Conference Connections Program
In 2014 ALE launched a conference mentoring program which was created to foster an inclusive environment for first-time attendees and to help them better understand the association and to engage with others at the conference on a more personal level. This exciting new conference component and networking experience has been extremely popular and has increased the value of the conference experience for newcomers. As the program has continued, we have made some revisions, including changing the name from Mentoring Program to a Conference Connections Program. A true mentoring relationship involves a significantly larger commitment of time than this program, so in order to better define the purpose and role, we have changed the name!
Newcomers, who are they?
ALE members and non-members who are attending the conference for the first time.
Connectors, who are they?
ALE members who have attended at least one ALE conference and feel confident in their knowledge of the association and their abilities to help assimilate newcomers into the conference in an inclusive and positive manner. These ALE members take pride in the association and are committed to helping newcomers build relationships and find ways to become actively engaged with the association.
What is required of a Connector?
· Connectors attend the newcomers’ reception and the opening reception on Sunday afternoon and evening. The newcomer's reception is the scheduled time for connectors and newcomers to meet, so it is imperative that both attend this event.
· Connectors and newcomers go to dinner on Sunday evening (Dutch treat!). The coordinator will identify several restaurants close to the conference hotel where small groups can dine together.
· Connectors introduce our newcomers to their colleagues in ALE to facilitate networking and relationship building throughout the conference.
· Connectors share at least one conference meal (scheduled breakfast or lunch) with your new member to ensure that the ALE experience is a positive one.
· Connectors check in with the new member (s) on the final evening or morning of the conference to address any questions or concerns and to encourage the newcomers towards active membership and to request they complete the conference evaluation.
Newcomers may request to participate in this Conference Connections program as they complete the on-line conference registration form. ALE members can volunteer to serve as a “connector” as they complete the on-line conference registration form.
What to Expect
Connectors and newcomers cannot be from the same institution. Pairs will be matched prior to the conference so that introductions can be made via email or telephone before the conference commences. Anyone signed up for this program should attend the Newcomers' Reception on Sunday afternoon, July 12th, so plan arrival accordingly.
At the conclusion of the conference, participants will be asked to evaluate their experiences on the post-conference survey.
For additional information, please contact Susan Luchey at firstname.lastname@example.org.