We’re excited to see you at our upcoming conference on April 6-7! It can be intimidating to remember all the things you need to get ready, but don’t fret – we’ve got you covered.
With this handy conference checklist, you can feel totally prepared and in control … at least, for the next 10 minutes!
Note workshop changes and other notes in our conference addendum.
We always recommend that you research the conference workshop schedule and plan which ones to see beforehand. However, we advise you to be flexible. As the Scottish poet Robert Burns said, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.” (English Translation: The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.)
If we have a list of last-minute workshop and vendor hall changes, we will include an addendum in our conference program. You will receive it when you arrive at the conference. Make sure to check for an addendum when you get to the registration area!
If traveling, pack your vehicles the night before.
Comfortable clothes, snacks, supplies – most, if not all, of these can be laid out ahead of time to ease your journey on the day. (If you’re looking for ideas on what to bring, see our top conference tips for newbies here.)
Take everything you need for shopping the vendor hall.
Some vendors only take cash or check, so make sure you bring enough in hand in case credit cards aren’t accepted. For extra bonus points, see our vendor map and plan your must-see list ahead of time!
Consider pre-ordering all workshop recordings for a special discount.
If you pre-order all workshop session recordings before April 5, Rhino Technologies will offer you the opportunity to save nearly $30 off prices at the conference!
Prepare for the registration rush.
First-timers are usually amazed by the speed with which we fill the KCI Expo Center’s parking lot. Consider yourself forewarned! If you arrive anytime after 10 a.m. Friday, be prepared to walk a long way to the entrance.
Once you’ve arrived, you can also streamline your registration process by knowing where to go.
See this handy map of the registration area? At the front entrance are tables for parents of preschoolers (POPS), at-the-door registration (New Conference/Membership or Renew Conference/Membership), and vendors only passes (passes just to get into the vendor hall).
If you’ve already prepaid and are a current MPE member, you can skip all those tables. Head straight for the upper left part of the map highlighted in yellow.
Bring registration confirmation if you’ve prepaid (e.g. email confirmation, Stripe receipt, newsletter mailing labels, etc.)
Some proof of your prepaid conference registration is always a smart move, just in case you encounter any difficulties at our registration desk.
We should have sent you an email confirmation if you registered online – that’s our recommended option. If you didn’t receive an email confirmation, a Stripe receipt or mailing label on your MPE print newsletter can also work.
Prepare your meal plans ahead of time.
While no outside food is allowed to be brought into the KCI Expo Center, you can always pack a picnic lunch to eat outside or purchase food inside the center.
Click here for more information at the end of the page about the KCI Expo Center’s meal options.
Remember your scavenger hunt form.
Every year we feature a scavenger hunt with a gift certificate prize drawing, good toward any booth in the vendor hall. This year, you can enter to win one of three $25 gift certificates!
Make sure you print your form so you can enter before noon Saturday, April 7. Please note: Winners will be announced on Facebook and a sign by the vendor hall; they must be present and collect the certificates by 3 p.m. Saturday.
Bring your Box Tops (and you could win a prize!).
Save yourself a stamp and bring those Box Tops you’ve been collecting all year.
Additionally, you might win a family prize package to PowerPlay for your efforts! We have packages ready to give to the three families with the most Box Tops.
Note: You must clearly label the outside of each sealed envelope/zip lock with your name and number of collected Box Tops to be eligible for the contest. Drop them at our Box Tops donations boxes at the MPE table in the lobby.
(If you’ve never heard of Box Tops, see how this program benefits our homeschool community. This year’s annual goal is $1,000!)
Join the #MPEHomeschool conversation!
We’ll be monitoring all our social media channels during the conference, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag #MPEHomeschool to ask any questions you may have. We’ll respond as soon as we can.
Thanks, and see you there!
This blog post was originally published in April 2015. It has been updated for timeliness and detail.