It’s off to Baltimore this week for our annual Clinical Symposium & AT Expo. This is always an exciting time of the year for athletic trainers because we get to visit with old friends, learn new techniques, pick up some well needed CEUs, and especially this year, eat some good seafood.
Attend the AT Expo
There are 311 exhibitors this year’s AT Expo so don’t just wander through the exhibit hall, plan out your visit so you get to see those companies that you are most interested in. Would you like to have a demo of that new modality? How about taking a look at the new ankle bracing technology?
One of the best things about the AT Expo is participating in the many contests and giveaways while getting some free swag. For example, if you stop by the Ultra Ankle booth (#3074) you can enter to win a Beats Pill portable speaker and/or you can try on one of our braces to be eligible to win a $200 Amazon gift card. Don’t think you’ll have time to stop by our booth? Enter our Pre-NATA Contest now for a chance to win before the AT Expo starts!
The best way to get the most out of the AT Expo is to review the list of exhibitors prior to the show and put together a list of those exhibitors with booth numbers you want to visit. The NATA has compiled many resources to help you navigate this year’s event including the extremely helpful NATA 2016 mobile app. Download the app in your app store to have access to create and favorite exhibitors whose booths you’d like to visit, view maps, schedules, and much more.
Get CEUs and EBP CEUs
If you attend all three days of the Symposium you automatically earn up to 25 CEUs, however, additional CEUs may be earned by attending Advanced Track Seminars (6 CEUs for Wednesday events; 4 CEUs for Sunday events), Minicourses (1 CEU each) and pre-conference Career Development Workshops (CEUs vary). For the first time in 2016 EBP CEUs will be offered on site. Click here for more information on the educational details from the NATA.
One of my favorite parts of attending the NATA is catching up with old friends I’ve met over the years, including those who attended the same college as me. Most schools with athletic training programs hold alumni parties during the week – do you know when your is? Make sure to check out the alumni parties page to find out when/where you can find your fellow alumni and RSVP if required. The great thing about alumni parties is that everyone has something in common, so it makes the gathering in different locations throughout the city that much more fun. You don’t want to miss it!
Eat Some Good Seafood
Most people are already aware of Baltimore’s rich history if they’ve never visited before, but I’ve found that their seafood doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves! If you’re a frequent traveler to Baltimore, or even if this will be your first trip to the city, make sure to take some time and explore all the city has to offer – including and especially their seafood. If you don’t know what to get go ahead and try the blue crab in any of it’s many forms – you won’t regret it.
If you’re a pro when it comes to attending the annual NATA Clinical Symposium, what advice would you give to new attendees or people visiting Baltimore for the first time? Let us know below in the comments – I’ll see you all in Baltimore!
Written by Rick Peters
Rick Peters is a Certified Athletic Trainer who has been advancing ankle bracing technology for three decades. Peters patented his first ankle brace in 1985, revolutionizing the industry by adding a hinge to traditional stirrup braces for greater mobility. In 1989 he was a founder and became President of Active Ankle Systems. In 1998 he co-founded Ultra Athlete LLC to develop the next generation of ankle bracing technology. Peters has 18 ankle brace patents and is considered an authority on ankle bracing technology worldwide.