Nearly 13,000 public health professionals travel to the Annual Meeting each year. Our attendees come from a wide range of organizations and geographic locations, but they all attend APHA to re-ignite their passion for public health and share the experience with their peers. Here are some tips for networking and make long-lasting connections.
Start the meeting off right – Whether this is the first time you’ve attended the Annual Meeting or you’ve been returning year after year, the best place to get started is at the Navigate and Network Orientation which will take place on Sunday after the Opening General Session (view mobile app for detials). This is the best place to learn about popular activities, sessions and events, networking tips, and APHA membership information. Add this orientation to your schedule in the app!
Be prepared - Make sure you pack your business cards and have them with you at all times. APHA attendees will be all over the city so you never know where you’ll make a new connection.
Always wear your badge – While in the meeting facilities, always wear your badge. This lets other attendees know who you are and that you’re part of the event. However, for safety concerns, we ask that you take your badge off when you leave the facility.
Socialize digitally - Voice your opinion and share your thoughts on social media using this year's hashtag. Connect with Annual Meeting attendees on Twitter @APHAAnnualMtg and @PublicHealth. Get acquainted with your peers online and meet them in person at the meeting.
Download the Mobile App – Communicate with attendees through the mobile app. If someone you know is attending but you don’t know how to reach them, check if their profile is listed!
Set goals - Make it a personal goal to meet at least five new people every day. Exchange information and follow up after the meeting.
Ask meaningful questions – Don’t just ask someone where they work or what they do. Find out what they are passionate about, who they are hoping to meet at the conference or what their personal interests are. You create a more meaningful relationship when you’re talking about something important.
Continue networking after the meeting - Follow up with new contacts or connect through LinkedIn.
So where should you network?
Everywhere! Start a conversation anywhere; walking to the convention center, between sessions, in the Expo. It’s up to you to break the ice, but we’ve created environments that will help you do just that:
- Social events — The Public Health Awards Ceremony and Reception, hosted receptions and ticketed luncheons (additional fee) are a great places to network and meet people in a fun and relaxed environment.
- Member group events — APHA’s member groups focus on specific interest areas in public health and typically hold business meetings and socials during the Annual Meeting. Joining a section is a great way to network and share ideas with peers of similar interests.
- Section/SPIG pavilion — You can meet the leaders of your member group in the Public Health Expo at the Section/SPIG pavilion.
- Mix and Mingle Lounge — One of the hottest spots during the Annual Meeting! Strike up a conversation between sessions or during your breaks.
- In the Expo — Our exhibitors are public health professionals just like you and they are looking to share information and hear from attendees. You never know who you will meet while roaming through the exhibit aisles.
- In the Hotel Lobby — APHA has negotiated with a number of hotels to provide attendees with discounted sleeping rooms. Be sure to book your stay with official APHA's hotels. Take advantage of the number of attendees that will be flowing through the hotel. Network in the lobby, the coffee shop or the hotel restaurant. The possibilities are endless.