Conferences can be difficult to navigate. Between arriving on time, knowing where to park, and finding a cup of coffee, one can easily miss that important session. Don’t get lost trying to prepare for the day! Here are a few tips to make your conference go smoother.
There is a reason why all of the hotels around the convention center have coffee shops…the coffee offered in the convention center by the vendors, shall we say, leaves much to be desired.
Pro Tip: Most hotels have K-cup coffee makers in room. Bring your own K-cups and your own travel mug to make your morning coffee.
Desperate Measures: Nearest Starbucks: 10725 International Drive #110
Lunch can be the most costly meal of the day if you are not careful. Meals in the Convention Center Cafeteria are usually $20.00. The vendors in the exhibit hall have a slightly lower price for a lunch plate, but remember it is fast food.
Pro Tip: Purchase a ticket for one of the many author or other value added luncheons offered. You will have a great meal and an experience.
Desperate Measures: Option 1: Remember, some of the vendors will be inviting you to a “lunch and learn”. You will receive a free meal while you listen to their pitch. Option2: Pack your own lunch. (Granola bar, trail mix, piece of fruit from breakfast.) Option 3: Optimize the snack breaks offered in the hall between sessions.
International Drive has numerous restaurants and attractions, but you won’t find a gas station. Many folks find themselves on Sand Lake Road paying “tourist inflated” prices. Don’t buy gasoline there.
Pro Tip: Go to 7-Eleven @ 6026 Destination Parkway. Grab a Big Gulp and a Lotto ticket while you fill up.
Desperate Measures: Well, you did bring comfortable shoes, right?
The OCCC charges $15 per day for standard vehicles and $25 per day for oversized vehicles.
Pro Tip: Arrive early as parking fills fast or leave car in hotel parking and take the ALA shuttle.
Desperate Measures: If you are healthy, most hotels are within one mile of the convention center. Watch for traffic and use the crosswalks.
Sunburned. Forgot your prescription.
Pro Tip: Nearest drugstore: Walgreens @ 9858 International Drive
Desperate Measures: Remember most hotels have a basic needs bodega or closet to assist their quests. It never hurts to ask.
Vandy Pacetti-Donelson is a Library Media Specialist. She is a Florida Native, library advocate and Board Director for the Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME). Find her online at www.eliterateandlevelingup.com or follow her on Twitter @VandyPD.