Health Information Management

Tips: Advice from previous conference attendees/CDI Talk network

CDI Strategies, May 16, 2013

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Editor’s Note: The following tips were adapted from comments by previous ACDIS attendees and CDI Talk networking discussions to help make your 2013 conference experience a better one:

Tip 1: Bring a highlighter or two to help you keep track of the most salient points during conference sessions. (Bonus: Bring extras and make friends by lending them to those sitting near you.)
 
Tip 2: Keep a pad of various colored sticky notes or tabs for your conference book. Use them to flag which sessions you plan to attend, and jot down the time and room location to help keep you on track.
 
Tip 3: Tuck a small notebook away in your purse or back pocket. When a casual conversation sparks an innovative idea, you’ll be ready.
 
Tip 4: Always carry 50 business cards (or more). Many session leaders start off their programs with ice-breaker type activities which call for an exchange of business cards but you’ll want to have some available to leave with vendors in the exhibit hall and to exchange with the new professionals you’ll meet. When you accept a business card from someone else, be sure to turn it over and jot a quick note about something memorable from your exchange. This will help you when you return home, head full of insight, to identify those who hope to reconnect with and why. (Hint: If you don’t have business cards, print your contact information on white labels. Cut index cards in half and stick a label onto each piece.) 
 
Tip 5: Carry an abbreviated Rolodex with the contact information of colleagues from across the country. Often the ACDIS conference is the only time CDI specialists get a chance to meet with those they have been emailing and exchanging information with during the previous year. Make arrangements to meet during lunches or after-hours to discuss what you each learned throughout the day.
 
Tip 6: Contact (in advance) your vendors/consultants to see if they are doing something special (there are many after-hours events in the works) to help plan your evenings. Similarly, take time to fully explore the sponsors in the exhibit hall. These individuals represent a wealth of industry expertise and they are looking forward to speaking with you.
 
Tip 7: Arrive at your sessions early. As true as it was in grammar school, no one likes to sit in the front row. That said, with more than 800 attendees at the 6th Annual ACDIS Conference overall, you’ll want to arrive a few minutes early to ensure you get a good seat. Some sessions fill up quickly as each breakout cannot accommodate all 800+ attendees  
 
Tip 8: Pack a camera. ACDIS incorporates a number of informal fun activities throughout the course of the conference. You never know when you’ll wish you had your camera to capture them. ACDIS also encourages participants to send in their photos (email mvarnavas@cdiassociation.com) after the event for consideration in its annual conference recap, published in the CDI Journal.



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