Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Perfectly Lovely Outside, Who-Knows-What Inside

If veteran conference attendees could share any advice with new or novice conference-goers, they would likely all agree on one thing: bring a sweater.

Each year, NACADA posts a survey online for attendees to comment on their experience at the Annual Conference, and every year the issue of hot/cold rooms is a popular topic. “The room was WAY TOO COLD,” “it was excessively warm in one of my sessions,” “is the thermostat broken at the convention center?” are all common remarks made about every conference facility. Unfortunately, central heating and air-conditioning cannot accommodate every personal preference, a problem that becomes compounded when hundreds or even thousands of bodies fill a room to capacity, and the system has to (over) compensate.

Fortunately for everyone in attendance (myself included), there is a simple solution: bring a sweater.

I know it is hard to pack a sweater or jacket when you are looking forward to great Florida weather, but trust me, if you leave it behind, 34 percent of you will wish you had not. Maybe you could even bring an extra and barter with a chilly peer for something great, like one of the Disney resorts’ free-to-Refill-able Drink Mugs (more on that later).