A How-To Guide for the 2019 BDO Alliance Conference

The BDO Alliance Conference is April 29 – May 1 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Are you ready?

If you’ve never attended the BDO Alliance USA Annual Conference, you are in for an incredible experience! If you have attended previously, then you know how valuable this conference is! I have attended this conference for more than a decade and thought it may be helpful to the first-timers and a refresher for the veterans, to compile some tips and tricks to get the most out of attending!


Before you catch your flight, there are a few things that you can do to ensure that you benefit the most from the conference while you’re there.

1. Download the App.

The BDO Alliance Conference app is a must-have for all members, but especially those attending the conference. Here you can find daily schedules, contact info, presentations, maps, and more. Most importantly, it’s used to record all CPE tracking! In order to have the most information possible in a condensed and organized format in the palm of your hand, download this app. Look for it wherever you download apps beginning on April 22.

2. Know where you are and where you want to go.

Get familiar with the Cosmopolitan and its amenities. Check the hotel map to familiarize yourself with the layout – where the sessions will take place, restaurants you want to visit, or other points of interest and devise an efficient plan to move around the property with ease! Everywhere you’re going will probably take longer to get there than you think! Don’t be the person circling the hotel lobby.

3. Familiarize yourself with the agenda, speakers, and social media.

The Alliance team has carefully curated a host of amazing presenters this year’s conference! In order to enhance your experience, find and follow them on social media. You can get a better idea of who they are, what they do, and what knowledge they have to offer your company. Social media is a great way to stay in contact with the speakers, as well as address any questions you may have after the conference is over.

aEngaging on social media is a huge plus and can only help grow brand awareness for your business and colleagues at the BDO Alliance. There’s so much tweet-worthy content that you’ll never run out of things to share! Take pictures – with other attendees, sessions you’re attending, or the sights and sounds of Las Vegas! Follow the #BDOLV19 and use it for tweets and posts while you’re here! Building business connections via social media is a great way to get the most out of the conference every year.


1. Branch Out.

Since you already know your fellow co-workers, there’s no need to travel together in a pack. Divide and conquer is the name of the game here. Discuss ideas and exchange insights. Take a chance and strike up a conversation and get out of your comfort zone. Arm yourself with some tried and true conversation starters. If you aren’t posting on social media, put your phone down! I promise you, the more you put into the conference, the more you’ll get out of it.

2. Don’t miss out on networking opportunities, including the tradeshow.

Attend absolutely everything you can and don’t miss an opportunity to network. Whether at meals, coffee breaks, or cocktail hour, opportunities to make new connections are everywhere! You never know the impact one new professional relationship could have on your career or your business. Keeping with the theme of networking, DO NOT MISS the tradeshow. It’s not your typical tradeshow as you won’t find giant booths here. The simple setup combines with conveniently located bars and delicious hors d’oeuvres to allow for more opportunities for connection! Make new contacts or reconnect with familiar faces, but most of all, the tradeshow gives you a taste of all the amazing resources and services that the BRN firms and industry groups within the Alliance have to offer.

Pro Tip: The Chandelier Bar is a hot networking spot for after session gatherings at #BDOLV19. Meet new folks, say hi to friends and try one of their amazing cocktails! Secret Pizza is a tasty option for a late-night snack. Check out their reviews on Yelp, and read the comments to find its ‘secret’ location. You’ll thank me later.

3. Remember the essentials.

Since you’ll be doing a lot of walking, make sure to stay well hydrated and wear comfortable shoes that you can spend all day in. There’s nothing worse than feeling that stinging pain of a blister when you have another 6 hours left in your day. Mints, hand sanitizer and a light sweater or jacket are also must-haves. Wear your conference badge, bring business cards and chargers for your devices. Practice your introduction, which should be like a good vodka martini – simple and memorable.

Pro Tip: Bring a power strip and share it! Don’t you hate when you are low on battery and there’s not an open outlet to be had? Be the hero to your fellow attendees : )


As you make your way back home, do a post-conference brain dump. Record your hits and misses, new contacts, fresh ideas, and anything else you took from the conference. Share these with your team, discuss ways that you can utilize the information, and then send thank you notes wherever appropriate.

Finally, don’t forget to thank the hard-working BDO Alliance team for this amazing conference. After nearly 14 years of attending, this conference keeps getting bigger and better every single year. The Alliance team continues to work their conference magic and I have no doubt that our time this year will not disappoint!

Start preparing, get your tweets with #BDOLV19 rolling, and I’ll see you in Vegas!

Have questions or want to connect before the conference? Connect with Betsy here:

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