NECC is a large conference, attended by thousands of people. It is easy to get overwhelmed with the multitude of sessions, informal learning opportunities, and the exhibit hall. The sights and sounds can stimulate to the point where you are overloaded and may shut down.
While at NECC, in addition to listening to those EdTech folks who are known on a first name basis (Will, Davids, Wes, Sheryl, Hall, etc.), make sure that you connect with those who are around you. You may find that they may have something to teach you, challenge your thoughts, or allow you to make a connection that did not exist before.
While at NECC, don’t be afraid or scared to share your thoughts and opinions with others. You may teach them something new, challenge their thoughts, or allow them to make connections that they had not been able to make before.
While on the vendor floor, don’t be blinded by the bright lights, loud sounds, and enticements for free stuff. Look to the periphery to see those companies who may not have been able to waste money. They often have solutions which will allow you to meet your goals. This is where I have found many great solutions, including being an early adopter GIS software in NECC-MInneapolis.
Lastly, I have found it important to schedule some down time upon my return, to decompress and detox. This year, with the July 4th three day holiday so close to the closing, will help me have some fun, traditional time with my family when I return.