, and behavior modification. Applicable for elementary to middle school clients.

Day 2: POWER UP!

ASHA ‘14 Convention: A How-To Guide

Power Up! | Part of the "ASHA 14 Convention: A How-To Guide" Series! Here is a surefire way to keep all of your devices alive and kicking throughout the long days (and nights) at the convention! #asha14 #slpeeps

**This is a repost from the past few years, with a few updates! **

Power can be hard to come by in a convention center. Not every room will have an outlet along the wall. And even if it does, there is not promise you’ll get a seat nearby. But your devices will be your lifeline at the convention! Contests sent out via twitter will win you free things. Lunch and dinner plans will also be sent out via twitter, facebook or text. Taking notes on a device will be great, as well as snapping pictures of important information! So, what do you do when it’s only noon and all of your devices are already dying? Pull out your battery pack!

Three years ago, before ASHA ‘11, I posted a quick video about why I love the iGo for days when I need my devices to last all day. I used my iGo for ASHA ’11, as well as for trips, long days of work and more. when I upgraded my phone, it stopped charging my devices. It could keep them from dying but the battery never increased and, once my iGo was dead, my device continues to go dead. So a few years ago I began researching what I needed in a battery. I found two key elements I needed to watch out for..

Two Key Elements:

mAh – A measure of a battery’s total capacity. The higher the number (ex. 600 mAh, 1,500 mAh) the more charge a battery can hold and usually, the longer a battery will last under a certain load.[source]

Amps – A measure of electric current flow. One ampere (amp) will flow when one volt is applied across a resistance of one ohm. [source]

As it turns out, my iGo only put out ~ half an amp through the USB ports. For newer phones, this is NOT enough to actually charge. Many of the newer phones require at least 2 amps to actually charge. Some research on the best sellers over at Amazon shows some definite leaders…


Details:

Sneak Peak:
New Trent
IMP120D iCarrier
12,000 mAh
2Amp/1Amp Dual Ports
$33.95
jackery Jackery®
Giant +
12,000 mAh
2.1Amp/1Amp Dual Ports
$39.95
anker Anker®
2nd Gen Astro E4
13,00 mAh
1 port: Up to 3 amps
$29.99

After much consideration a few years ago,  I purchased the New Trent and LOVE it. I actually own two, and BOTH will be coming with to ASHA with me this year. Someone is always asking to borrow a charge from me, so now I’ll have more than enough to go around.

Amazon lists it’s charging power as Apple iPad >120% battery life – Apple iphone 5:> 600% battery life  – Smartphones (andriod): >600% battery life. I strongly recommend getting one with TWO ports for charging. Either share that spare port with a friend or charge two devices at once.

The Jackery ® has my attention … but only because it comes in orange…

Wait to place that order! You may want to also purchase a few more items I’ll mention this week…

Will you be bringing an external battery to stay charged up and connected at ASHA? Which one do you like?

– Tara, Speechy Keen SLP

______________________________________________________________

Tara Roehl owns and operates a private telepractice clinic in Colorado focusing on social cognition, executive functioning and the use of technology in therapy. Previously she has worked in Illinois, California, Rwanda and the Philippines in both public schools and private practices.

Be sure to hear Tara during her four presentations at ASHA ‘14!

  • Session 1115: Camp Confidence: From Zero to Hero
    [Thursday 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm]
    This presentation will address current bully/shame cultures and introduce participants to therapy techniques for building self-confidence in students dealing with speech and language delays while addressing their therapeutic goals using active and engaging activities including games, iPad apps, and life skill tasks.
  • Session 1212: iPad to iPlay 2.0: Teaching Play Through Apps for Preschoolers
    [Thursday 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm]
    This presentation will introduce participants to popular tablet gaming apps and creative adaptations to improve active participation in therapeutic activities for the development of problem-solving, speech and language development, interactive play, pragmatics, executive functioning skills and behavior modification. Applicable for preschoolers and adaptable for older clients.
  • Session 1441: Get Out of That Box! Four Creative Mold-Breaking Models of Private Practice
    [Friday 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm]
    This presentation will introduce participants to four unique models of private practice. Four clinicians will share their history, mission, and their unique service models. This session will encourage participants to develop professional resilience and shift service-delivery patterns as we face healthcare reform and other trends that affect reimbursement.
  • Session 1768: iPad to iPlay 2.0: Teaching Play Through Apps for Elementary Through Middle School
    [Saturday 2:30 – 3:30]
    This presentation will introduce participants to popular tablet gaming apps and creative adaptations to improve active participation in therapeutic activities for the development of problem-solving, speech and language development, interactive play, pragmatics, executive functioning skills, and behavior modification. Applicable for elementary to middle school clients.

The ASHA Convention ‘14: A How-To Guide

ASHA Convention '14: A How-To Guide | Tips for thriving at this year's ASHA Convention in Orlando!

It’s hard to believe we are officially 30 days from the start of The American Speech-Language and Hearing Associations annual convention in Orlando, Florida! Every year I try to gather the best tips, information, insider knowledge and overall encouragement for people headed to the Convention. I’ve only missed 2 years since graduate school – so I have quite a few conventions under my belt. I hope you find this helpful!

Today I’m going to give you a quick overview of what the rest of the month will look like. Do you have burning questions you are hoping I’ll answer? Tweet me at @speechykeenslp, or shoot me an e-mail at tara@speechykeenslp.com, and I will try to work it into the series!


Week 1: Problem Solving Purchases

[October 20-26]

Having made the mistake once, I’ve learned my lesson. My shopping list goes out the very first week to give everyone time to get their orders in! This week I will be telling you about all of the lifesaving purchases that help me make the most of ASHA14. These are fine tuned, tried and true purchases that will not only make the Convention run smoother for you, but will be useful after convention too!


Week 2: Set Your Schedule!

[October 27- November 2]

That ASHA Planner can be completely overwhelming! The on-line program planning? Even more so! How do you pick a good session? How do  you set up your schedule? How much time do you need for the exhibit hall? Should you attend short courses, technical sessions or posters? I’ll answer all of these questions and more! I’ll be sharing my free planning template and you’ll even get a peek into my schedule for the convention!


Week 3: What to Wear Where!

[November 3 – November 9]

As if choosing an outfit each day wasn’t difficult enough. a conference can take it to the next level of stress. Your outfit can change drastically day-to-day depending on your plans. I’ll walk you through what is expected and unexpected to wear in a variety of convention settings, as well as some SLP trends that are popping up all over social media!


Week 4: Pack and Prep!

[November 10-16]

As we are in the final days of the ASHA14 countdown, I’ll help you pack your suitcases for your grand getaway! We’ll talk about those necessities, what to leave at home and how to make sure you have everything you need for your arrival. We’ll also talk about packing your bag for each day of the convention!


The Final Days!

[November 17-19]

Just three days left until ASHA14 begins! These final days we’ll chat about how to network, where meet other likeminded SLPs and have you walking into the Orange County Convention Center ready to take on this years Convention! 2


I can’t wait to share with you… let’s get ready for convention!

– Tara, the Speechy Keen SLP

______________________________________________________________

Tara Roehl owns and operates a private telepractice clinic in Colorado focusing on social cognition, executive functioning and the use of technology in therapy. Previously she has worked in Illinois, California, Rwanda and the Philippines in both public schools and private practices.

Be sure to hear Tara during her four presentations at ASHA ‘14!

  • Session 1115: Camp Confidence: From Zero to Hero
    [Thursday 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm]
    This presentation will address current bully/shame cultures and introduce participants to therapy techniques for building self-confidence in students dealing with speech and language delays while addressing their therapeutic goals using active and engaging activities including games, iPad apps, and life skill tasks.
  • Session 1212: iPad to iPlay 2.0: Teaching Play Through Apps for Preschoolers
    [Thursday 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm]
    This presentation will introduce participants to popular tablet gaming apps and creative adaptations to improve active participation in therapeutic activities for the development of problem-solving, speech and language development, interactive play, pragmatics, executive functioning skills and behavior modification. Applicable for preschoolers and adaptable for older clients.
  • Session 1441: Get Out of That Box! Four Creative Mold-Breaking Models of Private Practice
    [Friday 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm]
    This presentation will introduce participants to four unique models of private practice. Four clinicians will share their history, mission, and their unique service models. This session will encourage participants to develop professional resilience and shift service-delivery patterns as we face healthcare reform and other trends that affect reimbursement.
  • Session 1768: iPad to iPlay 2.0: Teaching Play Through Apps for Elementary Through Middle School
    [Saturday 2:30 – 3:30]
    This presentation will introduce participants to popular tablet gaming apps and creative adaptations to improve active participation in therapeutic activities for the development of problem-solving, speech and language development, interactive play, pragmatics, executive functioning skills, and behavior modification. Applicable for elementary to middle school clients.

#ASHA13–Inside My Bag

I am the queen of over packing. Quite frankly, I’m not sure how I am going to get all my things to ASHA, considering I won’t have my husband’s bag for “overflow”. But one thing I learned VERY quickly was that over packing for a day at ASHA is b-r-u-t-a-l. You have to haul whatever you bring into the convention ALL day long – along with whatever you pick up along the way. Very rarely do you see your hotel room until late in the evening.

So, what do I pack?

Laptop Backpack
I typically carry a laptop backpack. This gives me plenty of pockets to keep myself organized and to carry all of the things I pick up throughout the convention. I did a roller bag last year, when I was very pregnant, but that was nearly hazardous to my health… roller bags and escalators don’t always get along.
Tablet
I always have my iPad with me. It’s lighter than my laptop, quicker to turn on, less space in the tiny rows of chairs… overall it works for me! In the exhibit hall there will be a ton of app developers – your tablet will come in handy there too! Make sure to charge it every night, it will get a lot of loving all day long!
Stylus
I like to “jot” notes, copy diagrams and sketch ideas. I don’t mind to toot my own horn, but I can draw a mean stick figure! I also like to write on pdf files with my favorite app. I do this best with a stylus, so I always have one or two in my bag! You can pick them up pretty cheap nowadays, which is an added bonus!
Keyboard
I type way faster than I write – but only on a physical keyboard. Typing on my screen is adequate, but not the best environment for my mad-crazy typing abilities. I typically use my phone at convention, as I have always had a phone with a physical keyboard. Well, they officially stopped making good phones with a physical keyboard – I had a period of mourning. Really. Then, I raced out to amazon and bough this bluetooth keyboard *smile*
Stand
If I have the ability to, I like to prop up my ipad or phone so I can see the screen while typing. This isn’t always feasible in sessions, unless I’m sitting on the floor. But it’s helpful back in the hotel room, at lunch, or sitting at a table in between sessions. I’m giving this one a try this year for both my phone and iPad – my clients were over zealous with my iPad case and broke the stand…
External Battery
I wrote up a whole blog post about the need for an external battery during convention. I just received my newest New Tent iCarrier and was ecstatic with the new upgrades! No more separate charger – it charges by micro USB! Every night I charge the charger up and it almost always gets me through a whole day of convention. Unless I share too much.
Power Strip
I love my mini power strip! It comes in handy throughout the WHOLE trip. I can plug in multiple devices in the airport and the convention center. And if all the outlets are full, I can usually sweet talk someone into sharing their outlet with me when I show them the power strip! And it allows me to plug in a lot in one place inside my hotel room… rather than spreading my tech around the whole room!
Chargers + Cords
The New Trent has 2 USB outlets on it, so you need to carry along your USB cords for your tech. I typically carry a few extra in case a friend needs to charge as well! I like to have at least one micro USB and one iPad cord on me! I’ll even bring a USB plug adapter to charge from the wall (if available).
Phone
My phone serves SO many purposes throughout the convention! I clearly use it for calls and texts, but also as my primary camera. I’ll tweet and update Facebook throughout the convention. But my favorite feature? Tethering! I can use my phone as a remote wireless hotspot – a godsend when the convention center either 1) doesn’t have WiFi or 2) the WiFi can’t handle the size of the convention (read: every.single.year.).
Business Cards
I always ASHA is all about networking – making connections with others in the profession! Whether you are making social or business connections, business cards can be an easy way to ‘keep in touch’. Plus, they are great for dropping into those contest buckets in the exhibit hall! I love mine from Moo Cards!
 
 penandpaper Pen + Paper
Sometime tech just DOESN’T work. Or, you need to write something down to hand off to someone else. I always keep a small notebook and a few pens in my bag. I would rather have it and never use it, than be stuck without them and really need them!
Name Badge
DO NOT LEAVE YOUR NAME BADGE BEHIND! Don’t forget it anywhere, don’t set it down in your hotel room or even on the lunch table. I always take it off and put it RIGHT in my bag at the end of the convention day. You will NOT be allowed in sessions or the exhibit hall without it. And it will cost you – $$ to reprint and TIME. I forgot mine once, and by the time I got it reprinted I missed the first session of the day!
 black-grey-cardigan Sweater/Light Jacket
Sometimes you will find yourself in a room so packed with people that you can barely breath. Other times you’ll be in a nice airy room that will leave your teeth chattering. And you’re going to be in Chi-town… in November. Trust me, pack a sweater or light jacket in your bag to throw on (and shimmy off) throughout the day. They usually have a coat check for your bulky winter coat so you don’t have to haul it all day! 
Cash
Whether you’re splitting a cab fare, chipping in for lunch or paying back someone for doing an “all call Starbucks run!” – cash will serve you well (in addition to your CC). And make sure you have some smaller bills while you are at it! It’s doubtful anyone else will have change for you.
 cash-02

So, what DON’T I pack…

  1. My Laptop – I bring it with me to ASHA, but it stays in the room. It is just too big and heavy to haul around. Even if you have a super light laptop, think about how much room it is taking up in that bag. That is PRECIOUS room – free pens, handouts and that t-shirt you just won could ALL go in that space!
  2. A large notebook – if it’s there, I’ll use it. I want my notes to be digital, so I don’t give myself the option of taking a ton of notes on paper. And again, valuable space!
  3. Purse – I put my wallet, glasses case and chapstick into the backpack. The rest can stay in the hotel room. And by “rest” I mean everything else in the bottomless pit I call “my purse” AND the purse itself. I don’t need to try and manage a backpack, a free bag from the exhibit hall, my winter jacket, my Starbucks cup AND a purse. Not going to happen.

Anything else you are thinking about bringing?

– Tara Roehl

Getting Ready for ASHA – Top 10!

Next week Speech-Language Pathologists (aka SLPs) and Audiologists (aka Auds) will take over the waterfront in San Diego. The streets will resemble an intellectual flash mob, with every Starbucks, lunch café and street corner packed with talks of cochlear implants, developments in hearing sciences, language intervention strategies and those pesky /r/ sounds. SLPs and Auds around the world are already excitedly packing their suitcases, a week before the first day of convention. Many of us would call this one of their favorite weekends of the year – I know I do!  But convention “newbies”, and experienced go-ers alike, can benefit from the tips and tricks to make the most of this weekend. Below are my favorite top 10, gathered from personal experience, blogs, peers and twitter conversations with other SLPs (#slpeeps):

 

  1. Comfy Shoes: Don’t even let those cute shoes tempt their way out of your closet and into your bag. Yes, I know they look great with the outfit you packed, but trust me – your feet, ankles, knees, hips, back, shoulders will ALL thank you if you pick the tennies instead! The convention center is 605, 701 square feet of with cement floor walking – and that’s not even taking into consideration the walk from your hotel or out to lunch!
  2. Staying Powered Up: long days in the convention center can be tough on the electronics. Especially if you are texting to find friends! With  12,000+ people, that cell phone will be your lifeline! A lot of the companies on the expo floor tweet specials, so you’ll need to stay powered up to get the best experience and deals! Bring your plugs and charge in downtime, or try this little gem to keep that phone/ipod/etc going all day and night.
  3. Schedule Your Day: There is so much happening at once during the convention. Poster sessions, expo floor, short courses, speakers, meet and greets. Don’t wait till you arrive to set your schedule! Sean Sweeney (SpeechTechie) has written a fantastic post on how to use ASHA’s on-line scheduler – get on that schedule and send it to your mobile device! You’ll be ready to go in no time!
  4. Walk-Out: Now this one may sound like a tough one, but it has been corroborated by professors, speakers and attendees alike. If you find yourself in a session that is boring/unhelpful/incorrect … walk out! You are taking time away from your clients and paying to LEARN – don’t waste any time in this packed weekend!
  5. Arrive Early: If you read a description of a session and think “I have GOT to go to that one”, there is a good change a few other professionals have thought the same thing. I have been in many sessions that were closed early with people packing the aisles, walls and doubling up in chairs to hear a good speaker. Arriving early not only assures you a seat, but maybe you can even score one near an outlet (see #2)!
  6. Exhibit Hall: Fellow #slpeep @mtmmary made a great point in a twitter conversation this week – you can learn in the exhibit hall too! So many people go session to session and don’t schedule in a decent amount of time to explore the exhibit hall. Even if you don’t plan on buying, there are specialists at those tables ready and willing to explain new technology, new research and new therapy techniques. You can learn just as much (and maybe more) on that floor than you can in many sessions. Be sure to schedule time to explore the exhibit hall!
  7. Hauling the Loot: Every experienced conference attendee knows the first sign that the exhibit hall has opened –  bright yellow Super Duper bags. But experienced go-ers will also tell you the havoc they can wreak on your back. Trying to keep it on your shoulder all day can be exhausting. Think about bringing a backpack or a roller bag … trust me, you won’t look THAT dorky, you’re back will thank you and everyone else will think you are a genius while they fight with their yellow bag. And you can still get your yellow bag – just stuff it in the backpack!
  8. Taking it All Home: Now remember, every free pen, new book and piece of paper has to go home with you. If you are flying in, you have to fly all those goods home! @activitytailor  suggests you leave room in your suitcase and keep an eye out for free shipping! Many vendors will mail your purchases home for you, which keeps you under the weight limit and able to avoid  those extra bag fees.
  9. Making Connections: This is your chance to expand your professional circles. Reach out and talk to those around you, we’re all quite the chatty group! Another great way to connect with others is twitter. If you are one of the SLP’s on twitter, be sure to check out the SLP chatter by following the hashtags #slpeeps #asha11 #audpeps. During the convention there will be the “tweet up” where we can meet in person – Friday at 4:30. See you there? [If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go here for a crash course in twitter by @SLPTanya! Feel free to ask me questions as well!]
  10. Meals: One of the hardest things to accomplish at the convention (other than finding someone in the convention center) is eating. If you are a Starbucks addict, try going a few blocks away from the convention center…  you might just miss your first session (or two) waiting in line at the closest one. Dinner reservations are highly suggested, or be ready to wait hours for a seat. Yelp can help you find restaurants a further walk from the convention center, or help you pick those reservations in advance. Another tip is to leave 30 minutes before the end of the mealtime sessions, there can be quite the hold up getting out of the convention center when a mad rush of hungry SLPs and Auds are released onto an unknowing San Diego waterfront.
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**UPDATE**
Thanks to @slotagg for the comment below and reminding me of another tip! Bring return address labels (or print some off at home) — there are a ton of raffles each year at ASHA, and your hand will already be tired from all that note taking in sessions. Each time you see a raffle, stick a few of those bad boys on the slips and stuff the box. You might actually be the one to walk away with the Subaru this year (though I am secretly rooting for @slotagg).

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Do you have some more tips I may have missed? Feel free to leave them in the comments below! Are you going? Let’s meet up! Text, tweet or e-mail!

 

–          Tara, SpeechyKeenSLP