With the 2018 ABAI Convention in San Diego about to kick off, it’s a perfect opportunity to think about a few ways in which you can maximize your educational experience at ABAI.
- Explore a new topic. – Invited Tutorials are a great way to get an introduction and overview of an area of which you are less familiar. This year’s ABAI Convention features four Invited Tutorials hosted by the Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior (SQAB). Topics include Relational Frame Theory, Open-Sourcing Behavior Analysis, Selection by Scientific Consequences in the Ecology of Behavior, and Behavioral Economics and Public Policy.
- Drop by a Poster Session from 1 pm to 3 pm on Saturday, Sunday, and/or Monday. Poster Sessions are easy to navigate and are organized by Program Area. They are a great opportunity to see sample of innovative clinical and research projects. Be sure to talk to the poster presenters and find out more about they have been doing.
- Unwind in the hotel lobby, restaurant, coffee shop, or bar. The ABAI Convention can be jam packed with exciting opportunities. Don’t forget to take a little time to relax and spark up a conversation with old friends and colleagues, someone you may have just met, or a behavior analyst with whom you’ve been longing to brainstorm. Oftentimes, the conversations that occur in these less formal settings can spark new ideas, open new opportunities, and/or spawn new collaborations.
- Check out the bookstore, which is open Friday through Monday from 7 am to 8 pm. The bookstore has a number of recent and seminal titles available for purchase. Sometimes you might catch the author(s) of a book nearby or participating in a book signing where you can get your recently purchased copy signed too!
- Attend one or more of the Special Events. On Friday, attend the Student Welcome Event, drop by Student Trivia Night, or attend the International Reception. Go to the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis Opening Event and Award Ceremony Saturday Morning or the Presidential Scholar Address Saturday Evening. Celebrate the launch of Perspectives on Behavior Science, “ABAI’s newest and oldest journal”, on Sunday evening. If you’re a morning person attend one of the early morning yoga classes available on Saturday and/or Monday mornings. And, don’t forget to attend Mark Mattaini’s Presidential Address – Out of the Lab: Shaping and Ecological Cultural Science on Monday at 6 pm.
- Try out a Special Interest Group. There are 35 Special Interest Groups of ABAI, many of which conduct their business meetings at the ABAI Convention. Special Interest Groups are a great way to get involved with a number of behavior analysts who are interested in a particular topic such as social responsibility, teaching behavior analysis, verbal behavior, and autism.
- Improve your skills by attending one or more events in the Professional Development Series. This year’s topics range from exploring the peer review process to establishing conditioned reinforcement for reading and writing to working Interdisciplinarily.
- Organize your schedule. Have an idea of which program events you want to attend each day. Mark the number of each event, the time of each event and where the event is – both hotel and room. Sometimes it’s also helpful to identify more than one option that interests you at the same time – just in case your first preference is too full, too far, or unavailable for some other unforeseen reason. You might even consider using the ABAI Convention Planning Mobile App.
- Network. There are a number of opportunities to network at the ABAI Convention. If you’re looking for a useful product or just want to explore different companies or organizations, be sure to check out the Exhibit Hall – open 9:30 am to 3:30 pm each day. Looking for graduate and undergraduate programs? Talk with students and faculty at the Behavior Analysis Training Programs at the ABAI Expo on Saturday night from 8 pm to 10 pm. And, remember to reconnect with friends and colleagues at the reunions and receptions on Sunday from 8 pm to 10 pm.
Cover image provided courtesy of David Mark under Pixabay license