by Zenia Simpson
I simply cannot believe the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium is 2 days away! After a year of planning, waiting, and tweeting, finally the day is near where over 200 arts managers from all over the country will converge at American University to share lessons learned and discuss how to lead this ever-evolving field. But with a 9-5, jam-packed day (with breaks, but many activities), hundreds of people,  and plenty of things to choose from, it can be a bit much if you aren’t prepared. So here’s a brief EALS Survival Guide to help your day go off without a hitch. If you haven’t purchased a ticket, we only have 20 tickets left so be sure to buy your ticket now!

Meet people before the symposium.
There are plenty of opportunities to meet fellow symposium-goers before Sunday, which will help you feel more at ease throughout the day. Head over to our event page on Facebook and see if anyone wants to meet up at any of Helene’s suggested DC venues or restaurants. Definitely plan on coming to the EALS Meet and Greet Happy Hour at Penn Social this Saturday from 5-7 pm! We’re raffling off one of our awesome tote bags.
Check out the schedule and panels you’re interested in ahead of time.
Visit the EALS website to cover FAQs and information in case you get lost during your day at the symposium. At registration, everyone chooses which panels they would like to attend for the day so get a head-start by reading up on the panels and panelists on our blog.
Come early!
With that being said, come early! Registration opens at 9am, and we’ll have coffee waiting for you. We’ll also be kicking off the day with a networking activity, “Colleague Connect: Quality over Quantity Networking,” to help you network with fellow arts managers organically to begin lasting connections that endure well after the symposium is over.
Get a memento.
Take a picture with your group or new friends at the step and repeat, buy a + ART bag, and feel free to pick up something from the AU Museum Store to take with you!
Stay tuned in from 9-5. 
To stay A1 throughout the day, be sure to do the following things:
  • Charge your phone – worst thing ever when trying to coordinate and collect phone numbers so you can meet up during Arts Advocacy Day on Monday and your phone is RIP.
  • Check Twitter frequently – The hashtag #EALS2016 will be filled with thoughts throughout the day, live tweets of the keynote speakers and panels. It will be a great way for furthering conversations happening during the day!
  • Bring a notebook – There are so many gems of knowledge shared during EALS that it’ll be hard to remember it all. Be sure to bring a notebook to write down good tidbits and your epiphanies throughout the day.
  • Buy lunch – Nothing will make you crash harder at EALS than being hungry. Buy a $5 lunch through EALS from Cosi and have your lunch waiting for you after you get out of your 1st panel session.
  • Stay for the reception – If you followed the tips so far, you should be all set to make it to the end of the day. Following the performance from the DC Youth Poetry Slam Team and Megan Crigger’s keynote speech, we’ll have a catered reception in the Rotunda with great food, a cash bar, music by Philip Carter, and time to reflect on the day with your colleagues. (Did someone say all beef meatballs? We did.)

Can’t wait to see so many of you at the EALS Meet and Greet tomorrow at Penn Social and then SuEALS! If you have any questions, feel free to tweet us at @EALSAU, talk to us on Facebook, or shoot us an email. See you soon.

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