A few weeks ago I worked as the PR Coordinator for the 33rd Annual Minority Health Conference at UNC. It was my first conference attending as a “worker” and my first conference with a significant public relations role.
I prepared for the conference months in advance by alerting people via Facebook and Twitter about registering, coordinating fundraising events and sending out press releases and PSAs. When the day of the conference arrived I felt more than ready to jump in, take photos and tweet my heart out. However, I learned a couple things that can make my experience at the 34th conference a bit easier.
Get plenty of sleep the night before ☽★
I was told to get a full eight hours of sleep the night before the big day but since I’m a night owl, I probably squeezed in about four. This made me tired during the second keynote and totally wore out before the day was over. Don’t be antsy and get some shut eye! You don’t want to appear fatigued or come off as uninterested at the topic at hand.
Keep extra batteries
It’s pretty hard to take photos of the events and upload them to Facebook as the day goes on when the batteries used in the cameras are rechargeable but the charger is not with the camera! Therefore, it’s always best to keep backup batteries just in case your camera, or other out of date device that still unfortunately uses AA or AAA batteries, runs out.
Recruit a team ☺☺☺
You know they say if you want something done right then its best to just do it yourself. However, there comes a time where you have to admit that you need help! When I was recruited for this position, it was just a one woman job. Next year, I will definitely recruit students to help me out throughout the months leading up to the conference as well as the big day itself. Since I’ll be a senior, I can train the next coordinator and allow some PR newbies to have a great experience. In 2013 I won’t have to worry about being in two places at one time!
Save your feet a wear flat shoes
I’m glad I followed the advice of the directors and wore flats on the day of the conference but my shoes were still a little uncomfortable! I walked around the entire conference center numerous times and occasionally had to briskly jog around from room snapping pictures. I would have certainly fell, rolled an ankle or just had swollen feet by the time everything ended at 4pm. Next year I’ll certainly wear a more comfortable shoe that still won’t leave my feet crying.
Always stay organized
Make sure you know where your services are needed at all times. If an exclusive or just overall presentation is going on in one room, you may need to be there in order to document the happenings over being seen in the main area snapping miscellaneous pics. Be available when someone asks for a photo opp, make sure you’re keeping up with the hashtag for your conference (yes you better have one!) and be prepared to answer questions that are being asked over social media.
Good luck on your conferences from coast to coast! ✈