The size of the Annual Meeting can be daunting to somebody attending for the first time. To help newcomers better prepare for all that the Annual Meeting has to offer, we asked somebody who attended their first meeting in 2014 for some advice on how they made the meeting more manageable.
Christina M. Johnson, FNP-C, with Allergy, Asthma, Immunology of Rochester, P.C., in New York, took time to share her experiences.
Q: Why did you decide to come to the Annual Meeting?
A: I am a new nurse practitioner (at the time of registration I had only been practicing for one-and-a-half years), so when my practice offered me the opportunity to attend the meeting, I was eager to accept because I saw it as a wonderful learning opportunity.
Q: What were your impressions of your first Annual Meeting experience?
A: I was very impressed by the meeting. I thought it was very well organized and ran very smoothly. I found it amazing that so many rheumatology providers attended from around the world. As someone who is new to rheumatology, I found everyone’s enthusiasm for the specialty to be very inspiring.
Q: What helped you navigate the meeting?
A: The Session Tracker was what I used the most. I used the mobile app somewhat.
Q: What tips and advice do you have for this year’s first-time attendees?
A: Have fun! Pace yourself because the days can be very long, especially if you’re like me and want to attend every session from 7:45 in the morning to 6:00 pm. Take notes, but not too many because a lot of the sessions will be available online after they are presented.
If you can, attend at least one of the Meet the Professor sessions. They are presented in a small group setting and you will have a chance to ask questions and engage in discussion with the speaker.
Q: What would you do differently, and/or what are you planning to do differently this year?
A: Last year, I attended a few talks given by the same speaker and they turned out to be very similar to each other. If I attend this year, I will plan to hear more of a variety of speakers. I would also like to attend at least one workshop this year.