First Time NACA? Remember These Tips for Attending a College Event Planning Conference

First Time NACA? Remember These Tips for Attending a College Event Planning Conference

The National Association for Campus Activities is one of our favorite organizations for many reasons, but one big one is the outstanding job they do putting on conferences every year. For (just a few) years now, we’ve made sure to include ourselves in any opportunity we can by attending each NACA conference, because they are such a great way to connect with students from all over the US. We have worked with NACA to help demonstrate many of our favorite entertainers and events, and if you haven’t been to one, you’re really in for a treat!

We’ve touched on the blog before about how to prepare, for both the original conferences and also the Virtual Conferences that went on during the pandemic. The world obviously looks a bit different nowadays, so we figured we’d give you a few friendly reminders before attending an upcoming NACA conference in 2021.

Here are 6 Things to Remember When Getting Ready for Your NACA Conference

To get the most out of your Event Planning Budget Think About These Things Before the Conference

What Problems am I Trying to Solve?

The pandemic was an issue for any college event planner, regardless of where you were. Looking at the upcoming semester and understanding potential limitations of on-campus events, perhaps there are virtual options available, or options for Virtual & In Person. If budget is a problem, explore the options of virtual or make & take, and be ready to work to overcome any potential problems you could run into. Waiting too long to book an event you liked at the conference could cause you to miss out on booking.

Don’t be afraid to ask us or other exhibitors about what they think! This isn’t our first rodeo! We can help!

What Three Learning Opportunities can I find or Create?

You may have a few things in mind already, but having a good idea of what the educational value of what you are looking for can be a big help. Perhaps student engagement is the goal. Maybe you are hoping to find a great Alcohol Awareness or Mental Health opportunity. Beyond just the “fun stuff,” there are also great educational options available to book that can bring a high level of learning to the table.

Maybe you can learn from an experienced performer or speaker the best way to bring the crowd to your event. This is the right place to meet people and learn.

Who Can I Partner With to Find Solutions?

Obviously whoever you’re coming with should be invested in teaming up to cover more ground. If you’re coming with a small group of fellow students, don’t be afraid to cover more map by splitting up. The better plan you have ahead of time, the less time you’ll waste once you get to the conference. Haven’t you ever looked at the set list before the first show at a festival?

Other attendees from other states and other colleges SHOULD absolutely be a huge source of info for you. Don’t be shy! You should ask all the exhibitors and performers questions, but don’t be afraid to share your experience with other students as well!

Share your experience with someone else and maybe you’ll teach them something!

What Questions Should I Ask during the Conference?

Getting the right answers means asking the right questions. Think about what questions you may want to remember to ask if and when you find something you really like. It’s easy to buy into something that sounds great, but what’s the catch? Asking questions is one of the most important parts of planning your event. Leave no stone unturned! Ask Ask Ask, there is no such thing as a stupid question!

Write down a few questions to have in mind just in case..

What Trending Topics Am I Seeking to Fill During this Conference?

Depending on your department and budget, you may have some things you are planning on looking for. Mental health, LGBT, Diversity & Inclusion, Leadership, Engagement? What is it that you feel your school could benefit the most out of? Put these topics at the top of your list and ensure you make sure to find a few options that can cover any/all of your desired social justice topics.

What Showcases am I Most Interested In Seeing & Why?

Obviously you don’t want to just show up with no preparation, and considering you’ve read this far, you clearly are preparing yourself the right way! Take a look at the NACA Showcases to get an idea of who will be in attendance, and make sure you write down when and where you can make sure to get a look at the ones you really can’t miss. It’s a good idea to have a plan in mind of your top ten or so, because it’s hard to see everything and not miss something.

In the event you do miss a showcase or performance, you can at least book yourself a minute to visit that attendee when you have time.

These are just a few things to consider before attending a NACA conference. We hope this serves as a nice little warmup for you if you are going to be attending any of the 2021 conferences. Remember to stop and say hi to Neon Entertainment, and of course, if you ever have any questions regarding your college event booking, just give us a call or fill out a contact form. We are always here to help!


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