My top ten highlights at the American Evaluation Association annual conference this past week:

1. Connecting with other independent evaluators through the “TIG”

2. Writing my elevator speech in Gail Barrington’s Consulting Skills course

3. Learning all about focus groups in Michelle Revel’s course

4. Attending two great sessions on needs assessment with Ryan Watkins and his colleagues

5. Learning about blogging from Chris Lysy, Ann Emery and other blog-aholics

6. Speed dating with other independent evaluators

7. Winning five days of training at The Evaluators’ Institute at the AEA silent auction

8. Trying out some ethnic restaurants in the Adams Morgan neighborhood

9. Having Bi Bim Bop at a cute new Bi Bim Bop place in Dupont Circle

10. Walking down the same hallways as some of the all-time great evaluators