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Expect a Bustle in Exhibit Hall with 306 Booths, Roundtables, Snack Breaks

Inside the exhibit hall at the AASA national conference in Nashville, attendees will find the Knowledge Exchange Theater, the Social Media Lounge, dozens of roundtable presentations and 306 commercial and non-profit exhibitors ready to answer questions about services and products in K-12 education. 

The total number of exhibit hall booths is the room’s capacity and the largest number at an AASA national conference in many years. 

The product and service providers represent an array of fields in K-12 schooling — technology, student assessment, educational and administrative software, executive search services, financial services, facilities, professional development, health, safety and transportation. Several nonprofits and professional organizations also are represented. (See the conference program book and program addendum for a full list. The floor plan can be viewed online.)

New this year is AASA’s Health & Wellness Center to give education leaders a place to connect with each other and recharge physically and mentally. Visitors can pet some dogs, enjoy a massage or taste an electric bike smoothie. The center is part of AASA’s Live Well, Lead Well campaign.   

The Social Media Lounge provides a space for attendees to meet association staff and fellow educators. For those seeking hands-on assistance using social media tools and platforms, this area draws both experts and novices.   

Each day in the School of the Future space, sessions will consider the curriculum, technology, food and furniture of the future. Topics include the digital eco-system, digital tools for literacy acceleration and computer science as the new literacy. 

Conference-goers will find hour-long Thought Leader sessions on Thursday, Feb. 17, and Friday, Feb. 18, in the Knowledge Exchange Theater. (See schedule in the conference program book.) 

Tucked away in one corner of the exhibit hall are 18 tables, the site of roundtable discussions over the conference’s first two days. These 60-minute sessions cover in a less formal way a full range of topics, including digital learning, equity, social-emotional learning, crisis communications, STEAM and the Redefining Ready! initiative. (See pages 52-55 and 80-82 in the conference program for details.) 

Exhibit hall hours are 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 17 and 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 18. Free coffee will be available in the exhibit hall from 7:45 to 9 a.m. on the first day, and free snacks are available from 1:45 to 3 p.m. on the first day and 1:45 to 2:15 p.m. the second day. 

(Liz Griffin is senior editor of Conference Daily Online and managing editor of AASA’s School Administrator magazine.) 

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