Why I am Headed to the ASHA Convention!

Can I make a confession?  I’ve never been to a big SLP convention before.  But next week(!), that changes, when I board the plane to head to the national ASHA convention in Denver!

I must admit, I am nervous, as I have never flown by myself.  (Side note:  If you run into me at the CMI, DFW, or DEN airports, please say hi and introduce yourself!  You will help distract me and make me feel less nervous.  :))

But this year has been all about stepping out of my comfort zone, both professionally and personally.  At this time last year, I saw many of my online friends posting pictures and sharing their experiences at the conference, and I made the decision to make it a reality this year.

My motto this year!

So why am I choosing to attend the ASHA convention this year?

  •  To grow professionally.  There are so many sessions to choose from on a variety of different topics.  As a school SLP with a varied caseload, that is so helpful!  I hate to spend all of my continuing ed time for the year on a conference for just one small subset of my caseload.  By attending the ASHA convention, I can attend different sessions that will cover the majority of my caseload.
  • To connect and network with other SLPs.  I have some wonderful SLP friends I have come to know online, but haven’t had the opportunity to spend time with many of them in person.  As the only SLP employed by my small district, I sometimes feel isolated.  I have come to realize that time connecting with other SLPs is very valuable, and I need to take advantage of the opportunity when it is available.  I love learning new ideas and brainstorming ways to meet similar challenges that my fellow SLPs face, too!
  • To share some of my own knowledge.  Through some of my amazing SLP blogger friends, I have been allowed the opportunity to co-present a session at the convention.  Danielle from Sublime Speech, Maureen from the Speech Bubble, Felice from The Dabbling Speechie, CC from Super Power Speech, and I will be presenting on Saturday at 4:00 on “Social Media Resources for Today’s SLP.”  (If you know me, you know that public speaking is definitely outside my comfort zone!)
  • To meet some of you!  I am one of fifteen bloggers who will be spending time at the SLP Blogger Booth #429 in the convention hall.  I’m looking forward to meeting more of my online followers - if you are at the convention, make sure you stop by!  I will have pens to hand out, as well as postcards with some exclusive freebies.  (Make sure to follow my Facebook page and Instagram account to find out what hours I will be at the booth.)  We are also hosting a meet up for all SLPs on Thursday night - there will be free dessert and tons of prizes!  Find out more and RSVP here.

Have you been to a national or state convention before?  What were the best parts for you?  What tips do you have for me?  I would love to know!


  1. Last year was my first time! You will love it! It is something we all need to do at least once! I enjoyed meeting some of the online folks I have come to know! Have fun!

  2. The tips I've learned from my 2 ASHA conventions:
    1. Wear the most comfortable shoes you own, even if they clash with your outfit.
    2. Plan to have a lot of "stuff" to take home - leave room in your suitcase (or, like my professors advised, just pack an extra empty bag in your suitcase!)
    3. Address labels with your name, email, phone, etc are life (and time) savers!! So many things to sign up for, and you are holding so much already, it can be a hassle to get a free hand to write your information. Sticky labels solve this problem!!! I've even seen some people place some on card stock for quick "business cards".
    4. Sessions will fill up. Have a couple of options for each time slot. Don't be afraid to leave a session that isn't living up to your expectations and switch to another.

    Have a good time. I haven't been in a few years, but I'm hoping to go in the next couple of years, if I can get the time off!!!

  3. Have a great time, Natalie! I wish I was going, but the timing in November is always so difficult. That's why I always go to the school's conference. Maybe when ASHA hits the East coast again!


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