If you take a deep breath, you can smell the Black excellence in the air. In 30 days, thousands of Black technologists, entrepreneurs, and professionals will be taking over Austin, TX, for the best Black tech conference in the nation.
AFROTECH Conference is scheduled for Nov. 1-5, 2023, to gather some of the nation’s leading voices across the tech and business industries, sharing the most up-to-date information for attendees to use for their professional development and growth.
Although AFROTECH will have all the gems flowing from various stages, there will also be plenty of time to turn up as a reward for navigating a few days of learning and a successful year.
With just 30 days to go, the time to prepare was yesterday. However, if you are behind in planning, here are some things you should cross off your list ASAP to maximize your experience.
Register Before It's Too Late
Register soon — this point cannot be reiterated enough. Different ticket tiers are still available, but the options are becoming slim. Grab the one that best fits you and secure your curated experience.
There is also a little time left to convince your boss to cover your attendance. Tap in with the sponsorship template and discuss why you deserve to be in the space.
Take Care Of Home Before You Leave
While registration should be a no-brainer, so should travel and lodging. But have you ensured all the bases are covered while traveling to and from Austin?
Many AFROTECH attendees are parents or guardians. The conference is held during the week, likely interfering with school and extracurricular activity schedules. Do your little ones have a sitter? Who is going to pick them up from school? Do they have enough fruit snacks and planned meals to last until you return? Is Grandma prepared for all the little nuances you have to deal with on a day-to-day basis?
And we cannot forget the parents of fur babies. They, too, need tending to while you are away. Ensure there is a pet sitter, or you have the spot secured at the pet daycare.
AFROTECH is an experience that shouldn’t be missed, but don’t let your home base suffer because of it.
Create A Schedule For The Week
There will be a lot going on at AFROTECH. There will be no shortage of activities, from the different stages to the exhibit hall, DJs in the hallways, and networking socials. And don’t forget the AFROTECH Music experience with Rick Ross and Jadakiss.
Keeping it honest, you will not be able to do everything. View the schedule, check it out, and create a strategic approach to navigating the conference. What are the things you must attend? What are the events that have separate costs?
Budgeting and time management will be a good friend that week.
Consider Rooming With Someone To Cut Costs
Speaking of budgeting, have you talked to anyone also attending AFROTECH? Did you consider rooming with them to save money?
Hotels and short-term lodging options are the cheapest, so sharing the cost can be a great way to keep the conference affordable. If you are comfortable, have those conversations about what it would mean to share housing.
Another tip is to plan to fly in and out around the same time. This could reduce ride-share costs to and from the airport.
Get The Friend Group On The Same Page To Ensure A Great Experience
If you are not attending AFROTECH alone, create a game plan with your friends, colleagues, partner, or spouse. The last thing you want to deal with is relational issues that could be solved with a pre-conference conversation.
Determine which events or sessions you want to attend. Do any of those conflict with the plans of those coming with you? Setting expectations can be an excellent way for everyone to have a good time and keep the peace.
Prepare For Your Dream Job By Updating Your Resume, Portfolio, And LinkedIn
Be sure to have your most recent resume, portfolio, and business card. And don’t sleep on the power of LinkedIn. Many people will want to connect digitally, so ensure your profile is current and reflects your talents and skills.
Don't Waste That Sponosorship
If your ticket is sponsored, have a final conversation with your supervisor about post-conference deliverables. What do they want to know from you and about your experience at AFROTECH?
Also, prepare a plan for your boss that outlines how your work responsibilities won’t suffer in your absence. As a plus, add some time showing your availability during the conference should they need you for anything.
A New Look. A New Cut. A New Color.
If you have been to AFROTECH, then you know that attendees don’t walk into the convention center half-stepping. Every day is a proverbial fashion show.
Shipping is unreliable, and sometimes, quantities for items can be limited. Pull up to your favorite mall or head to your clutch websites and apps to get your looks together. Shoot, who said you needed something new? The items in your closet can be rearranged to give a fresh perspective to some faithful pieces.
Whether new or currently owned, lay those pieces to the side to serve up looks. Give the people range, trends, and what they deserve every day of the conference.