It’s that time of year again – time for Group’s KidMin Conference! If you have read my blog for a while, then you know that i absolutely love this conference, which I have attended in Chicago (2011) and Columbus (2013 & 2014). I am looking forward to attending again this year!
As the conference nears and momentum begins to build, there are a flurry of questions from veterans and new attendees, especially as this year’s conference has moved back to Chicago. According to the conference organizers, here are a few of the most frequently asked pre-conference questions along with my own personal tips:
1. Do I need to register for Pre-Conference training options in advance? Yes. These seven-hour intensives, which include lunch, are a great way to begin the weekend. I chose this a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Add this to your conference registration for just $59 per person. Click here for more details.
2. Do I need to register for the workshops in advance? No. Once you browse through the list of workshop options, you simply show up at the workshops you’d like to take. Beware, however, that some workshops fill up quickly and close. If that is the case, you will need to make another selection. Tip: Choose several workshops for each time slot in advance if you can so that you can quickly join another location.
Be sure to download the Participant’s Booklet here.
My Personal Pre-Conference Tips
- Have a strategy for attending workshops, especially if you’re coming with a group. Here’s something to consider: One person attends one of the deeper learning tracks, while other folks attend workshops that would support the particular learning track. This way, the information gained is not spread across every topic, rather everything their team learns can be applied to an overall concept or particular focus. After KidMin and your team has a chance to regroup, the information from all these workshops and learning tracks compliment and support the desires of the team. They go in with a plan, focus your energies, and leave with tools and concepts that can be applied immediately.
- You can now download the KidMin 2015 participant book at www.group.com/kidmin. Simply go to the “Downloads” tab and select “Participant Guide”. You will receive a booklet at the conference but downloading it in advance will help you to mark the workshops you’d like to take early. **Note: Some of the workshops (like mine!) might have a date/time change. You will receive an updated list of workshops when you arrive.
- Confirm your hotel reservations.
- Confirm your transportation arrangements/reservations. If you are flying into O’Hare, there is complimentary ground shuttle from the airport to the conference hotel every 15 minutes. Click here for more details.
- Download your workshop handouts. This year, the handouts are in Word format, so they are editable. Be sure to download the handouts for your alternate workshop choices, too. Download the handouts
- Make arrangements to meet up for coffee with your fellow kidmin’ers. Allow some flexibility but it doesn’t hurt to pre-arrange meals or coffee with friends.
Don’t forget to pack:
- Money/credit card/checkbook
- Business cards or pre-printed contact information (this can be printed on address labels) to pass out when networking
- Comfy clothing and shoes
- Light sweater or jacket, as rooms might be chilly
- Reusable water bottle
- Tote bag (to carry all of your stuff)
- Portable snacks such as energy/granola bars, trail mix, etc.
- Electronic devices & chargers
- Any downloads you’ve printed ahead of time
The official hashtag for KidMin 2015 is: #kidmin15 So be sure to get connected and watch for updates, info, and more on these accounts…
Group KidMin Conference Attendees Facebook Group
Group KidMin Conference Facebook Page
Group KidMin Conference Twitter
Group KidMin Conference Instagram
Come back tomorrow for more tips!
Keep the conversation going! Will I see you at #kidmin15? What are you excited about?