Monday, August 14, 2017

#AMTA14 Conference Planning

Filed under Music Therapy Show

It’s that time of year when I feel like I’m drowning in responsibilities and I remind myself that I keep saying I’m going to cut back: American Music Therapy Association Conference time. I actually have cut back, and yet, it seems that ALL of the things I’m involved in are all requiring my attention and time with deadlines ALL at the same time.

One thing I’ve done to help me prepare for conference is to plan my sessions before I get there. I find the online and printed conference programs challenging to process at conference, plus I used to have a lot of meetings to attend. So I started planning out my conference schedule so that I would know when I could actually attend concurrent sessions and when I could broadcast my radio show.

It became really helpful the last few years when AMTA would publish the actual conference program online a few days before conference began. This year, they have the schedule on the mobile website.

I would put all the meetings, sessions, gatherings, and locations into my Google calendar, with room locations, so that I wouldn’t have to be flipping through the program at the last minute to find out where to be and when, and I wouldn’t double book myself!

Here is the form I used to organize conference this year.

#AMTA 14 Conference planner

This worksheet is a word doc so that you can type into it before conference or print it out and write your sessions down once you have the conference program. This is designed for the “regular” conference attendee that doesn’t have meetings or CMTEs or other obligations, but is easily adaptable to suit your own busy schedule.

Here is what my conference plan is.

Janice’s Conference planner

How do you choose which session to attend? I’ve done it in different ways. One year, I picked presenters that I was interested in listening to. Most years, I pick a topic that I’m interested in and attended sessions on that topic (hint: this is a great way to get those Umbrella Topic CMTEs). Each year, I determine what my goal is for conference and create a conference plan that addresses that goal.