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We've all been to professional conferences. They can be a invigorating, stimulating and encouraging.  They can also be overwhelming!  Moreover, conferences take time.  Since few practitioners of Higher Education would ever claim to have too much time on their hands, devoting precious time to a conference can seem like a questionable use of that scarcest of commodities.  Yet any seasoned professional will tell you that the investment in time and energy can pay dividends!  To help you capitalize on the 2018 Student Life Development Conference, here is a  few suggestions and strategies:

Be Intentional

There are a variety of workshops and opportunities to engage in round table discussions.  Review the options, presenters and learning outcomes and build a purposeful schedule.  Maybe the content is of personal or professional interest to you.  Maybe the presenter is someone you'd like to partner with or learn from.  Whatever the motive, do your homework and be purposeful.

Capture Ideas

Any good conference will stuff your head full of ideas and action steps to the point of overflowing.  Get your notebook or app ready and capture those items.  Make a reminder on your calendar to revisit them later or follow up with that presenter.

Plan to Engage

Conferences are meant to stimulate connections and engagement.  Strike up conversations with your Student Life Colleagues;  debate the content, seek the input and perspective of others.  Whatever you do, don't just passively coast through the day.

Follow Up

Don't let those good ideas and connections slip away.  Plan in advance for some time in your calendar to follow up.  Make it a point to revisit your notes, bring ideas to your next staff meeting or supervisory meeting.