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10 Ways to Prep Like a Pro: Maximize Your Annual Conference Experience

October 10, 2019
The League of California Cities will hold its 2019 Annual Conference & Expo at the Long Beach Convention Center on Oct. 16-18.

Preparing for your three-day visit to the League’s Annual Conference & Expo can be a small investment to help you create a valuable and memorable experience. League staff have compiled the tips below to help make you feel like a professional conference-goer and ensure you get the most out of your time.

  1. Register for Pre-Conference Activities — Arrive early to be part of the policy committee meetings or take the AB 1234 Ethics Training starting at 9 a.m. City Clerks can earn an extra CMC/MMC Advanced Education Point by attending their City Clerks Workshop that morning as well. If this is your first time attending the conference join us at a special orientation at 12:45 p.m.
  2. Download the Mobile App — Have quick access to the conference schedule by downloading the League’s app, and build your own itinerary! This handy tool is free to download and is available on all mobile devices. Check your app store and search for ‘CaCites’ or ‘League of California Cities’. In addition to viewing the conference lineup, you can view session descriptions, speaker information, and materials and save your thoughts on the session – all directly in the app.
  3. Plan to Attend Your Department Meeting — If you have never been to a department meeting at the League’s annual conference, you are missing out. Department meetings are made up of your colleagues in similar professions throughout California. Attendees gather to discuss the issues they are facing, hear timely legislation updates and ultimately find common ground which propels their work on unified department goals, setting the course for positive change within their communities. Mayors and council members, city managers, fire chiefs, public works officers, personnel and employee relations managers and fiscal officers have department meetings on Wednesday at 11 a.m. City clerks meet Wednesday morning during their workshop, and city attorneys will meet Thursday morning during a City Attorney Track session.
  4. Review the Session Descriptions and Bookmark the Session Materials Page — The line-up of sessions may be hard to choose from; take some time the week before the annual conference and pick from 45 options. Take it a step further and connect with colleagues you are going with to split up the most popular ones and plan to discuss what you learned following the conference.

All sessions materials will be posted as they are received by the League on the mobile app (see #3), or online at www.cacities.org/2019acmaterials. Staff highly recommend that you bookmark the session materials page to easily pull up the presentations you will see.

Extra pro-tip: reviewing the materials is also an excellent way to decide if you want to attend a session!

  1. Pack Your Business Cards and Save Time for Connecting — This conference is not just about the presentations. There are loads of opportunity for connecting at scheduled events such as the Host City Reception, CitiPAC Leadership Reception, diversity caucus events, and division events. Between structured activities, you will certainly find yourself meeting and exchanging ideas with people from across the state. Make a plan for who you want to meet in advance and don’t forget a stack of business cards.
  2. Register for Your Division Event — Each region of California has unique challenges, and the League’s 16 Regional Divisions meet during the annual conference and provide an opportunity for members to share and reflect on issues impacting their region. City officials, both elected and professional staff, work closely with the League regional public affairs managers to develop and carry out grassroots activities. For information on your division event, contact you regional public affairs manager www.cacities.org/regionalmanagers.
  3. Review the Annual Conference Resolutions — Policy development is a key part of the League’s legislative effectiveness. Annual Conference Resolutions are one way that city officials can directly participate in the development of League policy.

Resolutions must focus on direct municipal issues of statewide importance and can be submitted by any elected or appointed city official, individual city, division, department, policy committee or the board of directors. Resolutions for 2019 were due to the League on Aug. 17. All resolutions and background information are available at www.cacities.org/resolutions. A petitioned resolution can also be introduced during the annual conference to address any late-breaking issues.

Resolutions will be considered up to three times during the conference: at policy committee meetings, during the General Resolutions Committee meeting, and at the closing session/general assembly.

Each city council designates a voting delegate to represent your city during the general assembly. Your city may also appoint up to two alternate voting delegates who may vote in the event that the designated voting delegate is unavailable. If you are a voting delegate or alternate, make sure to check in at the Voting Delegates Booth in the main lobby of the convention center when you arrive in Long Beach.

  1. Visit the Member Services Desk — Members of the League have access to a wealth of information and opportunities to get involved better their communities. Visit the Member Services Desk in the League Pavilion on the Expo floor to get information on League services available to you and your city.
  2. Find Exhibitors, League Partners, All in the Expo! — The League’s Annual Conference & Expo is the largest premiere event in California that connects city officials with organizations and businesses that support municipal activities. With over 260 exhibitors, the expo floor is a must-stop destination during the conference.

In addition to the exhibitors, attendees will find a special zone for the League Partners. An exclusive Speakers Theater is located in the League Partners Pavilion.

Cities receiving a 2019 Helen Putnam Award can also be found on the expo floor. Stop buy their booths and pick up some exciting ideas to take back to your community.

  1. Pack Smart and Plan for Getting Around — Attending any conference can be exhausting. You’ll be walking to the convention center to attend your department meeting, navigating between captivating speakers at the general sessions and breakout sessions, cruising through the Expo, and out to dinner with colleagues, then back to your hotel. You will be thanking yourself later for planning now. Pack comfortable shoes, chargers for mobile devices and bring a water bottle that you can refill at water stations during the conference.

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