How to make the most of the Mega Workshop

You’ve signed up for the College Media Mega Workshop, you’ve booked your flights and you’re ready to learn.

But you probably have a few questions — what should you bring? what will it be like? and what makes it so “mega,” anyway?

For all your logistical travel and lodging questions, visit the College Media Mega Workshop website, where you’ll find lists of dorm room do’s and don’ts, maps and more.

As for what makes this convention so big: It’s the first year we’ve combined the forces of ACP, the College Media Association, College Broadcasters, Inc., and College Media Business and Advertising Managers.

That means that while you’re delving deep into your specialized workshop, you’ll be surrounded by some of the brightest students in college media — ones who are similar to you, but also ones who excel in different fields, from design to sports reporting.

It also means you’ll have dozens of experienced advisers and professionals who can help you and your publication improve in a variety of ways.

If that sounds overwhelming, don’t worry — we’ve got a few tips for making the most of this experience.

Articulate your goals

Chances are, you’re already thinking about what you’d like to accomplish this year. That’s great! Attending this workshop is the first step toward achieving those goals. Try to pinpoint exactly what you want to learn and write it down. One study found that people who regularly wrote down their goals were 42 percent more likely to achieve them. It certainly can’t hurt.

Talk about these goals with your team, and check in each day to see what each of you learned, how you can apply it to your organization and what questions you still have.

Take notes

You’re going to get a ton of information at this workshop — probably more than you can remember. Improve your chances of retaining all the tips you learn by bringing a notebook and pen and simply writing them down. (Plus, this is a great place to write down your goals and review them before sessions start.)

Use whatever note-taking method works for you, whether that’s writing quotes, pictures or bullet points. Record anything that stands out to you. The sessions can move fast, and with so much happening each day, you’re far more likely to remember information if you’re putting it on paper.

Write down how things can apply to you as you think of them. Jot down ideas and questions as they come to you. Use the notebook as inspiration throughout the school year, when you feel stressed or stuck. You might remember something brilliant you learned at the Mega Workshop.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Workshops can certainly be intimidating, but don’t let that hold you back from getting what you need. Don’t be afraid to ask the convention staff for directions or recommendations, and take advantage of one-on-one training opportunities.

You’re here to push your organization into excellence, so make sure to ask for the advice and instruction you need.

Branch out

It’s easy to stick with your close-knit group of friends from the newsroom, but we can’t stress enough how important it is to spark conversations and connections with other student journalists. Chat with your peers during session breaks, or grab lunch with a new group. Vent about your frustrations, work to find solutions to common problems and pick their brains — some newsrooms do things totally differently, and another student might have the answer to the problem you’ve been facing. All you have to do is ask.

So get excited to learn, meet some of the brightest students in college media and get inspired to tackle the year ahead.

And practically speaking, here’s what you need to bring (and what you shouldn’t):

What to bring


  • Money for food. All meals are on your own. Feel free to bring snacks.
  • A notebook/pen or laptop for note-taking
  • Resumes, portfolios, links to personal websites, etc. if you’d like to have them critiqued
  • Extra copies of your publication for exchange throughout the weekend
  • Charging cords for your computer and phone
  • Light sweater or jacket in case the rooms get cold

Ad Rep Boot Camp:

  • Copy of your media kit/rate card
  • Three regular newspaper editions
  • 1-2 special sections


  • Smartphone
  • “May the Facts Be With You” T-shirt, if you’ve purchased one

Broadcast Management:

  • Portable recording device of your choice


  • Packaged (with fonts and images) InDesign files and PDFs of past published pages
  • Font files you are considering for your redesign
  • USB flash drive
  • Laptop with Adobe Creative Suite installed, if you have one

Digital Journalism:

  • Recording/reporting device(s) you are most comfortable with (smartphone, DSLR camera, audio recorder, video camera, etc.)

Editorial Leadership:

  • Copies of your publications for critique and to show

Sports Reporting:

  • Laptop
  • Smartphone

Visual Storytelling:

  • DSLR camera and lenses
  • Smartphone
  • Laptop with Adobe Photoshop and Bridge (or other photo editing software) installed
  • USB flash drive

Dorm Rooms:

  • A photo ID (will be needed to check into the dorms)
  • Personal care items, such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, etc.
  • Small carrying case or plastic bucket to carry toiletries
  • Flip-flops for shower
  • Clothes hangers
  • Laundry bag and detergent (if you plan to do laundry)
  • Alarm clock

What not to bring

  • Towels or bedding (these are provided)
  • Pillow
  • Guns, ammunition or any other weapons or firecrackers
  • Electrical appliances or cooking appliances
  • Multiple outlet (octopus) power strips
  • Candles and candle warmers, incense, hookah or any other materials that have the potential for an open flame

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