KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Now that you’re registered for the 2024 World Vitiligo Day – USA, there are some things you need to know!
Once you attend a WVD-USA Conference, we hope you’ll want to come back again and again.
The conference is designed to help you:
- Form new relationships with people with vitiligo
- Learn new skills and gain new information and perspectives about living with vitiligo
- Build or maintain existing relationships
- Understand current research and treatment trends
When you arrive at the conference check into your hotel room. Once you have dropped off your belongings make sure to check in at the WVD-USA registration desk. The registration desk is located near the main meeting space in the Pre-Function Area. Look for digital hotel signs with a schedule and meetings rooms or poster boards on easels. Worst case, ask a hotel employee.
At the registration desk you will receive you name badge, goody bag and t-shirt (if you ordered one). The name badge is VERY important. We require all attendees to wear their name badge at all times. This is your “ticket” to attend meals and enter session rooms. Do not be surprised if we do not let you eat or into a session if you do not have your name badge. Always make sure you have it with you!
We have built a great program. We’ll start things off with an informal Networking Event Friday night. When you first arrive at the WVD -USA Conference, you’ll see a lot of people talking in the halls or room. You may even see people hugging each other. And you’ll begin to think “everyone knows each other, and I don’t know anyone.” We all started out that way at our first WVD – USA Conference. In no time at all, you’ll have new friends and colleagues, new ideas and knowledge, and plenty of contacts to maintain after you return home.
Sharing meals is a really good way to get to know other attendees. When you are seated at a meal, be sure to introduce yourself to everyone at the table. Also, talk to people as you are waiting for a session to start or over a cup of tea/coffee in the morning. The most valuable resources at the conference are the people you meet – you can make great connections just by visiting with people every chance you get. And when you get back home, they become great resources for support, future questions, or issues that arise.
Ask Simple Questions
As you are standing in line at the buffet, try striking up a conversation with the person in front of you by saying something as simple as “How are you enjoying the conference?” or “What session did you just come from?” These can be quick conversations, or they may open up the possibility for a longer one after you’ve both gotten your food.
Keep a hand free
Even if you don’t want anything to eat, get a drink so you have something to hold in your hand. It’s often easier to approach people or stand by yourself if you have something to do to cover those conversational pauses, like taking a sip of soda, etc. Be sure to keep one hand free so that you can still shake hands with each person you meet.
If this isn’t your first WVD conference, we have a favor to ask of you. Please be a connector! If you happen to be in a group in which you know a number of people who may not know each other, take a minute to make sure everyone is introduced. Simply sharing a name and hometown can often start conversations. This is helpful for those who struggle to start or carry conversations. As the connector, you will be known by more people and you get to stand in on the conversations and add points when you feel comfortable. We are all ambassadors for WVD! Please help us make everyone feel welcome.
We try and have presenters allow time for Q&A (Questions and Answers). Here are a few tips on making this part of the conference successful for yourself and for others.
- Clearly state your name and where you are from.
- Think about your question in advance. Make sure it is clear and concise.
- Keep it short and sweet! The Q&A is not the place to provide a lot of context or to tell your story. Keeping it short allows more people to ask questions and for the presenter to share more knowledge.
- Don’t be confrontational. People make mistakes. If the presenter said something that bothers you, talk with the presenter afterwards. Or if you feel the need to ask a question in public, ask for clarification without accusation.
Take notes! It is impossible for you to retain everything you hear. Come prepared with a notepad and pen to write down/or type those golden kernels of knowledge that you want to remember.
Visiting vendors can be fun and exciting, so you will want to drop in to see all the latest products and services. Many of the vendors either have vitiligo or some connection to it. We offer small, “mom and pop” type, businesses the opportunity to purchase a table for the duration of the conference. We do this as a service to the vitiligo community. Please understand that Global Vitiligo Foundation (GVF) and the WVD-USA Conference are not responsible for any financial transactions, product warranties, or guarantees made by a vendor. Make sure to bring your business cards to make contacts with vendors and colleagues!