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ATD Blog

ATD21 Is Fast Approaching. Will You Be Joining Us?

Wednesday, June 23, 2021
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Jennifer Broering.jpg
We interviewed Jennifer Broering, senior event manager for ATD, to gain some insight on how ATD21 is shaping up. Here’s what Jennifer had to say.

How Are You Preparing for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

ATD21 has been the ultimate pivot, and this year’s event will look and feel different from previous ones. This year, in addition to the usual planning we do to ensure that attendees have a seamless experience, I have been very focused on establishing plans to ensure all attendees feel comfortable throughout the event. We are all learning through this together, and we want to make sure everyone has the best experience while attending ATD 2021.

This Is ATD’s First Time Holding the Conference in Salt Lake City. Can You Tell Us What to Expect There?

I’m really excited to be planning ATD 2021 in a Salt Lake City. Not only is it a new city for ATD, but I’m guessing it might be a city that many of our attendees will be exploring for the first time.

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I’ve been fortunate to visit twice now for planning trips, and I’ve loved discovering all the city has to offer. Not only is it beautiful (the mountain view cannot get any more surreal), but the city is so walkable and easy to navigate. I really encourage people to come in early or stay after the conference. They say you can ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon in Salt Lake City, and while I’m not sure that will be true in August, heading to the mountains for a hike would be amazing.

As someone who really enjoys a good meal, I’ve certainly enjoyed the food scene during my visits. From fine dining to food trucks and speakeasies (find me on-site and I’ll tell you about one I’ve visited twice now) to breweries, our attendees will not go hungry or thirsty in Salt Lake City. It certainly feels good to eat out and explore a new area after being homebound for so long.

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How Should Attendees Prepare for Their On-Site Experience?

For many, I’m imagining that this might be their first big trip after a long hiatus. Here are some tips I re-remembered after my site visit to Salt Lake City in May:

  • Pace yourselves, people! That adrenaline and excitement to be back with your peers will only take you so far. Make sure you are planning enough time to rest each day and try to unplug from work while you’re at the event so you’re not getting overwhelmed on both fronts.
  • Plan your experience in advance. With the new session registration process being implemented, you’ll want to look over the program and select your top sessions in advance. (Session registration opens on July 26, and you can learn more about that process here.)
  • Wear comfortable shoes. I know everyone is excited to finally be wearing proper clothes, but comfortable shoes are still a must.
  • Stay hydrated. Despite the mountains, don’t forget, Salt Lake City is a desert, so be sure to hydrate. We’ll be giving collapsible water bottles to our attendees, so you can keep some water on you at all times.
  • Keep your phone charged. Be prepared to sign up for all the things, exchange contact information with your new friends, and take pictures so you can brag to everyone back home about the memories you made.

What Are You Excited About for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

Meeting in person! The expression “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone,” has certainly had new meaning for me this past year. My love for conference planning and seeing it all come together has never been more evident to me than when it was all taken away. Although this year will be different, I am excited to contribute to this experience and welcome everyone back.

Visit our official ATD21 website to learn more about ATD21. Learn about Jennifer and what she’s looking forward to most at ATD21 by reading her Meet the Team profile.

About the Author

Paula Ketter is ATD's content strategist. Previously, she served as editor of ATD's periodicals.

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