Get the Scoop: AOEU Insider Tips For Your Next Art Education Conference


Do you need a little pick-me-up to keep your art teacher energy rolling? The good news is there’s a conference for that! If you’re looking for impactful ways to grow as an art educator and want to spend time with other teachers like you, an art education conference is the place to be.

Art education conferences hold a world of opportunities for artistic exploration, skill-building, and forging lasting connections. Whether you’re curious, unsure, or simply eager to expand your horizons at a conference, this guide will make your experience unforgettable.

NOW Conference

Find your people and take your development to the next level at an art education conference.

Heading to an art education conference isn’t just about ticking a box—it’s about finding your people and leveling up your teaching game. Art education conferences are incredible hubs where you learn new techniques and perspectives in art education and step into a community that gets you. Teaching art is full of unique joys and challenges. At an art education conference, surround yourself with others who share your passion and understand your highs and lows. Elevate your skills and your spirit too!

Here are even more reasons to attend an art education conference:

Follow along with the Day in the Life episode below for a peek behind the curtain of an actual art education conference.

Prioritize interactive formats as you look for in-person and virtual conferences that suit your schedule and budget.

When you’re scoping out art education conferences, aim for ones that not only match your ideal timeframe and cost but also get you involved. Go for conferences that spice things up with roundtable talks, fun group activities, or sessions designed for mingling. Look for workshops that scream, “Let’s connect!” in the conference schedule. These interactive setups are not just about learning but about making real connections with an art teacher community that lasts way beyond the conference center.

Start your search with known art education organizations like these:

Do planning and goal-setting to get ready for every aspect of your art education conference experience.

Before diving into an art education conference, take time to prepare for the experience. Start by prepping your mindset—turn the dial to “open” for meeting new faces and forging genuine connections. Then, jot down your goals. What’s your game plan? What are your main priorities? When you lock your intentions in, you’ll navigate sessions, chats, and even breaks with a clear purpose, ensuring every interaction counts. A little pre-conference prep goes a long way in shaping an unforgettable experience where lasting connections and learning take center stage.


Follow these five steps to prepare for your upcoming conference:

  1. Review the schedule and presenters.
    Familiarize yourself with the conference agenda and prioritize sessions aligned with your interests ahead of time.
  2. Set clear goals to define what you aim to achieve.
    Goals can cover learning new techniques, making new friends, or seeking inspiration.
  3. Brainstorm 2-3 questions to ask during key conference presentations.
    Connect your questions to your goals to ensure you are staying focused.
  4. Prepare stories and ideas to spark discussion.
    Having these handy in the forefront of your mind can help break the ice with new acquaintances.
  5. Pack any necessary materials.
    Include items like notebooks, sketchbooks, pens, art materials, and conference packets.

Make intentional connections and take engaging notes to make the most of your conference time.

Art education conferences are a whirlwind of people and ideas. Stay hydrated, well-rested, and nourished to maintain your energy level throughout the conference. Then, introduce yourself, swap stories, and let your passion for art education shine through. Keep your ears open during sessions and take lots of notes to review later when things calm down. Amidst all of the activity, remember the most crucial part is to have a blast! Savor every moment, soak up every interaction, and relish the joy of surrounding yourself with fellow art education enthusiasts.


Here are five tips to help you take advantage of every conference moment:

  1. Actively engage by participating in discussions, asking questions, and interacting with other session attendees. 
  2. Connect with attendees by sharing funny stories, tips, hacks, and pictures of your art room and student work, and swap contact info afterward!
  3. Look for opportunities to form or join smaller groups within the conference to encourage more profound connections.
  4. Engage in conference-related hashtags and discussions on social media to share your insights and experiences.
  5. Participate in scheduled meetups or gatherings to connect outside of the sessions.

Take your learning back to your art room and share the new ideas you try with your growing art education community.

Once the conference buzz settles, reflect on your whirlwind of experiences and pinpoint the new ideas you’re itching to try out. Experiment, innovate, and infuse your teachings with your fresh inspiration. Take your new friends along for the ride because, after all, growth is better together. Share your experiences, exchange thoughts, and embark on a journey of collective growth. The magic of art education conferences is about taking your learning, sharing it with your growing art education community, and watching it take root.

teacher community

Now that the conference is over, here are some tangible applications to keep the fun going:

  • Pick one new technique, strategy, or idea to implement in your teaching now.
    Gradually add more after seeing how it goes!
  • Reach out to the art teachers you connected with.
    Express gratitude for the interaction and suggest further collaboration or discussions to keep the budding relationships thriving.
  • Keep in touch with your new friends.
    Do a phone call, send an email, or follow them on social media. Add reminders to your calendar so you can be intentional with checking in.
  • Present or share your insights and learnings with a new art teacher friend at a future conference.
    Getting Started With Presenting Professionally Pack in PRO Learning will teach you everything you need to know to make this happen.
  • Seek further resources or courses to deepen your knowledge.
    Search AOEU’s Magazine and Media search bar to find more information on a topic you found intriguing at a session. Enroll in a course for deeper research and application on a specific medium or methodology. 

Professional growth and community connection lie at the heart of an unforgettable art education conference experience. Conferences are about finding your people amidst the interactive tapestry of sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities that resonate with your goals and aspirations. Through careful research and planning, intentional connection, and shared idea implementation, art education conferences can become a gateway to unlocking your professional and personal potential. For many art teachers, it’s a memorable few days they look forward to each year! With all of these benefits and tips, we hope you take the plunge and sign up for the next art education conference. We hope to see you there!

What tips are you filing away for your next art education conference?

How have you made a conference experience unforgettable?

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Mariana VanDerMolen

Mariana VanDerMolen, an elementary art educator, is a current AOEU Writer. She enjoys teaching for creativity, with a focus on ELL and therapy in a process-based art room.

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