Top 10 Tips to Make Your Conference Day More Enjoyable
1. Plan Ahead
With a full day of programming ahead of you, take some time to view the entire conference schedule at to determine the programs you want to attend.
2. Know Where You’re Going
The conference will be held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, at 5555 N. River Road in Rosemont. Click here for driving directions.For those taking public transportation, the Convention Center is two blocks south of the CTA Rosemont Blue Line station. Click here for full information.
Parking is available at the Rosemont parking garage across the street from the Convention Center, directly behind the Embassy Suites Hotel, for a cost of $13 per day. When inside the parking garage, take the elevator to the SB (SkyBridge) level and follow the sky bridge to the convention center. You may want to consider paying for your parking when you arrive to avoid long lines at the end of the day.
If you’re open to a bit of a walk, parking is available at the CTA Rosemont Blue Line station at 5801 N. River Road for $5. The Convention Center is two blocks south of the station.
3. Bring Your Badge
You will receive your conference badge in the mail. To speed up the morning check-in process, please be sure to bring your badge along so you can grab your registration materials when you arrive and head into the ballroom for breakfast.
4. Don’t Forget Your Appetite
Registration for Reaching Forward includes a continental breakfast and luncheon. The continental breakfast includes coffee, tea, fruit juices, breakfast pastries, and fresh fruit. Grab your breakfast and find a table — the keynote by James Feldman will be held in the ballroom at 9:00 a.m.
This year’s luncheon features a garden salad and freshly baked rolls; the entrée will be vegetarian cheese tortellini and chef’s choice of vegetable; dessert is the traditional Rosemont Dessert (half chocolate ice cream and half raspberry sherbet with chocolate sauce and assorted cookies). Lunch will also give you an opportunity to eat with a Reaching Forward speaker! Speakers’ tables will be marked with balloons and a sign with their names.
5. Dress for the Day
As much as we try, it’s difficult to control the climate in a large building. Consider dressing in layers so you can adjust to changing temperatures. Remember to wear comfortable shoes — you may be covering a lot of ground!
6. Visit the Exhibits
Exhibits will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with an exhibits-only time from 1:45 to 2:15 p.m. Take some time to check out what our exhibitors have to offer: library materials, continuing education opportunities, and something special for yourself. Exhibits help to underwrite the cost of the conference and keep registration fees down; please help us make our exhibitors feel welcome.
7. Challenge Yourself
Step outside your comfort zone, sit with someone you don’t know at breakfast or lunch. Seating is open, so take a chance and make a new connection!
8. Meet an Author
The Author Conversations, programs, and keynote give you an opportunity to meet a real live author! Our authors will be doing a book signing from 1:45 to 2:15 p.m. in the exhibits area and you can also sit with them at lunch — just look for the tables with balloons.
9. Tell Us What You Think
Your feedback will help us plan next year’s conference. Please take a moment to fill out the online conference evaluation. We really do listen to our attendees!
10. Take the Next Step
If you enjoy your experience at Reaching Forward, consider taking the next step and joining the Reaching Forward planning committee. We’re always looking for new ideas and fresh faces! Contact Cyndi Robinson at ILA – email@example.com or (312) 644-1896 – for more information.
Contact the Illinois Library Association at (312) 644-1896 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you this year on May 4th and next year on May 3rd.