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ISTE is Here!

As the President of the Hawaii affiliate for ISTE, attending this event is like Christmas!  There is so much to see, do and learn!   I will share with everyone lots of information from my trip in the next newsletter.  I am hoping to connect with other regional affiliates to learn more about how to serve our members and how to make our organization the best ISTE affiliate there is!

If you are attending the event live, please go to our special ISTE 2014 - Atlanta page to see some recommended events to attend.

This will be my fourth ISTE Conference and I am looking forward to the learning.  To the right is a picture from the Adobe booth back in 2008 when I attended my first ISTE Conference in San Antonio (called NECC back then).   

Here are a few of my favorite tips for "newbies" and reminders for others:
  • Wear comfortable shoes - You will do a lot of walking from sessions to your room and through the exhibit hall.
  • Bring a jacket - It might be 90 degrees outside, but you know that they will keep the temperatures just above freezing in those conference rooms!
  • Bring a backpack or a comfortable bag to carry - if you are headed to the exhibit hall, you will get a ton of free stuff.  You will need a way to carry all of it around.  Those plastic bags they give you for free won't last long.  On an additional note, make sure to have plenty of room in your suitcase to bring back all the free stuff and possibly the prizes you might win!
  • Understanding the Exhibit Hall - the exhibit hall is massive with over 500 companies!  It is probably the biggest one you have ever seen or will see.  There are two story structures for some of the vendors (use these as reference points).  Instead of roaming the rows, plan out the vendors you need to see and create a map for yourself.  Remember that many of the vendors will have their own sessions that aren't listed on the program.  Sometimes, these can be the best sessions, and usually you will get something for free for attending.
  • Look for the Treat-ups!  I shouldn't tell you about this, but each day in the newsletter they will list locations where free cookies and snacks will be available.  Sometimes these go really quick (there are over 18,000 people at this event!), so know where they are if you have a sweet tooth!  You will need a "pick me up" in the afternoon.
  • Bring snacks! - You may not have time for lunch and, if you do, the prices in the convention center will be very high.  I usually come prepared with lots of snacks and my Coca-Cola to keep me going.  Remember to stay hydrated by filling up at the water coolers they usually have in each hallway!
  • Have a back up session that is close by - Sessions will fill up fast, especially the good ones.  If there is a session you really want, get there early, even if this means leaving another session before it is over.  Make sure to have a few backup sessions just in case. Don't worry, because most speakers will be willing to give you information after the session if you couldn't make it.
  • Look for opportunities to meet and connect - One of the best things about going to ISTE is the diversity of people, roles and hometowns.  Don't be afraid to attend the before/after conference events to "meet and greet".  Bonus - many of these sponsored events offer free food and a chance to win a cool prize!  On a side note, check this page for HSTE's own "Meet and Greet" on Monday, June 30th at 7:15PM, please attend if you can.
Those are all the tips I can think of now, but hope you enjoy and I look forward to seeing you there!

Even if you are unable to attend, there is a lot you can still do!  
  • Follow the Twitter Feeds!  So many people will be posting information about the sessions they are attending, you will fee like you are there in person.  This is also a great way to build up your professional development communications by following people you see posting interesting posts.  Here are the main two hashtags.   #ISTE    #ISTE2014

  • Check the ISTE Conference site.  Some events may be streamed live and you can sign up to see some events here.

Thank you for being a member of HSTE!   Remember to tweet your ideas, advice, and ISTE experiences with our hashtag - #HSTE.

Mike Travis
HSTE President (2014)

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