Tips for navigating the ABA Annual Meeting

The ABA Annual Meeting is a large conference, and may seem overwhelming, particularly to first-timers.  To help you make it a positive and meaningful experience, check the schedule of events on the ABA website and in the mobile app prior to your meeting arrival.

Small Group Networking Sessions

  1. Don’t miss the Special Interest Groups (SIGs)! The ABA has 22 Special Interest Groups and just about every attendee can find one or more that provides specific educational and networking opportunities that meet their needs.  SIG day is on Tuesday, April 2nd. Some are informal workshop-like sessions, some offer CE credits. They are open to all attendees and provide an opportunity to interact and network with people in your areas of interest.
  2. Attend the New Member Welcome Breakfast, Wednesday, April 3rd.
  3. Scan the session titles and select the most interesting and relevant to you. Where there are conflicts: Prioritize and read abstracts for those you can’t attend. Divide sessions among the group from your institution and share notes.
  4. Use the ABA Meeting app as your tool during the week.
  5. Meet new people! Ask your senior colleagues attending the meeting to introduce you to others. Attend receptions and hospitality events for informal networking and fun! Bring business cards with your title, telephone number, and e-mail address.  The social events at the ABA are important opportunities to meet people and learn in an informal setting.
  6. Be sure to take notes on ideas you can use. There is a notes section in the mobile app attached to each session.
  7. Seek help from anyone whose name-tag ribbon identifies them as a Membership Advisory Committee member.
  8. Throughout the meeting, you can visit the Exhibit Hall, where there are hundreds of products and services to explore. There are many opportunities to meet with vendors and have “hands on” experience with their products. This is also a great place to meet people and network.
  9. Bring your dancing shoes and plan to stay through Friday night for the Closing Celebration. This year it will be a fun, informal event with some surprise activities.
  10. After the ABA Annual Meeting, follow up with notes or phone calls to people you met and exchange information.