NAFSA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo

Join peers and experts at the premier global professional learning and networking event for all international educators and organizations that support international education for the NAFSA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo, "Global Leadership, Learning, and Change."

If you have been selected to present a session at the NAFSA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo, please review the information below. If you have questions regarding the content of your session, please direct those inquiries to your knowledge community coordinator on the Annual Conference Committee. 

Session Basics

My proposal for a general session was accepted. What do I do now?

  • Confirm with copresenters and review terms of acceptance in the acceptance letter sent via e-mail and the online agreement form.
  • Agree to present using the online form by January 7, 2019. The link was provided in the acceptance e-mail.
  • Start outlining your presentation and have a conference call with copresenters to plan who will do what.
  • Update NAFSA of any presenter changes by April 1, 2019. Changes after that date must still be reported to NAFSA but may not be reflected in the printed conference program.
  • Register for the conference and reserve housing, available online beginning March 1, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. (EST).
  • Upload your handout(s) by May 11, 2019, so they may be posted online prior to the conference.
  • In May, have one more conference call with copresenters to prepare for your presentation.

When is my session?
Please refer to the e-mail you received notifying you of your proposal's acceptance.

How many sessions can I present?
You may present no more than two general sessions regardless of your role.

How many presenters can participate in my session?
The Annual Conference Committee limits the number of session presenters to four people, including the chair or moderator. 

Where will my session be held?
The majority of sessions will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, though some may take place at a hotel. The location and room number of your session will be uploaded to the online program in May prior to the conference and will be listed in the conference program provided to you at the registration desk on site.

What audiovisual equipment is available in my room?
A podium, LCD projector and screen, and microphones are available in every room. NAFSA does not provide laptop computers for PowerPoint presentations. Refer to the copy of your confirmation form to review any additional requests you made. Note: We may not be able to accommodate requests made after the confirmation form is due on January 7, 2019.

Mac Users: The audiovisual company provides a VGA connection to the LCD projector. Please bring the proper adapter, if needed.

How will the room be set up?
Most rooms are set up "theater-style," with chairs facing the front of the room towards the head table and podium. Some rooms will be set with round tables with 8-10 chairs. You will receive a separate e-mail from us to confirm if your room will be set with round tables.

How many people should I expect to attend my session?
Concurrent sessions at the annual conference generally range from 100 to 1,000 attendees. Though we cannot know exactly how many people will attend your session, most sessions will take place in a room large enough for at least 100 people. Most regulatory sessions will be in rooms large enough for 400 people or more. If you would like to know what size room you have been placed in, contact us.

What publicity will my session receive?
Each session is listed in the conference program available on-site. Additionally, sessions are listed and searchable in the NAFSA Annual Conference App and in the online program prior to the conference to help attendees plan their conference schedules.

Registration & Cancellation

Do I need to register for the conference?
All presenters are expected to register for the conference.

I will need a visa to attend the annual conference. Can I get a letter from NAFSA to support my visa application?
Yes, if you need a letter of invitation to obtain a U.S. visa, request your letter before April 30, 2019. Please check with your local U.S. Consulate to allow sufficient time for visa process. Your request for a letter of invitation to attend the NAFSA Annual Conference does not guarantee that you will receive a visa.

I won't be able to present at a session. What do I do?

  • Notify the session chair/organizer, other presenters, and NAFSA staff.
  • Offer to work with the session chair/organizer to find a replacement presenter, if needed.

E-mail us with the change of presenters so that the online and printed conference program are up-to-date and the new presenter receives important announcements. No changes can be made to the printed conference program after April 1, 2019.


What tips can you provide to help me improve the presentation of my session?
Session chairs will receive periodic e-mails in the months leading up to the conference with tips and suggestions for strengthening their sessions.

Will the press attend my session?
Members of the press have been welcomed to attend sessions at the conference. Sessions are considered “on the record,” so presenters should bear in mind that their remarks may be quoted. Follow the “good sense” strategy you would use in any public speaking event.


What should I do about handouts and providing them on site?
The Annual Conference Committee is committed to making the NAFSA annual conference a more "green" event. Consequently, the committee is asking all presenters to submit their handouts by May 11, 2019, so that they can be posted to the NAFSA website prior to the conference. We will then encourage attendees to download handouts before or after the conference, instead of asking presenters to bring large quantities to their sessions. If your presentation is dependent on participants having handouts to work with, please print on both sides of the paper.

What do I need to know about copyright law when submitting my handout?
In general, if you use pictures, maps, graphs, tables, or other images that you or your institution/organization did not produce yourself, you need to provide NAFSA with written permission to use the material from the organization or individual who created it. Examples of materials that would require permission to use include:

  • A world map copy and pasted from
  • A chart pulled from an Institute of International Education (IIE) publication (unless you or someone else presenting in your session works for IIE)
  • A quote from a book, magazine, or newspaper article

Exceptions to this rule include images or quotes pulled from government sources. Visit Stanford University's Copyright and Fair Use site for more information.

Does posting my handout on the NAFSA website grant NAFSA ownership of it?
No, you maintain copyright of your work.

Can I ship my materials to the Washington Convention Center?
No. Please ship your materials and handouts to your hotel to pick up upon your arrival.