Tips for First Timers at TOC

If you are new to TOC this year, we’d like to welcome you and offer you a few tips to help you get the most out of your time at the conference. If any TOC veterans have some additional suggestions, please leave a comment below.

  • Adorn your conference badge with a “First Timer” ribbon. We want to make sure you feel part of the community so we’re asking all newcomers to pick up a “First Timer” ribbon in registration. That way the rest of the community can identify you and help make you feel welcome.
  • Join and use the Attendee Directory. The attendee directory was created to help connect attendees with one another. Make sure you create your profile (including your bio) and put a picture up so others can recognize you in-person. Then you can search through the list of attendees and create a list of people you would like to meet.
  • Participate in the hallway track. One of the best parts of TOC are the groups of people in the hallways having conversations with one another – think of them as informal networking sessions. You will get a lot more out of the conference if you start conversations with people outside of the session rooms. Don’t be shy! Take advantage of the opportunity to find out what others are doing, what challenges they face, and what successes they’ve had in their organizations. Introduce yourself whenever possible and make it a point to chat with others.
  • Bring plenty of business cards. You’ll be meeting a lot of people and handing out your business cards is an easy way for others to get your contact information.
  • Attend all the networking events. They give you the opportunity to mingle in a more informal setting. See the list of events
  • Chat with others at your lunch table. Ask them which sessions they plan to go to or which sessions they’ve liked the best so far. If you missed one of the sessions everyone seemed to like, leave a comment on the that session’s page on the TOC website and ask the speaker to please post their slides/presentation files.
  • Go to a Roundtable Session or two. These are more intimate, smaller groups of people, and are great way to chat with other people interested in the same topics as you. See a list of already scheduled Roundtables or even better, lead your own! Roundtable Information
  • Talk to the speakers after their presentations. Our speakers put a lot of time and energy into their presentations so any kind of feedback you have for them is always appreciated. And as influencers in this industry, they are a valuable source of information too. You can either give feedback in person at the session or online by leaving a comment on the speaker’s session detail page. Speakers are notified via email when someone makes an online comment about their session and will often respond.
  • Visit the booths in the Exhibit Hall. The exhibitors are an important part of the publishing ecosystem. They’re not only showing off the latest and greatest products and services, but they are good resources of information and many times great at connecting people to one another.

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Picture of Matthew Diener
Matthew Diener
02/18/2010 4:50am EST

With all the great sessions offered at TOC, you will not be able to attend everything that is of interest to you. Remember that most presenters will post their slideshows on the TOC Web site after the show. Make sure you look at any sessions you couldn’t attend, especially if they are creating buzz at the show.

Picture of Kassia Krozser
Kassia Krozser
02/17/2010 1:20pm EST

Building on Suzanne’s comment, introduce yourself to everybody and if we’ve met online, mention it. Everyone loves to put faces to names and/or Twitter handles. I also second the ask questions during sessions comment.

Picture of Suzanne Axtell
Suzanne Axtell
02/17/2010 12:56pm EST

Another thought: Ask a question or make a comment during the Q&A portion of the sessions you attend. (Introducing yourself first is something I personally appreciate too.)

  • Ingram Content Group
  • Qualcomm
  • Copia
  • Impelsys Inc.
  • Innodata Isogen, Inc.
  • Adobe
  • Aptara
  • Baker & Taylor
  • Bowker
  • codeMantra
  • Connotate
  • Google
  • HP
  • LibreDigital
  • MagMe
  • Malloy
  • Mark Logic
  • oXygen XML Editor
  • Chuckwalla
  • Foxit Software
  • Jacquette Consulting
  • Jouve North America
  • Lulu
  • Marvell
  • Media Services Group
  • PubServ
  • Safari Books Online
  • Silverchair
  • Virtusales
  • Vitrium Systems
  • Smashwords, Inc.

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