Old friends. New friends. Colleagues. Networking with peers. Professional learning. Sharing best practices. Connect. Compare. Collaborate.
See you June 2 – 5, 2015, in Anaheim. Details on NACE15 to come!
Some NACE14 attendees hiked their way through a conference workshop on Monday, visiting three historic San Antonio locations for a presentation and a question-and-answer session with business representatives.
The 1.2-mile walk began at the Marriott Riverwalk. Attendees made their first stop at the Arneson River Theatre, an 800-seat amphitheater on the banks of the San Antonio River, with entrances into La Villita Historic Arts Village.
The excursion continued to The History Shop, a shop that carries original antique maps, antique books, militaria, and antique weapons. The shop specializes in Texas history: Spanish Colonial, Texas Revolution, Republic era, and the Civil War. The excursion ended with a 45-minute, 2.5-mile cruise. Rio San Antonio Cruises provided a narrated boat tour of the city.
The 2014 Conference & Expo opens in San Antonio!
Connect. Compare. Collaborate. Opening keynotes.
Then, colorful dancers and a Mariachi band close the opening ceremonies and lead attendees to the opening reception.
What do you know about San Antonio? Here are some trivial bits to pull out when the conversation wanes:
If you’re new to NACE’s annual conference, if you’ve never been to San Antonio, or if you’re looking to make your conference experience easy-breezy, here are some tips:
NEW TECHNOLOGY this year! Scan-and-go stations will help attendees pick up their name badges! Bring the special e-mail with the barcode sent to all pre-registered attendees with you to the registration area. Scan the barcode, and then proceed to the badge pick-up station to get your name badge.
Choose your shoes for comfort. Business casual is the recommended dress for the event, but comfortable shoes are the key. While all conference events are within a short walking distance, going to workshops, visiting the exhibit hall, and hitting the general sessions means the potential for a lot of wear and tear on your feet. Pack your most comfortable shoes.
Keep your water bottle filled. Temperatures are rising in June in San Antonio. Daily highs are typically in the low 90s; daily lows in the low 70s. Drink water frequently. Keep the water bottle in your registration package filled using the water stations placed throughout the conference area!
Download the app. Set up your itinerary and use your smartphone or tablet as your daily guide. The conference app offers access to information on all workshops and sessions. It also links you with NACE’s social media so you’ll get fresh updates on all conference activities. You can also message other app users through the app. (Go to your app store and search for NACE14. The app is free.)
Look for flags and signs. You don’t have to be an explorer to find your way around. NACE will post teal and orange flags along the route between the two hotels and convention center—all sites of conference activities. Look, too, for NACE staff holding lollipop signs directing you to the next activity.
If the shirt is green, it’s Sunday. Questions? Looking for help? NACE staff is easily identifiable by the color of their shirts. Look for staff in emerald green shirts on Sunday. On Monday, the shirt of the day is rich red. Tuesday is blue. Wednesday is purple!
Snag a little Wi-Fi. You can get your Wi-Fi free in the NACE space at the hotels and convention center, including session rooms and public areas. It is not available in the exhibit hall or the Grand Ballroom at the Marriott Rivercenter. Password: NACE14.
Smile pretty! A photographer and a videographer are documenting the conference with pictures and videos to be used in promotional materials and publications, on the website, and on other platforms. If you don’t want your photo taken/used in this way, please notify the photographer/videographer or a NACE staff member.
So it’s official, I’m now a NACE blogger! For those who don’t know me, I manage corporate and campus recruiting activities for MAXIMUS, a professional services firm in Reston, Virginia. I’ve also been a long-time NACE member (for nearly 15 years). After serving on the Board of Directors from 2011-2013, I will soon be the new Vice President, Employer, starting this July.
As I prepare for these new responsibilities (which you’ll be hearing about in the coming months if you follow this blog), I find myself occasionally reminiscing about my early (aka, clueless) years as a NACE member. So join me for a trip down memory lane to my first official NACE event—the 2001 Conference in Las Vegas—and how it impacted my career.
If you’re a newer member, you might not be aware that up until 2001, the NACE conference was an every-three-years event. Thankfully, the NACE leadership team had the strategic vision to change it to an annual conference (more on a couple of these leaders later).
So just how did these three-days in Vegas change the course of my career?
I established new relationships. Back then, I had just finished my first year of recruiting for Citigroup in NYC, and was busy building relationships with several new schools from which I’d never recruited. One of those schools was New York University, whose career center was headed by Trudy Steinfeld (#nyuwasserboss). To get to know her team a little better, I invited Trudy and her staff to join my team for a “refreshment break” on the first afternoon of the trip.
Obviously, we spent a good deal of our time talking about recruiting initiatives, but we also veered off to more social conversations where we immediately hit it off. That first conversation not only established a connection between my employer and NYU, but also created the beginnings of an invaluable friendship. Today, I can count on Trudy for guidance and advice (and the occasional refreshment break).
I met NACE leaders. This conference was my first exposure to the NACE leadership team. As (lady) luck would have it, I met then-NACE President, Kathy Sims from UCLA right after the opening session. She was so welcoming to me, a relatively new member of NACE. [On a side note, having served on the Board of Directors, I now know the President has a crazy conference schedule, so the time she took to get to know me is even more impressive.]
Kathy asked about my background, my goals for the conference, and when I was going to start recruiting at UCLA (naturally)! And, being a great leader that she is, she asked me if I was interested in becoming more involved with NACE. Flash forward 10 years and Kathy was one of my nominators for the Board of Directors and provided me with a ton of advice and encouragement when I decided to run for Vice President. You may be aware that Kathy has announced her retirement from UCLA, so I have many bittersweet feelings as I write this.
I experienced a range of emotions. I remember the gamut of feelings running through me from the start of the opening session all the way to the end of the conference. Nervousness because I didn’t know many other attendees. Confusion over what sessions to attend. Frustration at not being able to remember the names of everyone I met. Awe of all the learning opportunities. Appreciation for the generosity of my peers as they shared their knowledge. And that was all okay because I got so much out of the experience.
Fortunately that year, what happened in Vegas didn’t stay in Vegas. The networking that took place led to relationships that lasted well beyond the initial three-day conference. So whether you are attending this year’s conference for the first time (or second or third or fourth, for that matter), I hope that you will make the most of your experience. Track me down, tweet me at the conference, or just stop to say hello. If you can’t attend this year, start thinking about next year—trust me, it will be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make!
While you are busy at the NACE 2014 Conference, there are plenty of things that your spouse and your children can do in San Antonio. Here are a few, with links to detailed information:
The Alamo & Missions: Five Spanish colonial missions are located in San Antonio. The Alamo—Mission San Antonio de Valero—was the first built and served as a way station between Texas and Mexico. An IMAX movie theater at the Alamo offers a depiction of the Battle of the Alamo.
Riverwalk: The San Antonio River Walk is a public walkway along the San Antonio River, one story lower than the streets of downtown San Antonio that features shops and restaurants.
El Mercado: The Marketplace, featuring a farmer’s market, street vendors, souvenir stands, dozens of shops, working artists, musicians, dancers, and Mexican food, is a 15-minute walk from Riverwalk.
Japanese Tea Garden: A public park located near the San Antonio Zoo, the tea garden features an open-air pagoda, koi ponds, and a waterfall.
Tower of the Americas: Climb to the observation deck of this 750-foot observation tower/restaurant in HemisFair Park to get a 360-degree view of San Antonio. The tower was built for the 1968 World’s Fair.
San Antonio Zoo: Cranes of the World, Toadally, Africa Live!, Butterflies. More than 9,000 animals on 56 acres. This is the “zootennial,” of the San Antonio Zoo, celebrating its 100-year-anniversary.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas: Dress comfortably. Wear sneakers. Take your bathing suit if you want to use the water park.
SeaWorld San Antonio: See the sea lions, dolphins, turtles, penguins, and beluga whales.
Enchanted Springs Ranch: An old western town out of the 1800s, a theme park, a movie set used for western films and commercials, this 86-acre working ranch is home to Texas longhorns, horses, buffalo, and more.
Try this link for information on other things to do in San Antonio.