Tips for Networking at NISOD’s Annual Conference

NISOD BLOG

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NISOD’s Annual Conference is almost here! As you make your packing list and double-check your itinerary, be sure to leave time in your busy conference schedule for networking. NISOD’s conference is a wonderful opportunity to meet new colleagues and friends from all over the country, learn how things are done in their classroom and at their college, and bring some of that wisdom home with you. We hope you leave the conference bursting with new ideas, and with new friends to reach out to as you implement those ideas in the classroom. Here are just a few ways you can make the most of the networking opportunities NISOD offers at its conference.

Three women visiting the exhibit area at NISOD's conference. Two women pose with their excellence awards medallians Five people sit chatting at a roundtable discussion.

1. Visit as Many Networking Sessions as You Can!
We have several opportunities to network built into the conference schedule! Join NISOD staff for a “Welcome to the Conference” session from 8:30-9:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 29. There will be opportunities to network in small groups at “Connections and Conversations” sessions on Sunday and Monday afternoons.

2. Fill Out Your Bingo Card
In your registration packet you’ll receive a Bingo card with statements you’ll need to match with other attendees–statements such as “Conference first-timer” and “Travelled from out of state to attend the conference.” Once you meet enough people who can check off statements to make a Bingo, you can turn in your Bingo card for a chance to win a GoPro HERO9 at the Closing General Session Luncheon! Bingo is a great icebreaker and way to introduce yourself to new colleagues.

3. Swing By the Exhibit Area
The Exhibit Area is filled with exciting sponsors who are generously supporting our conference. It’s a great place to fill out your Bingo card and meet other attendees. Complimentary coffee and tea are available each morning and afternoon in the Exhibit Area–check your conference program for exact timing!

4. Step and Repeat 
This piece of advice is for all Excellence Awards recipients! Be sure to arrive at the Excellence Awards Dinner and Celebration (Grand Ballroom Salons 5/6, Level 4) at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the event to meet with other recipients and take photos in front of our Excellence Awards Wall! This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with colleagues new and old.

5. Make Time for Roundtable Discussions
NISOD’s conference offers many session formats, from the packed General Session Luncheons to smaller Roundtable Discussions. Be sure to attend a few of these smaller sessions as they can be a great way to connect with new colleagues and engage with the facilitator.

6. Download the Conference App
Our conference app, Whova, offers more than just up-to-date session schedules and reminders. The meet-ups function within the app allows conference attendees to post meetings that other interested participants can join. These could be informal discussions on a topic, a debrief after a conference session, dinner plans, or walking trips to local Austin attractions!

“Talk to people! NISOD folks are friendly. Before each session and during lunch, introduce yourself to the attendees around you. Speak to presenters following a session that is especially meaningful for you, and initiate follow-up email questions after the session concludes to establish a connection. If you received an Excellence Award medallion, wear it proudly. It creates an opportunity for others to initiate a conversation with you.”