By Karen Kemmis, PT, DPT, MS, GCS, CDE, FAADE, AADE President Elect
I don’t want to wish a minute of summer away, but I am getting excited for AADE18 in Baltimore, August 17 to 20! Before we know it, it will be here. Many of you have been to the annual conference several times and probably have great hints to share. Please do. Here are my top 10 thoughts as I get ready for AADE18 in Baltimore.
- Attend the State Coordinating Body (CB) and Community of Interest (COI) Networking Reception
Try to plan your arrival in time to attend the CB/COI Networking Reception, open to all attendees, on Thursday, August 16 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm at the Hilton Baltimore Hotel. This is a great kick-off to the conference! You can visit your state CB table to meet members face-to-face, stop by other states’ tables, and go to the various COI tables. You can sign up for any and all COIs with your AADE membership, so think about doing this in advance or after you return home.
- Catch the keynote presentations
I am always impressed by the quality of the speakers at AADE, especially the keynote speakers. On Thursday, August 17, Donna Ryan will get you up-to-date on the exciting happenings in your AADE during the President’s Address. The general sessions begin at 7:30 am so be sure to plan on an early start to the day to experience these great presentations.
- Bring comfortable shoes
I monitor my steps each day and find that I am about 10,000 steps above my normal when I go to the conference. This is great for fitness but tough if you don’t have the right shoes. Plan ahead to have happy feet! And, Zumba will be offered on Saturday and Monday mornings at 6 am so plan to start your day with some fun, energizing exercise!
- Attend educational sessions and poster presentations
There are so many great presentations to attend. Plan ahead to get to your top choices. Also, there will be “Meet the Poster Authors” on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12:00 to 1:00 pm. Wander through and engage in conversation with the authors. As you attend sessions and view the posters, think about something you might want to submit as a proposal for next year’s meeting.
- Pack layers for comfort
As I sit here in air conditioning with little goose bumps on my arms, I see that it is 96 degrees with a heat index of 106 degrees outside. This may be pretty similar to the situation in Baltimore! So, I will be packing summer clothes along with layers of a sweater/jacket/wrap for the Convention Center and hotels.
- Meet DANA
AADE’s Diabetes Advanced Network Access (DANA), a new members-only diabetes technology training and education site, will be launched at AADE18! You will learn about access to the latest wearable diabetes devices, diabetes mobile app reviews and technology-focused research.
- Wander through the Exhibit Hall
There are hundreds of exhibitors with the latest devices, medications and services for diabetes educators and people with diabetes. Many of the exhibit hall hours are unopposed so, if you plan ahead, you can still get all of the educational credits you need and be able to spend time in the exhibit hall. The hall closes Sunday, August 19 at 2:00 pm so don’t wait until the last minute.
- Learn more at the product theaters and corporate symposia
These don’t require advance registration but will fill out quickly, so plan ahead so you don’t miss out.
- Engage at the Annual Business Meeting
All are invited to attend and participate in the Annual Business Meeting. I know that might not sound super exciting but it is actually a great way to engage with your organization. It will be held on Sunday at 1:00 to 2:00 pm. Please plan to attend.
- Get ready to boogie!!
The social activities at AADE annual conferences are a highlight for me. Don’t miss the evening social events to connect with old friends and make new friends. The AADE Celebration on Sunday from 8:00 to 10:00 pm at the Hilton Baltimore has a 70s disco theme and should by dyn-o-mite! So, get your disco outfit, your dancin’ shoes, and get ready to boogie!! Discounted tickets are available in advance through registration and also onsite.
I hope you can attend this year’s conference and that these hints are helpful. And, I really look forward to seeing you next year at AADE19 in Houston, Texas, on August 9 to 12, 2019!