(* Especially since it was in my hometown.)
1. Go to the evening events. Sure, I can go to MoLAA for free whenever I want, but for $40 I could have seen Guillermo Gomez-Pena perform a dialogue with artist Felipe Ehrenberg.
2. The conference is a great place to catch up with old friends from around the country--but be sure to meet new friends, too, possibly from around the world!
3. Try to get more sleep. The days are long and tiring enough; staying up until 4AM really doesn't improve the experience.
4. Go to the lunches. Again, yeah, I can pack a lunch from home and save some money, but I'll miss out on speakers and networking with colleagues.
5. Offer to show colleagues and friends around the town/where the locals eat and drink before or after the conference--but not during the conference; no one has time for that.
6. Baking homemade cookies for a booth in the Expo Hall is indeed a good idea--work that kitchen!
7. Read all session and General Session descriptions carefully and keep your ears open for special possibly fun additions and events so that you don't miss hearing a Q&A with the richest billionaire/largest supporter of the arts/very controversial guy in town.
8. You really need more than 3 weeks to plan a successful flash mob. Also, you need technology that doesn't fail.
9. Smart phones are really, really worth it at these conferences. Or, I guess an iPad would do, too.
10. Forget about whatever it is you are supposed to be learning at the conference and go to the technology sessions and events (#djump, Muse Awards, etc.)--those folks know how to have FUN! Besides, we all need to learn about technology.
Fun Fact: I spent $131 on parking during the conference! (But that still doesn't equal one night in the conference hotels...)
I guess I learned some actual stuff from the sessions, too, but that will come in other posts.