Information for First-Time Attendees

NACADA Annual Conference 
September 30 - October 3, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona

We are pleased that you have chosen the Annual Conference as a professional development activity and are anxious to help you get the most out of your attendance. As with most such events, your willingness to participate, network, and ask questions will assure your maximum benefit. To assist with these tasks, I strongly urge you to attend one of the Orientation sessions and to include your Region Meeting and selected Advising Community meetings in your schedule.

The NACADA staff members are always available to answer your questions at the registration desk, and the association's leaders should also be helpful to you as you navigate the conference. We hope this is just the beginning of increased involvement for you with NACADA.

Enjoy this new experience!


Charlie Nutt
NACADA Executive Director

What to do before the Annual Conference
  • Plan your conference schedule by using the Interactive Schedule Planner (posted in August 2018). You can see each session's title and abstract, and draft your personal conference schedule. NOTE: using the schedule planner does not guarantee you a seat in the session you choose. Seats are "first come first serve". The Planner frees up your time on site so that you can move quickly to the sessions you are interested in.
  • A mobile app will also be available for the conference. The app will enable you to plan your day with a personalized schedule, search for individual presenters and their sessions, browse exhibitors, maps, general conference information and more.
  • Dress code is casual and comfortable. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes as you can expect to walk throughout the day. Remember, Monday, October 1st is "School Spirit Day" - you are invited to wear a rugby, polo, or T-shirt from your institution!
  • Bring your business cards, you will meet people that you want to have contact with after the conference. This is especially critical if you are presenting.
  • Have empty space available in your luggage to be able to bring back the handouts made available to you in some sessions.

Volunteer Opportunities

The program committee is thrilled to welcome you to Phoenix, Arizona. The volunteer desk is located in the Phoenix Convention Center (North Building, 1st Floor Lobby). In preparation for the conference we are looking for volunteers. More information will be posted closer to conference about volunteering.

Conference Check-In
  • Check-in location for the conference will be at the Phoenix Convention Center (North Building, 2nd Floor Lobby). Here you will pick up your name badge and other conference materials.
  • Check in early - the earlier, the better! Registration check-in opens on Saturday, September 29 from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. The sooner you check in, the less chance of standing in line - and that will give you time to become familiar with the program.
  • Pick up the appropriate ribbons for Advising Community Divisions you may have joined, First-Time Attendees, etc.
  • Visit the Hospitality Desk at the Phoenix Convention Center (North Building, 1st Floor Lobby) where volunteers will be waiting to provide information on local attractions. You can also sign up for a dinner group here as well. This is a great way to meet other attendees and share an evening of entertainment. Volunteers will have suggestions for restaurants.

Planning Your Schedule
  • If you did not have time to use the Interactive Schedule Planner (Posted in August 2018) before arriving, take a few minutes to review the program and choose the sessions you would like to attend. We suggest bringing a highlighter and marking your top two session choices for each time slot in the At-A-Glance.
  • Turn to the main part of the program and read only the abstracts for those sessions you have marked. You will not have time to read all session abstracts! Plan ahead accordingly. Sessions are sorted by advising topic in the back of the program, or a list of topics and corresponding session titles can be found on the NACADA Web site.
  • The mobile app will be available for download in September. This is a great opportunity to have conference information and session details at your fingertips. Remember that with the conference mobile app, you can explore sessions by track, presenter, and build your own schedule.

Don't Miss these Events

Plan on attending one of the Orientation for New Attendees on Sunday.

New Member Orientation: Welcome to the NACADA Global Community!

  • As a new member of NACADA you probably have many questions you want answered: Where do I start?  What is that thing called “Advising Community Division”?  I am only in my first year, can I even get involved beyond attending the annual conference?  What is the purpose of the regions in NACADA and what opportunities do they provide?
  • In this orientation session you will be introduced – through both activity and discussion - to the world of NACADA.  This session is designed to provide guidance to new members as they begin their journey with NACADA - learn about how membership benefits you and how you can make the most of your “first year experience” in NACADA. 

During this session you will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn about the structure and opportunities in NACADA including at both the global and regional levels.
  • Develop ideas for resources and networking to help you both personally and professionally in academic advising.
  • Hear recent new members share their story and connect with other new NACADA members as well as the association’s leaders.

Bring your questions as well as an open and reflective attitude! Your participation in this session can be the beginning of the first chapter in your NACADA story.

The Poster Session Breakfast (included in your registration fee) is a great way to meet several people and talk about their presentations one-on-one. This takes place Monday, October 1 from 7:15 - 8:15 am.

The Advising Community Division (ACD) Breakfast (included in your registration fee) is a great way to meet several people and talk about their community one-on-one. This takes place Tuesday, October 2 from 7:15 - 8:30 am.

What to do after the Conference
  • Fill out the evaluation that will be in your email or in the mobile app at the conclusion of the conference. The location of evaluation desk during Conference is in the Phoenix Convention Center (North Building, 1st Floor Lobby). Presenters can pick up session evaluations here.
  • Visit the NACADA website to download session handouts. Presenters are asked to submit their handouts to the Executive Office within 10 days following the conference. You may find the handouts to a session that you wanted to attend but missed.