Even if you have attended the AACC annual meeting for many years, it’s still a good idea to plan ahead to get the most out of your experience—especially if you want to take advantage of all Atlanta has to offer. A great plan will ensure you catch all the must-see exhibits and science at the meeting, and still have time to enjoy the city.

1. Register and Make a Transportation Plan

AACC has reserved special rates and discounts for hotel rooms, airfare, and ground transportation. Even though AACC works with 17 hotels around the city, it is best to book early so that you get a room in your preferred hotel and neighborhood.

2. Download the Official AACC App

One of the best ways to plan your experience in Atlanta is with the AACC Annual Meeting mobile app, available for both Apple and Android mobile devices. The free app enables you to build an itinerary, search for sessions and speakers, find exhibitors by product or keywords, and locate auxiliary meetings and industry workshops.

3. Make Your Education Schedule

Set aside time now to carefully review all the symposia, short courses, brown bags, poster presentations, and other events. With more than 400 educational sessions on scores of topics, you’ll feel overwhelmed if you show up in Atlanta without a good plan. Note that many of the Brown Bag sessions and Short Courses can fill up quickly, so registering early for these ticketed events ensures a place for you.

4. Plan Your Clinical Lab Expo Experience

Before planning which exhibitors you want to visit, consider making two lists to help you prioritize: the first, a must-see list of vendors offering products you know your laboratory needs now or in the near future. Second, write a wish-list. For example, even if your laboratory isn’t right now looking to buy a new mass spectrometer, you might want to start learning about how this technology is evolving so you will be prepared when you are ready to make a purchase.

5. Leave Enough Time for Posters and Networking Events

Faced with more than 700 exhibitors and myriad educational sessions, it is easy to overbook your schedule. So set aside plenty of time to interact with your colleagues during poster sessions and networking events. One of the best ways to experience the posters is by attending one of the AACC Division-guided poster tours. Led by experts from AACC’s 18 scientific divisions, these tours focus on abstracts chosen as examples of the best scholarship in that specialty.