As soon as one SNAG ends I start planning for the nest one. Well scheming is really what it should be called. The last few years I haven't been as concerned about the trip because my money situation wasn't as, well...depressing. However, as anyone who has attended SNAG knows, once you go you are hooked! The dealer's room invites you in and entices you to empty your wallet. The presentations and demos can spark a new facet of work that you didn't think you would be interested in exploring. Walking around and knowing that if you said "I was forging the other day..." The people in the elevator don't think you were breaking the law!
Since the original estimate for the trip with all the plane, hotel, registration, and various other costs was over 1800 dollars I have been doing my best to find ways to get as much of my trip through grants and scholarships. I applied for various grants and scholarships, some to no success, and wait to hear from others. One of which there is a chance that I will get it months after the trip occurred. I was also accepted into the work exchange program with my significant other-Parker. So although the original estimate of the trip has been already been cut significantly, one thing I can't bargain my way out of is the hotel. I can't really wiggle too much on that. Blast! Still no free internet and parking is charged as well. Staying at the conference hotel is necessary since many of the events go late into the evening and the Student Mixer and the Final night meet and greet dinner party don't end until midnight and most of the time people stay up until late in the morning catching up with old class mates and the professors. Last conference we were all up in our professor's Presidential Suite, he was the president of the organization that year:) and had a wonderful time that would have been sullied by attempting to navigate 3-5 blocks at 3 in the morning to another hotel.
I'm looking forward to SNAG and have been wearing the pins while I teach to convert the design II students all into metals majors! Mwahahahhaha! Now if only I can get them to perfect balsa foam carving ;)