Monday, August 14, 2017

Preparing for Regional Music Therapy Conferences

roomies ky

My roommates for the AMTA conference in 2014.

It’s music therapy conference season again! We always have 2 conferences a year: The national conference in the Fall, and the Regional Conferences in the Spring. This is where the business of the American Music Therapy Association takes place.


The Western Region Conference has already passed this year: March 12-15, 2015 in San Jose.

The Mid-Atlantic Region Conference is March 19-21, 2015, in Ocean City, MD.

The Southeastern Region Conference is March 26-28, 2015, in Columbia, SC.

The Southwestern Region Conference is March 26-28, 2015, in Oklahoma City, OK.

The Great Lakes Region Conference is April 8-12, 2015, in Minneapolis, MN.

The Midwestern Region Conference is April 10-12, 2015, in Omaha, NE.

The New England Region Conference is April 16-19, 2015, at the beautiful Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountain in Whitefield, NH.

Before Conference

  1. Pay your AMTA Membership.
  2. Register for conference.
  3. Book your hotel room.
  4. Book your travel.

The Week of Conference

  1. Determine your goal for this conference experience. Who do you want to meet? What do you want to learn? What do you want to buy?
  2. Check out the schedule posted on the conference website. Decide what sessions and events you’ll attend. (Don’t worry–you can change your mind later!)
  3. Print a customized schedule for your conference experience. Include room locations and times. (Don’t worry–you can still change your mind later!)
  4. Plan your conference budget. How much will you need for your hotel, transportation, food, entertainment, exhibit hall? Decide what your goal is for purchasing new equipment or books.
  5. Print travel documents you need (hotel address, shuttle information, car rental, flight information and boarding pass, driving directions).
  6. Plan your wardrobe based on your schedule and pack accordingly. Don’t forget phone chargers, a toothbrush, medications, and presentation materials.
  7. Set your alarm.

During Conference

  1. Review your registration packet. Make adjustments to your schedule. Discard anything you don’t need (ads, etc.). Pack any trinkets you want to keep but don’t need during the conference (cups, guitar picks, etc.).
  2. Have a spot in your hotel room to lay out what you’ll need for the day (name tag, program/schedule, something to take notes with).
  3. Share your experiences and network and enjoy the conference.
  4. Keep your receipts in an envelope. The hotel often has one in each room. Write what each receipt is for and the amount on the envelope.
  5. Go to business meetings and participate in the business of the association. Let your voice be heard.

After Conference

  1. Clean out your conference materials — Don’t take home anything you don’t need or want.
  2. Unpack and make sure you’re ready for the next week.
  3. File your receipts with your tax information.
  4. Update your Continuing Education.
  5. File your notes, jot down your take-aways, schedule follow up contacts with those you networked with.
  6. Determine how you will incorporate your conference experiences into your work.
  7. Take a nap.