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The days of the convention can run through your mind as a blur. There is so much going on and you want to see everything. The best way to keep up with your day and to complete your purpose is to follow the schedule you have set. By following your schedule, you will have a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. You will also not get sidetracked from your purpose for attending. A convention is exciting and full of many learning opportunities. So, go ahead and begin your day.

Navigate
It is always best to arrive within the first hour of the start of a convention, even if it is a one-day convention that lasts all day. You do not want to find yourself rushing and making quick decisions just because you have run out of time. If there is a keynote speaker at the beginning, you may want to arrive at least one hour before the event starts. Just because the event is all day or lasts for several days, your purpose for attending may only require you to stay for a few hours or one or two of the event days.

Budget
It is possible to attend a homeschool convention and not spend any money on curricula. The reality is that will probably not happen. Going back to your purpose for attending the convention will help you to determine your spending budget. If the curriculum you are currently using is working, that pretty much rules out the need to spend any money. You may say, “there goes the fun of attending the convention.” Because you may spend money, decide on a budget beforehand to ensure you do not spend more than you can afford. Be smart with your purchases by ensuring they go along with your purpose.

Most vendors offer convention price specials and many have started to offer the special pricing after the convention date with a deadline for purchasing. The specials are often a percentage off the regular price or free shipping or some other perk. It is okay to ask about convention specials. Sometimes, waiting until the last couple of hours or the last day to make your purchase can garner you more of a discount.

Look
If you love curricula, this may be a tough one for you. Plan to “look, but do not touch”; look at the curricula, but don’t touch your money. Walk through the entire vendor hall and see what the vendors have on display before you spend any money; even if you brought a list of books you plan to purchase. If you are attending a convention for more than one day, spend the first just looking. The Internet is convenient, but there is something to be said about having a catalog in front of your face. A Catalog is often the only marketing tool vendors can get in front of their customers, so it will be packed with a lot of information about their products. Pick up catalogs and use them to learn more about the products and the company. Spend some time after leaving the vendor hall looking through them. Your reading may prompt some questions for you to ask the vendors when you return to their booth.

Speak
Did you know most of the speakers and vendor representatives you meet in the vendor hall are homeschoolers? They have either homeschooled their own children through to graduation or are currently in the trenches just like you. It may not be easy to get some one-on-one time with the keynote speaker, but the workshop speakers usually have time to talk with you after their presentation. Yes, they will really speak to you, so get your questions ready and benefit from their wisdom.

The same opportunity is available to you in the vendor hall. Many of the workshop presenters also have booths in the vendor hall. Do not be surprised when you see Andrew Pudewa of IEW or Kim Sorgius of Not Consumed ready to talk to you about their curricula as well as their homeschool experiences.

Many of the vendor representatives are homeschool moms who use the curriculum they are sharing at the booths. They have first-hand experience and know how it works. Ask questions and speak to them about the company and its products. Find out what works for them and what does not, and why. Although they are at the convention to sell products, many are honest and sincere regarding their experience and will help you with your decision about the curriculum.

Preparing for attending a homeschool convention and knowing how to manage your day will be the difference between a harried day and a successful one where you complete your purpose. Here is the hope you get the most out of your homeschool convention experience.


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©2017 HomeLife Academy. Article by Jennifer Smeltser. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the publisher http://www.homelifeacademy.com/.