Alaska offers parents many choices for education. I am thankful for options. This past year, as in previous years, we do a combination of both public school, homeschool, co-op, online, and on-site classes. I guess I use them all.
1) I tend to take lots of notes. If there is a session I miss that I would like to hear, I have either found the lecture and ask for the notes, or just interview them.
One of the interviews, I wrote about on my blog about LIGHTENING THE JOURNEY. I needed that information this past year.
2) I like to touch before buy. Because we live in Alaska, it is nice to feel the product and look at some samples. But, often I really value other homeschool moms opinion first. You don't need to buy anything there. I take my list of ideas then, I can have a better idea of some of the options.
3) If your with Mat-Su Central, you can hold your wanted item with a credit card for most vendors. They don't get paid by IDEA until July, and will then gladly put the purchase on the credit card then. Anything purchased here, can be reimbursed in 2015-2016 school funds if purchased at the conference and if the item lines up with your Individual Learning Plans.
This blog has some good ideas to help the focus and not be OVERWHELMED.
I hope this helps.