For all of you who have arrived early to participate in leadership meetings, preconference workshops, or to set up your exhibit booth, welcome to the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo in St. Louis, Missouri! And for those of you who haven’t arrived yet, it’s amazing to watch America’s Center transform from a blank canvas to a space decked out in the NAFSA conference colors. The weather for the week is looking great. I’m promising myself I’ll get outside and enjoy it. Starting today!

I always like to arrive a day or two early so that I can visit some of the attractions our host city has to offer. I’m a fan of listening to great blues music (having grown up in Chicago) and thanks to the great advice provided by Ryan Saale, I can check some out right here. Ryan is our local arrangements team communication chair and has prepared us well for our St. Louis adventures with his blog entries.

Each morning, I’ll upload a new post with highlights from my schedule and a question that you should ask me if we run into each other during the day. So, for today’s schedule: I’ll be focused on getting the lay of the land at the convention center, taking a peek at how the Expo Hall is coming together, and providing user testing feedback on the NAFSA website—then I’ll head out for some blues.

And so, for my first question: what did you think of the Annual Conference Reader? Not sure what the reader is? You still have time to read the articles and join in the conversation with your fellow conference goers in person or on Twitter at #NAFSA13Reader. If you don’t see me, you can always tweet me at @StephenFerst.