In 2010, we asked conference veterans to share advice with NAFSA first-time attendees. We've all been there. Attending a NAFSA annual conference can be both overwhelming and exhilarating at the same time, so here are some of the great tips we received from last year's contributors:

  • "Make a detailed schedule."
  • "…attend the first-timers orientation." (on Tuesday morning)
  • "Visit the Expo Hall."
  • "Wear comfortable shoes!"
  • "Bring lots of business cards."
  • "Don't be shy - NAFSAns are very nice and welcoming!"
  • "Volunteering at the conference is a great way to network and meet new people."
  • "Sign up for a mentor."
  • "...mingle with people you have never met before."

Read all of the tips from last year.

As we prepare for NAFSA's 2011 Annual Conference & Expo in Vancouver, we are asking previous conference attendees to share your advice with our first-time attendees. What is the one thing you wish you had known before attending your first NAFSA conference? How can a first-timer make the most out of the conference? Take a look at the program in Conference Connection. Which events would you recommend for first-timers to attend? Which special events should not be missed?

If Vancouver will be your first NAFSA conference, what questions would you like to have answered? Post them as comments to this blog, and past conference participants will do their best to answer your questions and help you make the most of your first NAFSA conference. And if you haven't done so already, be sure to check out the conference Web site just for first-timers.

Please add your comments to this post and let the sharing begin! A special thanks to those attendees who shared advice last year.