It’s T-minus-less-than-a-month to the regional conference in Portland! Here’s a grab bag of things to be aware of:
BUTTON ME UP!
If you’ve been to a NACADA conference before, you know about the ribbons you can add to your name tag. They visually show other attendees your affiliation to a particular region or commission. They help with the ice-breaking, “Oh, you work with transfer students as well? I do too! Let’s compare notes.”
At the Denver annual conference last October, some attendees were sporting buttons in addition to their ribbons. Those on Twitter found “Nice to Tweet You” buttons they could attach to their name tags. With more and more advisors using this medium as a professional development tool, it was a nice way to put a face to the twitter handle.
In Portland, we’re continuing the trend. If you are on Twitter, be sure to pick up the #NACADAR8 “Nice to Tweet You” button at the registration table. A handy tip for collecting more people to follow: if your phone takes pictures, no need to write down someone’s twitter handle; just take a picture of the button they’re wearing.
A second button opportunity exist for those familiar with Portland. Pick up a “PDXpert” button so the out-of-towners know who to turn to for a local’s advice on where to go, what to do and how to get the most out of their brief stay in the City of Roses.
SIGN ME UP!
- The early registration deadline for the conference and the early NACADA rate for the hotel is February 24. Let’s take full advantage of that.
- The hospitality committee is also working on a couple of bulk restaurant reservations for Monday, March 19. If you don’t have any special plans, sign up at the welcome/registration table for one of these dinners so you can keep the shop talk going.
- Volunteers are needed for the conference! If you want to help out in any way, please contact Anna Chow. Duties could include handling out/collecting evaluation forms, staffing the registration table, etc. Even if you just have a couple of hours to spare, it’s a great way to get involved and meet new folks.
SERVICE PROJECT…ER…ME UP!
The region has a strong legacy of doing a service project at the regional conference. These projects usually benefit an organization based in the host city. Past projects have included book donations for a library, food bank donations, school supplies for a youth organization, etc. This year, the region’s Service Project will benefit the Native American Youth and Family Center. More details will be provided later but think along the lines of school supplies, clothing and other day-to-day amenities. Cash donations are also accepted. (If don’t want to travel with these items, there is an office supply store within walking distance from the hotel.)
DRESS ME UP!
We are often asked if there’s a dress code for the conference. “Business casual” would be as formal as we would put it.
NETWORK ME UP! (Yes, we are beginning to stretch this…)
This could mean one of two things: Are there opportunities for networking? (Yes!) Is there free internet? (Yes-ish…)
- Networking opportunities: Any free moment you have! The Welcome Reception on Sunday evening is a good place to start. The networking breakfast on Monday morning is a good place to continue. The keynote lunches will both give you a chance to make new friends. The aforementioned dinner reservations are also a great opportunity. And don’t forget the golden opportunity of the occasional waiting around for something to happen. Basically, if you see another NACADA name tag and you don’t know that person, say hello.
- Free internet? Yes in your hotel room (for those staying at the conference hotel). Yes in the hotel’s public spaces. More details will be in your welcome packet.