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#GHC19: Planning for Grace Hopper Celebration

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by Monalisa Chati 

Seats fill up at the Toyota Center for the GHC 18 KeynoteWe are a little over a week away from Grace Hopper Celebration – the world’s largest gathering of women technologists! As I start preparing and planning for it, I wanted to share few tips to help first timers gear up for as they head to Orlando, Florida with 25,000 other awesome attendees.

  • Packing: Pack comfortable shoes that you’ll be able to walk more than 10,000 steps per day in, and bring a light sweater or jacket as rooms in the convention center get cold. Remember to carry power cords and chargers for your laptop, phone, and portable charger. Companies at the Expo Hall give lot of SWAG, so save enough room in your bag or carry an extra one!
  • Resume: Submit your most updated resume on the GHC Resume Database so companies can set up interviews in advance. Bring in hard copies of your resume for the companies you plan to talk to.
  • Sessions: Sessions fill up fast, so pre-register for sessions you are interested in and make sure to arrive at the session location 10 minutes early. You cannot sign up for over lapping sessions, and the sessions are held all over – in the OCCC, Hyatt Regency, and Rosen Centre Hotel – so factor in time to walk between multiple venues, and don’t sign up for back-to-back sessions. View the GHC agenda.
  • GHC 19 App: Download the app to keep you on track, get reminders on sessions, find maps, connect with attendees, and view other important resources provided by AnitaB.org.
  • Badge Pickup: Try to collect your badge on Tuesday so you can skip the long lines on Wednesday Attendees smile in front of the GHC billboard at GHC 18morning and get to the keynote sessions on time! More information on badge pick-up can be found here.
  • Food: There is no free food (breakfast, lunch, or snacks) at GHC unless you sign up for a Community lunch or get invited to a company sponsored event. Make sure to carry your own snacks (nuts, trail mix, and water) and eat up before coming to the event so you don’t waste time in long food lines at the few food-for-purchase sites.
  • Networking: GHC is all about connections. Make sure to add people on LinkedIn and get to know as many people as possible. You never know who can lead you to your dream job or become your mentor or best friend! It’s a good idea to carry business cards to pass around as you meet hundreds and thousands of folks every day.
  • Social Media: Follow #GHC19 and #AnitaB the official Grace Hopper Celebration social handles.Monalisa Chati, a GHC 18 attendee and member of Anita | Bees, stands in front of a "We Are Here" sign at GHC 18 Lot of organizations host giveaways and social contests, so be sure to follow the social channels of your top companies.
  • Elevator Pitch: There are 25,000 attendees, so make sure you have nailed your 30 second elevator pitch.

Don’t forget to stop and say hi! You can find me at:

About

Monalisa ChatiMonalisa Chati is a Business Operations and Strategy Manager at ServiceNow. She is a data geek and social media enthusiast and has previously worked at Fortune companies like IBM and Fujitsu. She is extremely passionate about encouraging and promoting women and youth towards STEM education. She is always helping students improve their networking skills and find their dream jobs. Monalisa is an active member of the Systers community and Vice Chair of Anita|Bees. She was the Social Media Chair for Anita|Bees for GHC 18, which was her very first GHC. She has moderated and been on panel discussions at several technology and career events in Silicon Valley.

Connect with Monalisa on LinkedIn.