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First Time Attendees

Tips For A Great Conference
  • Mark your calendar for Monday, August 29, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM to join AZA staff and fellow colleagues at the First-time Attendees meeting to kick-start your AZA Annual Conference inaugural experience.
  • Study the schedule and learn about all the program options available each day--don't just focus on one track! Conference registrants are welcome to attend any sessions and meetings, provided they are not marked "executive session".
  • Go to the events! The Icebreaker will take place at the National Aquarium and Zoo Day will take place at the Maryland Zoo. Transportation will be provided to Zoo Day. The National Aquarium is located downtown and is walkable from all conference hotels, transportation will not be provided. All other conference happenings take place at the Convention Center.
  • Review the roundtable format discussions that are scheduled in the Exhibit Hall. These are offered for smaller, more interactive discussions and open to all attendees.
  • If you have a smartphone, take advantage of the Annual Conference mobile app and free Wi-Fi to plan your agenda. Search: AZA Conferences. The option to have a printed program guide and schedule-at-a-glance will still be available.
  • Review the Exhibit Hall Floorplan and schedule of activities with exhibitors. Even if you don't plan to purchase anything, you can learn a lot from the suppliers so don't be shy!
  • Visit AZA staff at AZA Central located in the center of the Exhibit Hall. They are available to assist with questions, concerns or just want to see what they look like.
  • Poster Presentations - another opportunity to discuss and meet authors of poster presentations on a variety of topics. Check your Program Guide or App for a full listing and attend the Poster Reception on Wednesday, August 30.
  • Tips from veteran Annual Conference attendees:
    • Wear comfortable shoes
    • Dress in layers – the convention center stays cold
    • You don't need to bring a water bottle this year because they will be provided to attendees
    • Always travel with your health insurance card and ID
    • Stay safe - don’t wear your badge outside of the convention center, unless you are at a conference event.
    • Stay healthy – Follow the vaccination policy and be sure to submit your proof of vaccination in advance to streamline your check-in. Please do not attend any sessions or events if you are feeling poorly. There will be masks and rapid COVID tests available at the registration booth for anyone who needs them.  
    • Look at attendee badges - and introduce yourself. More than likely the person sitting next to you is just as shy as you are.
    • Know the AZA code of conduct.
  • Make a point to share contact information if you meet someone at the conference. They will remember you and be interested in following up after the Conference to keep in contact. Or, connect with them using the AZA Network.
Take every advantage of being at the Annual Conference! See you in Baltimore!


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