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Know Before You Go

Please note that by registering, you agree to AZA's conference policies and code of conduct.

Mark your calendars for the Wildly Prepared: Know Before You Go to Calgary webinar on Thursday, August 22, 2:00 PM ET. Leaders from throughout the AZA community as well as local Calgary experts will help set the stage for a fun, professional, and engaging Conference. Register today!

Travel Documentation Requirements
Before booking your flight it is highly recommended that you review the documentation requirements needed to enter Canada. As a Conference attendee you are considered a "business visitor" in Canada. Most people need either a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada. Others may only need their valid passport.

Not sure what documentation you need as a business visitor? Simply answer a few questions to see what's right for you. When asked, "what do you plan to do in Canada?" be sure to select "attend a meeting, conference, or trade show".

If you need a letter of invitation, AZA will be able to provide one. Please contact AZA Meetings Department for more information.
LGBTQI+ Travelers

There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTQI+ events in Canada. See the U.S Dept of State's LGBTQI+ Travel Information page and section 6 of their Human Rights report for further details. For the latest news and LGBTQI+ travel suggestions in Calgary, visit the Rainbow Connect website.

U.S. citizens can select an X as their gender marker on their U.S. passport application. Information about X gender marker passports and changing your U.S. passport to an X gender marker can be found here. Although the U.S. government issues passports with the X gender marker, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. Some countries do not recognize the X gender marker. In these countries, you may face entry restrictions. Check with the foreign embassy or consulate in the United States before you travel.

Mobile Data Plans

Check your wireless mobile data plan to make sure there are no fees for traveling abroad. Many phone carriers have international data plans to make sure you do not pay a premium for data usage.

Notify Your Bank

Before going abroad, notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel, and check exchange rates. Although the U.S. Dollar is typically stronger than the Canadian Dollar, your credit card may apply transaction fees for international charges. Know what these are before traveling and try to avoid these. The Bank of Canada exchange rates are published each business day by 4:30 pm ET. From Sept 28, 2023 to March 27, 2024 the average value of 1 USD = 0.7379 CAD.

Travel/Health Insurance

The U.S. government does not provide insurance for U.S. citizens overseas and do not pay medical bills or unexpected costs. It is highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance before you travel to cover emergency medical care, either as part of or separate from trip cancellation insurance.

Medical facilities and providers abroad may require cash up front and may not accept U.S. insurance plans. U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not provide coverage outside the United States. Check your health care policy to see if it will cover you overseas. If not, consider buying supplemental insurance.  Make sure the insurance you purchase covers any special medical needs or risks you anticipate on your trip.

Packing Tips

Pack and prepare the following items to ensure you are prepared, comfortable and productive.

Download the Conference App
Take advantage of our mobile app to plan your agenda. Search AZA Meetings and Conferences in your app store to download to access the 2024 Annual Conference schedule, maps, and more!

Business Cards
Chances are that you’re going to meet a lot of people at the conference. Be sure to bring plenty of business cards to pass out. Pro tip: take notes on the business cards you receive from others, noting who the person is and what you talked about, just in case you want to follow up.

Comfortable Shoes
Oftentimes conference sessions will roll into networking events that roll into dinner. Pack shoes that can be taken from day to night and most importantly, that are comfortable.

Dress for the Occassion
Conference rooms are notoriously cold. Even if it’s nice outside, consider packing a sweater or a light jacket just in case you get chilly. Check the latest weather in Calgary to get an idea of what you may want to bring.

You may find that you have some downtime while at a conference and you don’t want to be sitting around your hotel room in business clothing. Consider packing a pair of sweats and some tennis shoes to lounge in.

Notebook and Pen
Even if you prefer to take notes on one of your devices, you may not always be able to, especially if you find yourself in a situation where it may be considered rude or be a distraction to others. If that’s the case, you’ll want to be prepared with a good, old-fashioned notebook and pen. Pro tip: Always bring extra pens. Fellow conference goers always borrow them and they can get misplaced easily.

Charger/Extended Batteries
Perhaps you’ll want to use your laptop or tablet to take notes during conference sessions. Or, maybe you’ll want to use your phone to live Tweet or Facebook information from the event. Conference days can be somewhat long and you’ll want to be prepared with a charger and/or extended batteries for all of your devices.

A Watch
Sure you could pull your phone out to check the time, but it’s much more discreet and far less distracting to simply check a watch.

Reusable Water Bottle
Hydration is important, especially when you are sitting and/or talking most of the day. We recommend bringing a reusable water bottle with you to fill up whenever you need to. Fillable water stations will be offered throughout the center.

Food will be provided at the Convention Center (see schedule below), the Icebreaker (heavy appetizers), and Zoo Day (lunch and dinner). However, you can never have too many snacks, especially during a jam-packed day of conference sessions and networking. Pack healthy and easy-to-eat choices such as granola bars, nuts and dried fruit.

  Tuesday, Sept 17 Wednesday, Sept 18 Thursday, Sept 19
Light Breakfast 07:30 AM - 08:00 AM 07:30 AM - 08:00 AM -
Lunch 12:00 PM - 02:00 PM 12:00 PM - 02:00 PM -
Refreshment Break 03:30 PM - 04:00 PM 03:30 PM - 04:00 PM 09:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Important Cards
Always travel with your health insurance card and ID.

While at the Conference
  • Attend the First Time Attendee Meeting on Monday, September 16, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM.
  • Go to the social events!
  • Exhibit Hall - review the floorplan and schedule of activities with exhibitors. Don't be shy! Even if you don't plan to purchase anything, you can learn a lot from the suppliers. You can also 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.
  • Look at attendee badges - and introduce yourself. More than likely the person sitting next to you is just as shy as you are. 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.
  • Stay Safe - dont wear your conference badge outside of the convention center, unless you are at a conference event.