UPDATE: The contest is now closed and the winner is Lauren Vitkus from Buffalo! Congratulations Lauren, you’re $25 richer! Thank you for all the great comments. It sounds like everyone is excited about the meeting. Be sure to read Mouthing Off while you’re at Annual Session next week–it can be accessed through ASDA’s mobile app. See you in Atlanta!
ASDA’s Annual Session 2013 is less than 2 weeks away! With more registered attendees than ever, this is bound to be a great meeting. Annual Session is where ASDA conducts business in the House of Delegates, elects new leaders, recognizes individual and chapter achievements at the Gold Crown Awards and hosts a huge exhibit fair and education sessions on topics not covered in dental school. In between all of that, you’ll be networking with other dental students from every corner of the country.
If you’ve been to Annual Session before, you know why it’s been unofficially titled “the best week ever!” If this is your first time, you’re in for an awesome week! Whether or not you’ve attended before, read through these tips for navigating the meeting. Not only will these tips help you get the most out of Annual Session, but they’ll also prepare you for future professional meetings. Read through the entire list because there is a contest to win a $25 Visa gift card at the end!
1. Be on time. Woody Allen said “eighty percent of success is showing up.” If you want to have a successful meeting, you need to be on time to the sessions. If you’re late, you could miss an important announcement or disrupt the session when you walk in. If you’re late to your caucus, they may not let you in at all!
2. Come prepared. When you arrive in Atlanta, you’ll visit ASDA’s registration desk to pick up your meeting materials. You’ll receive a name badge, a registration bag, a meeting program and a t-shirt. You’ll also get some goodies like a jump drive, pen and water bottle! Be sure you wear your name badge to all sessions (it’s like your ticket to get into each part of the meeting). Also, you can choose to carry your own bag or use the reg bag during the meeting, but don’t forget your program! Your program not only has the schedule of events and a map of meeting rooms in it, but it’s filled with other useful information (session descriptions, exhibitor listings and a glossary). You’ll especially want to keep your program handy because it contains all the drink tickets for receptions throughout the week. No replacement programs or drink tickets will be given out onsite.
One last way you can prepare is to pack the proper attire. All meetings are business attire (that means suits!) and the President’s Gala on Saturday night is cocktail attire. Be sure to layer because meeting room temperatures can fluctuate. Also wear comfortable shoes because you’ll be attending meetings from about 8am to 6pm every day.
3. Attend everything. You’ll have a packed schedule this week, but each day has been carefully planned to benefit you as a dental student and as an active member of organized dentistry. If you’re a first time attendee, you may not understand what goes on in the Reference Committee Hearings. This is the perfect reason to attend every session! You’ll gain insight into how an organization conducts business and you’ll also learn about the most pressing issues in organized dentistry right now. Cut your teeth (pun intended) this year and you could be back voting on the House of Delegates floor as a chapter delegate next year!
4. Use your resources, then ask questions. ASDA has created a comprehensive meeting program for you to follow as well as a mobile app. If you have a question about something, chances are the answer is in one of these resources. If you can’t find the answer, ask a classmate who has attended the meeting before or someone wearing a badge that says “ASDA staff.”
5. Network. It may be tempting to sit with your chapter at each event, but try to meet dental students from other schools too! You never know where these new connections will lead. When you’re applying to residencies or looking into military options, it will be great to have a friend at another school to call on for advice and to show you around the area.
Last year, we asked ASDA’s Central Office staff what they were looking forward to about the meeting. This year it’s your turn! Leave a comment below and tell us one thing that you’re most looking forward to at Annual Session and you’ll be entered to win a $25 Visa gift card! You must be a registered attendee of ASDA’s Annual Session to win and the contest closes at 5pm CST on 2/27.
See you in Atlanta!
~Kim Schneider, communications editor