I came to the HCEA show two years ago, when it was held in Toronto, and found that while the education was great, the social scene was pretty hard to break into for a newbie. But the feel is different this year. While I got in too late to attend the reception on Saturday night, I did note that they were holding another pre-reception reception just for the first-timers in the group. All the staff and committee members also are wearing “Ask Me” buttons, signaling that first timers should feel free to ask them anything, anytime. One of the HCEA board members said in his presentation Sunday morning that each first timer also had a green stripe on their badge to make them easy to identify, and asked long-time attendees to go out of their way to make the newbies feel welcome.
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