First Time Attending?

​With more than 5,000 OEHS professionals expected to attend, over 100 education sessions to choose from, and more than 100 social events Sunday through Wednesday, AIHce can be overwhelming for first-time attendees. Below are some tips to help make the most of your first AIHce EXPerience in Seattle, Washington. Think of these as old-fashioned “tips for the road.”

What to Do Before the Conference

What to Do During the Conference

​What to Do After the Conference

​What to Do Before the Conference 

Determine your objectives for the con​ference

Take some time to think about your short-and long-term career and personal goals. Now think about your objectives for the conference and how these objectives will further your goals. Make sure to attend sessions that cover the content you need, as well as some sessions that may not be directly related to your job but will broaden your perspective of the field.

Search and Build Your Agen​da

The secret to feeling relaxed and organized is to build your conference agenda BEFORE you arrive in Seattle! Use the search events tool to find sessions, programs, and speakers that meet your conference education objectives. Presentations will be available in the AIHce EXP mobile app on May 2 so you can print or save digitally to take notes for all of your chosen programs. 

Regist​er for a PAL

Sign up to participate in the Personal AIHce Liaison (PAL) Program when you register for the conference. Beginning in early May, AIHce staff will email you about your match. This is a great way to learn about navigating the conference from an experienced AIHce attendee.

Practice Your Elevato​r Pitch

Prepare a short introduction of yourself and your plans for the future. It’s helpful to have both a 10-second and a 30-second introduction, so you’ll be prepared when you bump into the right person on the elevator or at a reception.

Get S​ocial!

Follow AIHce EXP 2017 on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and when it becomes available in May, download the AIHce EXP mobile app. You don’t have to wait until the conference to tweet; start using #AIHce and #AIHceEXP and follow @AIHA today!

Find yo​ur way in the AIHce Expo Hall

The conference is massive, with more than 250 exhibitors! Go to Map Your Show to locate exhibitors and find products, services, and solutions you need. Then, use the My Show Planner tool to save exhibitors, make appointments, and connect with the companies and people who can make your job easier.

What to P​ack

  • A big stack of business cards.
  • Plenty of resumes for the CareerAdvantage Development Fair.
  • Healthy snacks and a refillable water bottle. Keep your brain and body nourished while you learn!
  • Charging cables and your laptops/smart devices. Laptops and smartphones are allowed to be used during session activities, but be sure to silence your settings! The Hub and Expo Hall will have several charging stations onsite to give your electronics that extra boost to make it through the day! 
  • Comfortable shoes: you'll be walking a lot and may be on your feet for hours at a time.
  • Appropriate clothing: Come to AIHce EXP dressed to impress, but be comfortable while sitting, standing, and walking your way through the conference. The dress code of the conference is business casual. If you plan business meetings, you'll need business attire. Please note the rooms in the convention center tend to be cool. It's a good idea to bring a sweater or other layers when you get cold.
  • A travel umbrella and rain jacket.
  • Instructions on how to access your work e-mail and work server remotely.

Back to the top

What to Do During the ​Conference

Make sure to give​ yourself enough time on your first to day to register and pick up your conference program and badge

Registration hours and session start times can be found in the Final Program or AIHce EXP mobile app. Be sure to check meeting times closely. The Final Program will list times and locations for all conference sessions, PDCs, and other events. Times and locations occasionally shift after the program is printed so check the AIHce EXP mobile app for updates. 

Keep track of you​r badge

Your conference badge allows you admission to sessions and includes tickets to certain events. You must have a badge for all AIHce EXP activities (including social events). Do not lose it—a replacement costs $5!

Allow enough travel time from your hotel to the sessions

Give yourself enough time to go from session to session comfortably—especially since you may have impromptu conversations with folks you meet in the hallways!

Participate in the First T​imers’ Orientation Breakfast sponsored by DuPont

DupontStart your AIHce EXPerience with other first timers on Monday, June 5 from 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 a.m. in Grand Ballroom A at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel. Sponsored by DuPont, this session will provide you the opportunity to meet other first-time conference attendees, learn how to effectively use the AIHce EXP mobile app and the Final Program as your conference guides, discover the best networking events that can lead to meeting valuable contacts, learn about onsite resources and what they can do for you, and hear tips on how to maximize your overall conference experience. We recommend that you attend this with your PAL if you have one.

Do I have to attend each sessi​on? 

Make AIHce EXP 2017 work for you! Start with the opening general session and plan your time there. You should consult the program ahead of time to make a schedule of the sessions that are most appealing to you. Save some time for enjoyment and relaxation (consider some of the health and wellness sessions in The Hub). Make time to see the city. Visit some local sights, catch a show, or try some restaurants with your new friends. It’s entirely possible that you can get just as much benefit from using a break to interact and network with other OEHS professionals as you would from attending a session during each time slot. You will find that you return to the office refreshed and energized with new ways of thinking about how you do things.

Offer Your Sug​gestions

Be sure to complete the daily evaluations (about the sessions you attend each day). It will be emailed to you each night. Your feedback is important so please give it some thought, complete the form, and return it promptly as instructed. And by all means, be candid in your responses. Your suggestions will assist AIHA in meeting the needs of all attendees. Additionally, immediately after AIHce concludes, you’ll receive an overall conference evaluation. Use this one to give us feedback on a higher level about AIHce in general.

Use your lap​top or smart phone during a session

Typing notes during a talk is okay; so is tweeting using #AIHce and #AIHceEXP. Just be mindful of your neighbors and respectful of the speakers. And don’t forget to silence your phone!

Ask a questio​n

We reserve 10 to 20 minutes of time at the end of each session for audience questions. Write down your question in advance, and make sure that it’s a question related to the discussion. When it’s time, head to the audience microphone in the session room, state your name and institutional affiliation so that people can remember you, and ask your question. Remember, if you are thinking about it, likely so are others in the audience! If you’d like to respond to the presentations with your own comments, talk to a speaker afterward and get his or her email.

Look at fellow audience​ members

Remember the faces in the audience—if you see someone later, the session you both attended can be a great conversation starter.

Partner with friends or c​olleagues to cover sessions happening at the same time

It’s not possible to do everything, so decide in advance who will attend each session and take notes. You could then meet after the sessions, or wait until you get home, to regroup and discuss.

Relax and Reju​venate

Schedule a little personal time to get off your feet and relax briefly. This can help you recharge your batteries. You’ll find charging stations in the AIHA booth (1211) in the Expo Hall and in the Working Zone in The Hub (Hall 4B). You’ll also find a chair massage station in Booth 1652 staffed Monday and Tuesday, 12:30PM – 1:30PM and Wednesday, 11:30AM – 12:30 PM.

Visit the AIHc​e Expo Hall

Spend time looking for opportunities to learn about new products, make new connections, and enhance your understanding of the information profession by visiting the Expo. While you may not need their services now, you might in the future, so use this time to connect with the leading companies in the OEHS landscape. Please remember to thank our exhibitors too; their investment helps offset registration costs to keep your fees low.

What other events should I be sure to ​attend? 

AIHce EXP Social sponsored by Che​mwatch

Sunday, June 4
7:00–9:00 p.m.
Grand Ballroom A - D, Sheraton Seattle Hotel

Back by overwhelmingly popu​​lar demand, the AIHce EXP Social kicks off this year’s conference with food, drinks, and fun.

Expo Hall Networking Reception
Monday, June 5
4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Exhibit Hall 4EF, Washington State Convention Center

Mix, mingle, sip, and network during this reception featuring the perfect blend of exhibitors, peers, poster presenters, and colleagues. Learn about new products and services from AIHA at our expansive booth! Everything that makes AIHce EXP so special will be in one place so soak it in, sip it up, and socialize! A free drink ticket is included with your registration.​

2017 CareerAdvantage Building Careers for Life Development Fair
Monday-Wednesday, June 5-7
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Hall 4B, Hub Area 2, Washington State Convention Center

This fair will feature sessions designed to help those in the occupational and environmental health and safety (OEHS) field advance their current careers and find and maintain positions in the industry. It also provides an opportunity for employers and OEHS professionals to network and make valuable contacts. 


Mark of Excellence Awards Breakfast
Wednesday, June 7
7:00 – 8:30 a.m.
Hall 4A, Washington State Convention Center

Though known for world-class IH/OH education and networking opportunities, AIHce is also a time to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary contributions made by AIHA and ACGIH members and volunteers to the industry and the profession. The third annual Mark of Excellence Awards Breakfast will feature awards, networking, and a delicious breakfast buffet. Connect with fellow leading and emerging industry trailblazers and pay tribute to those whose exemplary dedication to the profession has made a positive and lasting impact. This event is held in lieu of a Wednesday morning General Session and is included in your registration, but pre-registration is required.

2017 FunRun

AIHF Fun Run/Walk and Conference Pin

Tuesday, June 6
6:30 a.m. 
Olympic Sculpture Park

The American Industrial Hygiene Foundation (AIHF) presents the 31st Annual Fun 5KRun/2K Walk. Have fun, get some exercise, and support the AIHF! 

2017 PowerHour

AIHce POWER HOUR sponsored by MSA

Tuesday, June 6
6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Metropolitan Ballroom, Sheraton Seattle Hotel

The AIHce POWER HOUR is the place to be for networking and socializing on Tuesday night.

Network and Socia​lize

AIHce is more than just education. The conference gives you the opportunity to meet OEHS professionals from all over the world, catch up with old friends and classmates, and network with potential employers. Keep in mind that the professionals you want to meet will have many people they want to meet as well. When you aren’t in a session, take advantage of the wide variety of meetings and networking events that are offered. Be tactful in handing out your business cards and resume. After sessions or talks, most presenters linger, providing an excellent opportunity to meet them. Another useful approach is to introduce yourself to the person you would like to meet and get their card. Then, if you want to pursue a conversation, you can contact them a few days later. Set a goal to meet at least five new people every day.

Tweet using #AIHce, #A​IHceEXP, and @AIHA

If you’re enjoying a particular session or event, let other people know about it. Attendees who don’t have a Twitter account can still follow conference discussions online in real time. 

Back to the top

What to do When You Get Home 

Take time to r​eflect

Did you meet your goals? It is helpful to write a summary of your experience for your personal records. You can include descriptions of sessions that interested you, ideas that came up, and who you met. Additionally, you can provide this to your supervisor to show the return on investment for your participation (be sure to include the dates of AIHce 2018 – May 21-23, 2018 in Philadelphia, PA). 

Fill out conference evaluati​ons that you receive via e-mail

Your feedback matters and will make a difference for future first-timers as well as in future planning of the conference!

Follow up with your new contacts

Send an email to those you’ve networked with, including exhibitors and sponsors like DuPont, who hosted the First Timers’ Orientation Breakfast. You can present a question or discussion, or simply send a thank-you note for taking time to speak with you. Create an outreach plan to stay in touch with your new colleagues…perhaps scheduling time one day a month for emails or phone calls to share how you are each applying what you learned during the meeting. 

Watch recorded pre​sentations

Miss a presentation or want to see another one again?  AIHce On Demand is included in your registration rate (your access link will be emailed approximately 4 weeks after conference). This is a great way to earn more CM points too!

Stay So​cial!

Continue following AIHce on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn.

Pass on the K​nowledge!

Put everything you learned at the conference into practice in your teaching. Share it with your colleagues.

Plan for AIHc​e 2018!

Make plans to attend your second conference, AIHce 2018, May 21 – 23 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Additional​ Reading

  • Attending a Conference as an Introvert
  • How to Get the Most Out of Conferences
  • 27 Things to do Before a Conference
  • 14 Helpful Tips for Getting the Most Out of a Conference
  • 12 Reasons You Should Attend Conferences
  • 7 Tips for Attending a Conference Alone​

Back to the top​​​​​