Conferences may seem intimidating and overwhelming when you first look at the schedule. One seminar immediately after another with 10 minutes to run across the hotel to get to the next symposium on time. Exhausting? Yes. Fun and informative? Also, yes! It is definitely worth the tired feet if you can make it to a conference You'll have a chance to meet other analysts, network, collaborate and stay up to date with the latest trends, assessments, techniques and studies in ABA. It's also very beneficial to gain most of your required CEUs in one weekend, so that always a huge benefit. Below you will find a list of possible conferences. Feel free to find the one that suits your needs best!
A few tips before you go:
Save up some money ahead of time. Conferences can get pricey if you need to fly, or drive. They usually also require that you become a member with the association, and pay for the entrance as well as a package deal for the CEUs so expect to pay over $200 just for this aspect. Make sure you know the prices of everything in advance and try to commute or share room fees with your colleagues! Workshops and other events also require a separate fee.
Plan all your seminars ahead as well. Make sure you have the booklet with you at least one day before the conference, or download it from the conferences website. Plan your days out because you wont have time to read through all the information and choose a lecture in the 10 minutes between each symposium.
Share the learning load! Sometimes when I go with my coworkers, we split up and attend 2 different symposiums and then share notes afterwards. Helps us cover more ground and really nerd out on ABA afterwards.
Attire is at least business casual for most of the conferences that I have attended.
Symposium, workshop, poster session, panel or paper lecture? While they all have great information, each one is different in the way they present the information. Symposiums involve two (or more) presenters explaining their findings from a study they conducted and typically last 50 minutes or 110 minutes. The goal of a workshop is to teach you a specific skill so it usually requires more than 3 hours and is more hands-on. Posters are a visual display of information and the presenter is available for questions on the information regarding their poster. Paper lectures consist of one presenter who discusses their findings. Panels have a more open format with several presenters and encourage discussions on a specific topic.
Get ready to party the last day! There is usually a mixer or social gathering at the end of the conference with food and drinks. This is a great opportunity to unwind and meet your fellow analysts.
Now that you have a pretty good understanding of what you can expect and how to plan ahead, check out the following organizations. The 3 listed below are 3 of the biggest more popular ones which I have attended in the past and loved. Visit their events pages to discover what conferences they have available and their event dates.
APBA- Association of Professional Behavior Analysts
FABA- Florida Association for Behavior Analysis
Hope this info was helpful and remember you can always try to search for Behavior Analysis conferences near you online!