The health and wellbeing of members, exhibitors, staff, and other stakeholders is our top priority. Due to the growing concern around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in alignment with the best practices laid out by the CDC, WHO, and federal and local governments, CFMA has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 CFMA Annual Conference & Exhibition. Please CLICK HERE for more information.

First Time Attendees

Welcome to your first CFMA Annual Conference & Exhibition! You will find it to be a great experience – the more you put into it, the more you will get back. Everyone comes to learn, so share with your fellow attendees, and they will share with you.

Here are some ideas to consider before, during, and after, to make your Conference experience the best it can be. We are excited to see you in San Diego!


Plan ahead to get the best ROI on your time and money. Before you arrive, create a schedule designed to give you the tools and resources that will make a difference in your job and for your company when you return. You will be ahead of the game if you load up on sessions and plan strategically.

"Like" CFMA on Facebook, which will allow you to further prepare and connect with new people before you arrive. If you’re not already on Twitter, sign up and follow the #cfma2013 hashtag. You'll meet many influential people and have a handy tool to see which sessions are trending.

Check the weather and pack accordingly. Some events will be outside, so you’ll want to dress appropriately. And, since meeting room temperatures can vary, be sure to layer your clothing.


Don’t miss the First-Time Attendee Mixer on Sunday at 5:00pm where you will meet CFMA's officers, network with fellow First-Time Attendees, and get a first look at CFMA's 2013 Exhibitors.

Be open to meeting new people. Connect with session speakers and fellow attendees around comments and questions during the sessions you attend.

Be flexible about which sessions you attend. Though few speakers will say so, the “law of motion and responsibility” (formerly known as the “law of two feet”) should apply: If a session is not the right fit for you, then feel free to leave – even if you are seated in the front. You can go to another session or meet up with others who want to (quietly) engage in educational conversations outside session rooms.

Popular sessions will fill up fast. Arrive early to increase your networking opportunities and ensure that you’ll get first choice in seating.

Relationships power CFMA. We are all here to connect with new colleagues and reconnect with old friends. Don’t be shy – when you introduce yourself to someone new, ask to meet some of their CFMA friends and colleagues. You’ll be amazed at how fast and far your own connections will grow!

Attend as many sessions as you can and exchange business cards with everyone you meet. You chose the same sessions, so you’ll likely have shared interests.

Ask other attendees what sessions they plan to attend, or did attend, that day. Find out why they chose it and what they learned.

Have fun!


If you missed a session, you will be able to virtually “attend” it after the conference by visiting CFMA’s Online Library. There, you will be able to listen to session audio that is synced with the PowerPoint slides.

Send follow-up hand-written notes to everyone you met. Although it might be considered old-fashioned, it’s a great way to be remembered and keep your relationships growing.