March 29, 2018

March 29, 2018

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First Time's a Charm: Tips for First Time Attendees

With 300 sessions and more than 5,000 people, if it is your first USITT Conference (or your first in a long time) it can be an overwhelming prospect when you arrive on site. You may ask yourself, “What do I do,” “Which sessions do I go to,” and “Whom can I talk to and will they talk to me?”


Regardless of age or experience, for some folks, walking in to the USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo is like tackling Grand Central Terminal at rush hour. People, signs, and confusion reign.


Here’s some advice from folks to make your first, or 40th, Conference experience more valuable (yes, there are people who’ve done this 40 times — some more).


“Read the session list on the app and plan a part of each day ahead of time. Trying to do it on site can be truly overwhelming.” -Christine Troscher, USITT Director of Education & Training


“Enjoyed a session? Have more questions? Want to follow up? Go introduce yourself! This is where some of the most valuable connections and learning can take place. Give ‘em your card (get some now if you don’t currently have them).” -Madilynn Garcia, Early Career Member/Gateway Coordinator


“Introduce yourself to people and make connections. You just might make a friend or colleague that will last for years.” -David Grindle, USITT Executive Director


“Wear comfortable shoes.” -Monica Merritt USITT Director of Member Services


“Visit the Nexus and introduce yourself to a USITT Fellow.”-Mark Shanda, USITT President


“Don’t be afraid to talk to someone who said something interesting.”-Jack Feivou, Vice-President for Conferences


These are just a few tips that can make the Conference more successful for you. See you in a few short days!




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USITT is the association for theatre and live entertainment production professionals.

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