TRB Annual Meeting Survival Tips

The TRB Annual Meeting is an excellent event. Read the Attendee Resource Page, and How to Get the Most out of the TRB Annual Meeting (2014) for new attendees. First Time Attendees meet on Sunday at 2:30 pm. You should get involved with the Young Members Forum. Here are some basic survival tips for a successful TRB trip:

  • Support your classmates and professors. Please attend presentations and poster sessions where your fellow students and professors are presenting. You can search the TRB program for "University of South Florida" to get a listing.
  • Washington, D.C. is a special place, with many museums and historical sights. To avoid getting overloaded, we suggest you try to split your time among the following:
    • TRB Sessions (poster and podium presentations). With more than 3,000 presentations in more than 600 sessions you should pace yourself. Engage poster presenters in conversation (ask them questions), and also work on your skills at formulating questions for podium session presenters, and don't be afraid to ask a question.
    • Workshops: many workshops are offered on Sunday included in registration fees, find one that sparks your interest.
    • TRB Committee meetings. All 200 standing committees are volunteer, find one or two that address your area of interest. To become a committee "Friend," go to their meeting and sign the attendance sheet. Most committee meetings have self-introductions, so speak your name and affiliation loudly and clearly. Committees also have 4 slots for younger members so contact committee chair if you are interested in getting involved. Volunteering to review papers or work on their website are other ways to get involved.
    • Social events such as receptions sponsored by other universities or prospective employers. Here is a way to save some money on your food budget!
    • Also take time to see some of D.C., particularly the Lincoln Memorial, the Mall, National Gallery of Art, National Archives, Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Library of Congress, the Phillips Collection and American History Museum..you can contact your Member of Congress' office to arrange a Capitol tour, or request White House tour tickets. It's also fun to visit your Member's office (past students have done this as a group). In 2013 a group of students also visited the U.S. DOT.
  • Don't overdo it on one of the above four items but split your time.
  • Be prepared for cold weather outside (especially if you're from somewhere warm), and very warm temperatures inside hotels and other buildings compared to Florida standards. Winter coat, scarf, hat, and gloves are recommended.
  • The attire at the Annual Meeting is more formal than we're used to in Florida, so standard business attire (as if you have a job interview) is the norm (see photos on this page).
  • Don't be shy about asking questions, asking people for their business cards and making connections with students from other universities and future employers. Everyone has nametags so you never know who you might meet. Bring some resumes and print some business cards. We suggest that you spread out and don't cluster together.
  • Travel Hints:
    • Use the Metro to get around D.C. The DC Circulator is a bus service connecting many destinations. Try the Capital Bike Share.
    • Three airports serve D.C.: National (direct Metro connection), Dulles (Washington Flyer shuttle/taxi), and Baltimore (usually cheaper airfares, you can take Amtrak to Union Station and then transfer to Metro).
    • If you are being reimbursed for your hotel (and if you are sharing your room with others), be sure to get a receipt when you check out for your portion of the bill; you won't be able to receive reimbursement for a receipt with someone else's name on it.
    • Hotel food is expensive, you might want to consider attending receptions or shopping for provisions. There is a Safeway across from the Convention Center at 5th & L NW.
    • Make sure you have phone/contact information for fellow students or professors in case you need help.
  • If you have questions please ask.

NOTE: this is unofficial and a work in progress. Please provide comments or suggestions based on your experiences. We hope you have a great experience. Safe travels.