NCTE 2015 is just a few days away! (Where did that year go?)

It's going to be an awesome weekend with great speakers, sessions, and seminars, but to get the most out of the time and money you’re investing, it pays to be prepared and have a good plan before you get there.

Therefore, we eagerly share with you our . . .

Ten tips for surviving making NCTE 2015 the best event of your career (so far)

  1. Print out several dozen address labels. Make sure you know your school's zip code (and telephone number).
    • These are because just about every booth you stop at is going to ask you to fill out a form and provide the same information…and, you know, people get writer’s cramp and all…
  2. Leave room in your bag for all the freebies you're taking home
    • Some people pack an empty bag, which they bring home full.
    • Buy one or more (depending on how many freebies you’re planning to take) of those “If-It-Fits-It-Ships” boxes. Address them to yourself and mail your freebies home! That way you’re not lugging them around and paying extra baggage fees.
  3. Plan a rough agenda of the sessions and speakers you hope to attend each day. Make sure you allow time to travel from room to room, eat, and rest.
    • Program the events you really want to attend into your phone’s calendar and set the alerts early enough for you to get to them. It’s amazing how easy it is to lose track of time—especially when you’re exploring the exhibit hall.
  4. Visit the exhibit hall early and often.
  5. Keep hydrated.
  6. Look for an orphan (a solo attendee) and adopt him or her into your group. If you are the orphan, try to find a companion or a friendly group to spend some time with.
  7. Suck on hard candy or cough drops.
  8. Use this as an opportunity to build your professional social network.
    • Follow any speakers that you like on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Many speakers keep sharing great ideas online all year long.
    • Keep your eye on the #NCTE15 Hashtag to see what's going on throughout the show.
    • If you see something cool, don't hesitate to jump in and share it!
  9. Eat at least one meal at a truly local restaurant (or at least drive by the Mary Tyler Moore house and toss your hat in the air.)
  10. Stop by booth 245 at least once each day to say hi to Kathy, Doug, and Keith.
    • Bring Kathy, Doug, and Keith coffee if it’s before noon and water if it’s after noon. (But don’t feed us after midnight, and don’t ever get us wet!)
    • We'll have some of our most popular programs for you to look at, so it's a great time to get a look at what we've got.
    • If something seems interesting, we're sending out samples after the show, so it's a great opportunity to get free stuff for your classroom.
    • We're giving away a free poster every day (and two on Saturday!). Don't miss out. They'll go fast.

Follow these tips and … well … You might just make it after all.