Publication Date

December 16, 2014

Simone de Beauvoir once mused, “There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.” It’s lucky then that the city will host January’s annual meeting; with so many compelling panels covering a remarkably diverse range of topics, you’ll hardly have time to sleep. Plan ahead. Making the most of a menu this ambitious—from panels to exhibits, poster to presidential sessions, receptions, workshops, and more—will require some groundwork as well as a hearty appetite.

Struggling to choose between two equally enticing sessions scheduled for the same afternoon? Find someone attending the session you’ll have to miss, and propose trading notes. Turn an obstacle into a reason to work collaboratively. In years past, attendees have often recalled the human connections they made with as much affection and clarity as the panels they attended.

The more advance planning you do, the less likely you are to curse yourself for missing the exhibit that speaks perfectly to your own research, or failing to see your former advisor feted on a panel in honor of her best-known book (wow—was that favorite tome of your grad-school days really published 20 years ago?!). Familiarize yourself with the exhibit hall floor plan, and if this is your first time at the party (welcome!), check out our first-time attendee guide. And don’t forget to download the meeting app, which organizes sessions into schedule and thematic tracks and includes tools for organization and communication.

In fact, stay in touch with us before, during, and after your stay in New York. AHA staff members will be at both hotels to help you find your way to the session that just might permanently change the way you view your chosen field, and make sure to follow the Twitter hashtag #AHA2015. In the aftermath of the annual meeting, when you’ve returned home but are still finding sleep useless, revisit our website and AHA Today, where we’ll be racing to post recaps and materials from a wide array of sessions (hopefully the one it most pained you to skip). Continue the conversation from your own corner of the world—about the panels you attended, those you missed, and those you think should make it onto next year’s schedule.

, Contributing Editor

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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