News: NCAN News

What to Expect at a Virtual NCAN Conference

Monday, August 17, 2020  
Posted by: Sara Melnick, Deputy Director
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Just in case you haven’t yet heard, this year’s conference, "Marching Toward Equity: NCAN’s 25th Anniversary Conference," has gone virtual. In just four short weeks, you can join your peers and colleagues from the comfort of your home as we gather to celebrate NCAN’s 25th anniversary conference online.

Register now for this year’s event!

You may be wondering what a virtual conference will entail. Even though we’ll be gathering online, there will be many aspects of this year’s event – things you’ve come to know and love if you're a regular conference attendee – that will be the same as every other NCAN conference.

Here's what will be the same this year.

As usual, we’ve lined up an exciting slate of plenary sessions and speakers including:

  • Trabian Shorters, who will speak about how asset-framing can help leaders shift away from a deficit-based narrative that is often used to define communities of color.
  • Dr. Kim Hunter Reed and Ava Dejoie who will share how Louisiana is working ensure that all students are prepared for the world of work.
  • Brief, motivational lightning talks on the topic of "Is College For Everyone?" (Check out last year's lightning talks to get a feel for this format.)
  • NCAN member organization alumni, who will share the impact college access programs have had on their lives and success.

Some other aspects of the virtual conference that you'll recognize from past in-person gatherings include:

  • Relevant concurrent workshop sessions that will address topics such as virtual advising, racial equity, systems change, and issues facing rural communities.
  • Facilitated networking opportunities that include role-alike sessions, topic specific networking, and regional networking.
  • The chance to meet with sponsors and exhibitors during virtual trade show hours and meet-the-sponsor sessions.
  • Registration discounts for groups of five or more individuals from the same organization.
  • Time to see old friends and colleagues – and meet new ones!

And here's what will be different.

Although some of this year’s conference experience will be same as in years past, there will also be a lot that will be different – and different is not always bad.

  • The price of this year’s conference is less than half of what is was last year. Registration is $275 for NCAN members and $350 for non-members through Aug. 31. We hope you might be able to “send” several staff members from your organization to participate this year.
  • You'll have an extremely short commute to the conference location. There won't be any waiting in line, lost luggage, or hassling at airports or hotels.
  • One-on-one networking opportunities are built right into the virtual conference platform. You’ll be able to schedule meetings through the platform and meet virtually any time just with the click of a button.
  • The time frame of this year’s conference will be just a bit different for many attendees to accommodate time zone differences.
  • Can’t decide between two excellent session that are scheduled to take place at the same time? All conference sessions will be recorded, so no more FOMO worries. Registered attendees will be able to download/view any recorded conference sessions for one full year after the event concludes.
  • You'll have potential opportunities to meet your colleagues’ children and pets who might show up in the background. Just be sure to keep your background free of dirty dishes!

Although we’d much rather see you in person, we hope you’ll agree that the NCAN virtual conference is the next-best thing to being there.

And don’t be upset about missing out on the 25th anniversary party in New Orleans. We’re planning a huge 30th anniversary bash in New Orleans instead, so hold Sept. 8-10, 2025 for that party.

So visit the conference website and register now. We do have a cap on the number of registrations we can accommodate on the virtual platform so register today to make sure there is space for you!