The questions below are those asked the most frequently by persons attending the annual NCTA conference, particularly those coming for the first time. If you have a question that isn't answered here, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and one of the conference committee coordinators will be happy to respond. Also be sure to check out all the conference-related information on the conference website, especially if you're looking for information specifically about St. Pete.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where will I find information about the 2015 NCTA Conference?
The conference website, which contains essentially all the information you need in order to have a positive conference experience, is updated on a regular basis as conference information is finalized. It's on the conference website that you'll find links to the agenda (if your school requires an agenda prior to approving your travel request, this item will do the trick), session descriptions, keynote speaker, travel information, registration information, and hotel reservations/room rates information. In addition, information about the conference city, possible outings, restaurants for dinner outings, and so forth, is also included.
Q: When can I register for the 2015 conference in St. Pete Beach September 9-12?
Conference registration will open in mid-May and go until August 14. There are several phases to the registration period with the early bird option available from the opening of conference registration until July 10. The early bird option allows you to register at the lowest rate. All the information about registration dates and deadlines is found on the conference website.
Q: If there's a chance that I'm able to attend the conference, should I go ahead and make my hotel reservation?
Absolutely YES. However, when a hotel reservation is made, the guest's credit card is charged immediately for the first night's room and tax. Should you discover you won't be able to attend and cancel up to 72 hours prior to arrival, your deposit will be fully refunded.
Q: Is there a conference dress code?
There is no specific dress code identified for conference attendees; in fact, you will see clothing that runs the gamut from professional business attire to "casual Friday" and beyond. Most presenters choose to dress up a bit for their sessions, but—again—there is no specific attire required. We want you to be comfortable as you move from session to session, enjoy meals and networking opportunities with your colleagues, and experience what the conference city has to offer. One rule of thumb, however, is the one we share with our examinees: because you can't guarantee what the temperature in meeting rooms/hotel space will be, dressing in layers or having a sweater/blazer handy is often a good plan. Since we will be in Florida and the conference hotel is on the beach, you may also want to bring beach attire, especially sunscreen, for those times there are no sessions or conference activities scheduled.
Q: Do I have to pay for my meals at the conference?
The conference registration fee that you pay includes the following meal functions: the welcome reception with light hors d'oeuvres, 1 buffet breakfast, 2 plated lunches, an ice cream break, and a farewell lunch. No dinners are provided, so those are your responsibility. The only time you have to pay for any of the conference meals described above is if you are bringing a guest who is not registered for the conference to one or more of these functions. Those costs are identified when you register for the conference as part of the "guest meals" section.
Q: When do I need to arrive for the conference?
That depends on you. If you are participating in any of the sponsor workshops being held on Wednesday and/or want to attend the preliminary sessions scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, you would want to arrive on Tuesday. Also on Wednesday are the newcomers' session (great for first time attendees and folks new to testing who want to get a bit acclimated) and the welcome reception. The conference officially begins on Thursday morning with a buffet breakfast and the president's address to the association.
Q: When should I plan to leave the conference?
The conference ends at 12:30 pm on Saturday with the closing panel discussion and farewell lunch. If at all possible, please arrange to attend the entire conference. If you wish to stay in St. Pete after the conference to enjoy some "tourist time," the conference hotel room rate is good for three days post-conference based on availability.
Q: When I try to register, I'm asked which sessions I will attend. How do I know which ones to choose?
The session descriptions are on the conference website, and when you register there is also a link that takes you directly to the sessions being offered at each time block. Choose the one from each area that interests you the most. These selections help the conference committee gauge the size of the meeting room needed, but these choices are not so set in concrete that you can't change your mind once you get to the conference. You'll note that each session is identified by the track to which it belongs; that is, it provides you with a clue as to what the main focus of that session is.
Q: What is the Exhibitors' Fair that I've seen listed as part of the conference schedule?
The Exhibitors' Fair is an opportunity for conference attendees to visit with about 25-30 of NCTA's vendors/sponsors in order to get the latest information regarding products and services. The Exhibitors' Fair is held on Friday from 9 am – 4 pm, and attendees are free to visit the fair throughout the day. The ice cream break on Friday afternoon is another incentive to come by the Exhibitors' Fair, thank our exhibitors for the financial assistance they provide NCTA, and get all the latest information about what's coming. Also part of the Exhibitors' Fair is the information table regarding the NCTA conference scheduled for the following year.
Q: What is the NCTA Resources Fair that I've seen listed as part of the conference schedule?
The NCTA Resources Fair provides an opportunity for conference attendees to visit with representatives from the NCTA Governing Council and committees, as well as State and Regional Organizations, and to learn about the benefits of NCTA membership and opportunities to become involved in the organization. The NCTA Resources Fair is held on Friday from 8:30 am – 9:15 am at a time when no other events have been scheduled.