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The ILA 2018 Conference: Know Before You Go

By Alina O'Donnell
 | Jun 28, 2018

ILA 2018 Must-Read TipsThere are only three weeks left until the International Literacy Association 2018 Conference, which takes place July 20-23, in Austin, TX. Your flight is booked, your hotel room is reserved, and you’ve already begun to make room on your shelves for new titles from your favorite authors. Soon, you’ll be face-to-face with some of the biggest names in the field and thousands of educators who share your passion for literacy education.

This year’s conference features more than 300 sessions and events—that’s a lot to cover in just three days. Whether you’re an ILA conference first-timer or a seasoned veteran, we want to make sure you are prepared to take full advantage of this transformative experience.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you hit the ground running in Austin.

Before you arrive:

  • Start planning your conference experience. Use the iPlanner, which allows you to search by topic, audience, speaker, and more, to create a list of sessions and activities that catch your interest. Be sure to register for any add-on events (e.g., Institute Day, Edcamp Literacy, or the CAEP Workshop) in advance. These require separate registration and frequently sell out. Want a more personalized learning experience? Read about the three conference tracks here.
  • Download the conference app. Available now, the ILA 2018 mobile app isyour go-to resource while at conference. Use it to manage your personal agenda, find and connect with attendees, read session details, and access venue maps.
  • Connect digitally. Follow ILA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to get the latest information and connect with other attendees using the hashtag #ILA18.
  • Participate in the #ILAchat on July 12. Conference speakers Matt Kay, M. Colleen Cruz, and Tim’m West, along with ILA staff members, will provide a sneak peek at what to expect from ILA 2018.
  • Pack wisely. Make sure to bring comfortable shoes and layers to accommodate for fluctuating temperatures in conference spaces.  
  • Print important materials. Make travel less stressful by ensuring you have all your confirmation emails, tickets, maps, and contact numbers printed out or saved on your mobile device before you head to Austin.

Once you arrive on-site:

  • Visit the Registration Area. Pick up your materials, including printed copies of this year’s program and a coupon booklet (if you're taking a shuttle bus, it will drop you off near Registration).
  • Swing by ILA Central. From swag to information about membership and literacy projects, ILA Central is your one-stop shop for all things ILA. Show your ILA pride with all-new merchandise, including a collectible ILA 2018 Conference T-shirt. Don’t wait—they sell out fast.
  • Find the "Ask Me" guides. Look for these friendly folks wearing bright yellow shirts—they’ll be prepared to answer all your conference-related questions.
  • Grab a shuttle schedule. ILA provides complimentary shuttle service between official ILA 2018 Conference hotels and the Austin Convention Center. Schedules will be available in the app, on-site, and in the lobbies of hotels on the official scheduled route.
  • See the sights. Find out about museums, historic sites, famous bookstores, and other literary landmarks to visit on your free time.

See you in Austin!

Alina O'Donnell is the communications strategist at ILA and the editor of Literacy Daily.

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