One of our favorite nonprofit fundraising conferences is upon us—and we’re less than a week away. And although your schedule is undoubtedly chock-full right up until that flight or drive in to Baltimore, there are a few key steps you need to make sure happen before the conference.

Get the most out of your AFP conference experience by coming to the conference ready to take in the content.

Come Prepared—Read This

This article was posted on our site for a previous AFP conference, but the information is still as vital as ever for your conference experience. Jay Love of Bloomerang offered us tips to maximize your AFP conference.

For example, he pointed out that the time will fly by. Make sure you’re never eating meals alone. After all, you’re surrounded by a ton of nonprofit industry experts and professionals. You could seriously benefit from sitting down at a group of strangers and striking up a conversation.

Plus, make sure your organization has pinpointed the areas that you hope to improve. Find the presentations that best supplement your main goals. If you plan it correctly, you can maximize your experience.

Download the App

In a world that’s becoming increasingly digital, you shouldn’t have to carry around your program to know where the next session is. AFP is on board with that idea. And instead of trying to download the website content on your phone, tablet or laptop, you can instead download an easy-to-navigate app. No internet connection necessary.

Search for sessions and speakers, customize your schedule and connect with other AFPeeps. Search AFP 2015 or AFP 2015 Conference in your app store. The app is free, so you’d be crazy not to take advantage of the tool. Plus, the app will update with any last minute changes to rooms or speakers.

Make Your Picks, But Leave Flexibility

Once you’ve scrolled the app and checked out the list of speakers, it’s time to make your selections. Pick out the top presentations you don’t miss (these were my picks for the conference).

But other people have also made their picks, and one thing’s for sure—there won’t be a bad presentation at AFP. Check out Rachel Muir’s picks on GuideStar and Erin Duff’s picks on npENGAGE. Depending on what you’re hoping to improve you can tailor your own experience to make sure you’re learning about topics that matter most to your organization.

Bonus Tip—Join the Social Chatter

As a past attendee, something has become clear—attendees of AFPFC are an extremely social group. In fact, dozens have already been using the hashtag #AFPFC before the conference has even started. Don’t hesitate to jump in on the conversation before you ever take flight.

What are you most looking forward to about AFP 2015 in Baltimore?