Maximize Your Time at the Conference

Annual Conference & ExpoNAFSA 2019 Proposals

Make sure that you get the most out of your conference experience and prioritize which educational and networking events to attend in order to meet your goals.

The name badge that you receive at registration is your ticket to plenaries, sessions, networking events, and the expo hall so it's important that you wear your name badge at all conference-related events. Pick-up your first-timer ribbon next to registration.

TIP! Wear your first-timer ribbon with pride! It's a great way to start a conversation with other NAFSAns.

Check-In At Registration

Once you've arrived, your first stop should be the registration desk at the convention center. 

Registration Check-in Hours
Sat, May 26 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Sun, May 27 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Mon, May 28 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Tue, May 29 7:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Wed, May 30 8:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Thu, May 31 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Fri, June 1 7:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

At registration, you'll receive:

  • A tote bag, name badge, and maps of surrounding area and expo hall. This year, the conference program and notebook planner will be optional and available for pickup at registration.
  • Tickets for any educational, networking, or special events that you registered for in addition to your conference registration.

Programming Designed Just For You

With so many educational offerings, networking events, and learning opportunities, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed if you don’t have a plan in place. We've developed a number of opportunities throughout the conference week to help you maximize your time and ask your questions. All of these offerings are included in your registration.

Monday, May 28

10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Orientation for Participants Based Outside the United States

Tuesday, May 29

8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.

First-Timers Breakfast

9:15 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

First-Timers Orientation

10:15 a.m.-11:15 a.m.

Education Abroad Newcomers

10:15 a.m.-11:15 a.m. Tips for Newcomers to IEM

10:15 a.m.-11:15 a.m.

Tips for Newcomers to the International Student and Scholar Services Community

 Thursday, May 31
5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. First-Timers Debrief

Other Great Conference Opportunities

  • NAFSA Career Center: The Career Center will host several employer information sessions and roundtables throughout the week to facilitate networking between job seekers and employers.
  • KC Networking Centers: Sit and relax in informal networking areas designated by each knowledge community. Arrange to meet with your colleagues here, or drop in to meet new people. There are always numerous open meetings scheduled in these centers throughout the week to help you meet people.
  • Expo Hall: Visit the Expo Hall and the more than 400 exhibitors to discover the latest innovations in international education programs, products, and services. Don't forget to meet people at the Expo Hall for coffee breaks.
  • Special Events: These events are a great way to network with a smaller group of colleagues. All special events require a preregistration and some require additional fees. Examples include:
    • International Education Celebration 
    • Latin America Forum 
    • Africa Forum 
  • Scavenger Hunt: Once on site in Philadelphia, participate in the scavenger hunt that will be available within the NAFSA 2018 app. The winner of the scavenger hunt will win a complimentary registration for the 2019 NAFSA Annual Conference in Washington D.C.!
  • Volunteering: Signing up to be a conference volunteer is a great way to meet new colleagues and to save yourself some money on conference registration at the same time.

Your Daily Schedule

Log into the online program (using your NAFSA-associated email address and conference badge number) after you've registered for the conference to create your personal schedule before you arrive in Philadelphia.

On your agenda, list the times and places of the sessions and events you are most interested in. Be sure to list a couple of options so that you can move on to the next session if your first choice is full or after listening for 10 minutes you realize that the session is not what you expected. With another option noted you can easily move on to your second choice.

  • If a session is particularly important, be sure to arrive on time or early. Conference planners cannot always predict interest levels in a topic and some sessions fill up. Arriving late may mean not getting into the session.
  • If you find that a session does not meet your objectives, leave quietly and proceed to your second choice. Presenters understand that some participants may not be able to attend an entire session.
  • You will need to allow time to move between events. Be aware that with so many people attending the plenaries, it often takes a lot of time to exit the room. Allow for "travel" time when scheduling meetings.

Navigating the Convention Center and Philadelphia

  • The convention center is very large and walking between sessions and events could take 5-10 minutes. Conference events will also take place at nearby hotels.
  • Visit the Conference Information Center, located in the registration area of the convention center for directions and assistance.
  • Get your bearings, pull out the maps in your totebag, and scout out where you need to be.

Testimonial

As a first-time attendee, I didn't really know what to expect, but I left inspired and eager to share what I learned with the rest of my colleagues. I look forward to more NAFSA conferences in my future! Emily Grubbe, University of Florida

Learn how to continue the benefits of attending the conference.

Frequently Asked Questions

Conference FAQs