As I was walking by the calendar on the refrigerator, I suddenly realized that ASCA is less than one week away!!!  In a panic, I decided to go ahead and start my preparations (pulling out clothes, packing books, buying supplies, etc) for my trip.  My husband noticed all the “stuff” on the bed and asked why I was already packing.  Annoyed by his ridiculous question, I quickly replied to him my intent. “Honey, I am just trying to be prepared that’s all.”  Of course he rolled his eyes and walked away.  So, in my pursuit for ultimate ASCA preparation, I decided I need to get myself mentally and physically ready for LA.  As I am going through my list, it occurred to me that there may be others  who feel the same way.  As I prepare for the conference, I thought I would share some tips that I have learned and other pro-ASCA attenders have shared over the years.

Step 1: Pre-ACSA Preparation

Now that you are past making your hotel reservation, it is time to prepare for the actual conference.  To make your arrival less stressful, download the ASCA conference app and pick the sessions you want to attend (by the way, I completed this the other night and it was really easy). The good news is that you still can view the handouts from the conference even if you cannot attend (#notatASCA18). Also, if you love paper, you can print out the full conference agenda.

If you have not already, become part of the #ASCA18 conversation on Twitter.  If you cannot go this year (I have been there), follow the conference on Twitter using the #notatASCA18 hashtag.  Believe me, you will get a lot of great information.  Already, I am seeing a lot of buzz and excitement about the conference!

Some last minute preparations for those of you who are flying. Looking on the ASCA website today, I noticed that conference attendees must schedule transportation from the airport to the hotel (again, glad I am planning ahead).  The good news is that ASCA has arranged a discounted price on Super Shuttle (you will need to make reservations in advance).

Now back to packing and what to bring.  Carol Miller (The Middle School Counselor) gives some great tips of what to bring in her latest blog, “Going to ASCA?  What You Need to Know“.  Carol suggests some basic staples such as Advil, a battery pack, extra I-Phone charger, notebook, reading materials for the plane, and of course your business cards (I have to go get mine from work this week).  In addition, I am bringing highlighters, colored gel pens (got to have them), sticky notes, and folders for any handouts someone may give out.

My ASCA Notebook

Okay, the important question everyone wants to know is what to wear?!  I like to dress in business causal attire for conferences, but I am also wearing some of my counselor swag that I have picked up over time.  I looked at the weather forecast for LA and temperatures will be in the upper 80s and low 90s…perfect for this southern girl!!

Need some counselor swag?  Buy a t-shirt and donate to the school counseling community scholarship!! You will learn more about this scholarship at the conference!!

My Counselor Swag

Step 2: Arrival

Now, you have finally arrived in Los Angeles at one of the greatest conferences in the world!  What is next?  You already have your schedule down (remember you are doing this before the conference, right?) and it is time to attend your sessions.  Since I am arriving late on Friday, I plan to register Saturday morning (registration is from 9AM-6PM) and then head to the Open Session Keynote featuring former NBA star, Kareem Abdul Jabbar. After lunch, I will be heading to the breakout sessions and looking to connect with some of my counseling buddies!  Since we are in LA, I will definitely be looking for some of the stars of school counseling that I follow, okay stalk, on social media!!

If you want to meet some of these amazing people, my suggestion is to sign up for the ASCA Meet Up sponsored by one of these stars, Carol Miller.

Another great way to meet people and see the sites is to take the ASCA College Tour on Tuesday.

Step 3: Enjoy the Trip!

So, I am taking my daughter with me to the conference for her 21st birthday and we are going to make sure we take in the sites while we are in LA!  I am looking ahead and there are TONS of things to do in Los Angeles (it is a little overwhelming).  I doubt I will have time to accomplish all my site seeing wish list, but here are at least three places that I would love to visit!!

Beverly Hills (my shopping Mecca!)

Hollywood Walk of Fame (hoping to see a star or two…maybe or maybe not, just a thought)

Sunset Strip (Because I am a child of 80s Hair Metal!)

Want to know where to go in LA? Check out the Beginner’s Guide to Los Angeles for more information!

Well, those are some of my tips for attending ASCA.  You will learn a lot, meet a lot of great people, and definitely want to go to #ASCA19 in Boston for sure!!  Also, I hope you will stop by my session on Sunday afternoon about the super power of peer leadership…I would love to you meet you!!

Want to know more about attending the ASCA conference?  Check out these other great posts!!

Can’t Make It To ASCA18?

Can’t make it to ASCA this year? No sweat!! Here are some tips from an expert #notatASCA attendee.

1.  Attend the conference as a virtual attendee.  See my post from last year on the advantages of attending from home.

2.  Follow the conference on Twitter…#notatASCA18.

3.  Plan early for #ASCA19 in Boston!  Download the conference justification letter for your school administrator.

June 29–July 2, 2019
“Revolutionary Ideas”

4.  Consider following my counseling superstar blogs to keep up with the highlights from the conference.

Enjoy the Conference!!

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