This year, over 30 delegates from the University of Illinois will be attending AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., the largest pro-Israel gathering in the United States. Around 20,000 people from around the nation will be present. Thousands of them will be college students representing hundreds of Universities.
The IlliniPAC Executive Board has some advice for first-timers, based on our experience. Here are a few tips to make your trip one of the most memorable of your life:
Wear comfortable walking shoes, Washington Convention Center is large.
Drink coffee in the morning and have a good breakfast! Every day is filled with a lot to do!
Bring a small bag or purse to carry your stuff around. Bring a portable battery charger and cord (or two, for a friend). Have a notebook and a pen to take notes. Money to buy food is also very important. Your ID is required, you MUST always have it! Throw in some snacks, too, like a granola bar. You can not always leave to get food.
Decide on a group meeting place in the AIPAC Village and be very exact. Make sure everyone knows where it is. Pick a specific booth to meet at, instead of saying “let’s meet at the Jerusalem sign” (there are a lot of Jerusalem signs).
There are not that many restaurants around the convention center, so plan on getting lunch in the AIPAC Village. They accept cash and credit cards.
Attend as many receptions and after-parties as you can get into, such as the HaLev Annual AIPAC Welcome Event!
Cell service may be spotty in the convention center. Instead of relying on texting, connect to the Wi-Fi and communicate with your group via internet-based chats, like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, or GroupMe.
Arrive at least an hour early before any keynote speakers like the President, Vice-President, or the Israeli Prime Minister. There will be extra security to go through. Also, arriving early allows you to grab a good seat.
Be on time to breakout sessions; they will start promptly and the doors may close when they begin. Do not be shy to ask questions to panelists ̶ they love questions!
Always wear your official ID badge and lanyard. Be sure to always have your state ID with you. Both will be checked frequently by security.
Download the AIPAC Policy Conference app. It has your personalized schedule and a map of all the rooms in the conference center. Super useful!
Take as many selfies as possible with politicians and other famous people! Post and #hashtag them and AIPAC might share or RT you.
Follow these tips and you will surely have an awesome time! See you soon in D.C. for AIPAC Policy Conference!
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