at the Water's Edge

Living life and learning all I can along the way!

ACR13: Setup, Exhibit, Sessions & Tweet Up

urban backpacking
This was with the near-empty backpack;
after shopping, I had a full backpack &
large messenger bag!
I flew into San Diego on Friday night (after working [nearly] all day) so that I could be here for the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting.  This is the third ACR Annual Meeting that I've had the privilege to attend along with the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation (RPF).  You can read about my first ACR experience in Chicago here, or my experience at ACR in DC last year here.As always, ever since I arrived, it has been a whirlwind of activity! I tried to stay up late on Friday to adjust to the San Diego time, and that has not been a problem. Saturday was set-up day for the RPF Exhibit Booth -- but I had a few errands to run beforehand. We wanted to make sure our volunteers were had some things on hand at the booth to stay both hydrated and nourished, so I made a trip to the grocery store to pick up bottled water and snacks. I had to do a little bit of "urban backpacking" to accomplish this, but it all worked out! We also had a volunteer (Shannon) who's birthday happened to be today! We couldn't NOT celebrate, so...

heavenly cupcakes
I had scouted out a place online called "Heavenly Cupcake" that is located
very near the convention center. It was a good choice -- they truly were heavenly!

I really had quite a nice self-guided walking tour of downtown San Diego / Gaslamp Quarter yesterday morning!

Yesterday afternoon, we had a great group of volunteers who arrived a little early to help us put our booth space together. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet several other rheumatoid patients in person that I had previously only talked to on the phone or online.

The set-up crew!

RPF Exhibit Booth
Today (Sunday) marked the first day that the Exhibit Hall was open.  We had a lot of traffic and a lot of interest in who RPF is and what we are doing. As always, it was wonderful to engage in conversations and connect with rheumatologists and other professionals.  We'll have two more days with the exhibit, and I'll share more on that later. I also had a great opportunity to share a little of my own experiences with two doctors who randomly approached me as I wandered the exhibit hall!

Working the Exhibit Booth!

I did not have a lot of time to attend sessions today, but I did make it to most of a session on Opportunities for Social Media in Medical Education.  As would be expected, a lot of rheumatologists that I follow on Twitter showed up, as well -- I saw tweets coming through about the session from @carvicab and had to look around the room to try to find him!  It was a very basic overview, meant more for those who are new to social media and who are interested in getting started using social media for medical education, patient education & engaging with others -- but still a fun one to attend. After that, I had to rush off to a meeting; and then had a little bit of time left to spend at the Exhibit Booth; had a brief opportunity to see some of the posters in the Poster Hall before that closed (more on that later, as well -- lots of posters today about Rheumatoid Arthritis and Cardiovascular Disease); and we got to see a rheumatologist friend present an abstract.

Phew. If that weren't enough, it was then time to head off to one of the real highlights of today: the annual Tweet-Up!  A "Tweet-Up" is an in person meet up of people that know each other from Twitter.  It's just a wonderful and fun opportunity to socialize in person with people that you know online.  We had great representation from rheumatologists this year -- I'm not positive, but we may have had every continent represented today. It was really a great time, we had a lot of new faces and I got to meet several people in person for the first time. Now, to gear up for another day tomorrow -- and another Tweet-Up and lunchtime to hopefully connect with some of those who couldn't make it tonight. For now, it's off to bed (after I look over and revise my schedule for tomorrow!).

This year's Tweet-Up attendees

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Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Copernicus. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!