FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - OFFICIAL - 10th Chicago Seminars - October 18-20, 2019
Old Oct 10, 2019, 12:05 pm
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Thoughts & tips for those attending the Chicago Seminar Event for the first time...

* Dress casual or biz casual, whichever you prefer/feel most comfortable in. It's long days/nights.

* Layer or have a lightweight sweater or jacket in case it gets cold or if you're wearing it, can take off if it gets too hot. This applies to both inside & outside temps.

* Realize that you're not the dumbest person in the room when it comes to travel, and also odds are you're not the smartest. The range of knowledge is quite wide in a group of 500, but sometimes it's easy to feel intimidated. Also know some people exaggerate when they discuss their status, tricks, tips.

* Take a deep breath & also realize you're not going to remember everything. When there is so much information shared in such a short period of time, it can be a bit overwhelming (understatement). If you can get one good tip out of each session you're ahead of the game.

* Take notes, whether it's via paper, laptop, iPad, smartphone, whatever. You won't remember everything if you try to just do it mentally. If you're attending with someone or you meet someone who will be in a different session, make arrangements to swap notes after the event.

* Go to the hotel restaurant/bar in the evenings, even if you don't drink. You're surrounded by a few hundred like-minded individuals so even if you don't know anyone you have something in common, so ask to sit with others & feel free to join in with the others. Don't just head back to your room after the sessions are over, as it's in the hallways, bar & restaurant that good tips/conversations occur/friendships are made. You don't have to close down the bar (although some have been known to do that!), but stop by for a while to meet/chat/eat/drink.

* Even if you're an introvert, do ask if you can join others and chat. I know it can be difficult to do, but you'll benefit by doing so. Some FTers will find this hard to believe because I'm pretty out-going/gregarious, but I am shy & it is hard for me to reach out/ask if I can join a group when I don't know others so I sympathize. But again, the thing to remember is that you all have something in common - travel. You might want to think of a few ice-breaker questions in advance. Or you might want to eavesdrop on conversations & if you find one of interest, just join in.

* And yes, to the veterans, reach out to others & invite them to join you. We were all newbies once.

* Just acknowledge that the chairs are uncomfortable (misery loves company) & with 500 attendees and a full hotel, the internet might run slow. Meals aren't as bad as everyone makes out - and the fact so many get served in such a short period of time is amazing. Remember, you don't fly for the food/you're not attending the event for the food either.

* Start checking out forums on Flyertalk. You'll get lots of good information at the CSE, but there is a lot more knowledge in the various airline, hotel, manufactured spend forums on Flyertalk & you can access it 24/7/365.

* One last thing - don't forget to buy lots of charity raffle tickets from me or my volunteers. We've got great prizes, are supporting 3 wonderful charities, and we accept credit cards as well as cash.

Have fun & see everyone next weekend!
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