Tips and Resources for First-Time Convention Attendees
For new members, first-time attendees, or anyone wanting to get the most out of NIA’s 64th Annual Convention, April 3–5, 2019, in Nassau, Bahamas, we have some helpful advice and insider tips for you. As a first timer or new member, know that you are not alone! On average, 15% of Convention attendees are first timers or new members. If you don't find an answer to your questions here, email Aimee Doyle at email@example.com and we'll get back to you.
With the theme of Making A Difference, NIA’s Annual Convention is the premier event for the insulation industry and attracts hundreds of attendees from all industry segments, including Merit and Union Contractors, Distributors, Fabricators, Associates (Manufacturers), and Metal Building Laminators. Held each spring in a warm-weather destination, this event is open to both NIA members and non-members. Attendees at this event learn the latest industry trends at educational sessions, gain new business contacts, network, and build relationships.
Take advantage of NIA’s Ambassador Program: When you register and check the box that you are a first-time attendee, you are automatically matched with a Membership Committee member who will reach out to you prior to Convention to answer any questions you may have and provide additional information that would be helpful for your first Convention. For any questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sample Schedules by NIA Member Type
Based on your company's membership type, here are sample schedules to show you which meetings and events you won't want to miss!
Maximizing Your Convention Experience
Tips and To-Dos before Convention
- Book your hotel room before March 15—which is the cut-off date for NIA’s discounted room block.
- Consider bringing your spouse or a guest—about 40% of people bring someone along.
- Plan to arrive on Tuesday, April 2—events on Wednesday start at 7:30 a.m.
- Pack casual attire—suggestions include golf shirts, khakis, resort wear, and comfy shoes for men, or capris or sundresses for women.
- Bring plenty of business cards and carry them with you—networking is a key component of NIA’s Convention. You can also connect with new members through the Convention App.
- If you golf, reserve your spot in NIA’s Golf Tournament when you register before March 4 (a separate fee is required).
- Make contact with a Membership Committee member when they reach out to you and learn about the Annual Convention through our Ambassador Program.
- Look for an attendee email from NIA about a week before the Convention—it has last-minute details that will help you be better prepare for the Convention.
Tips and To-Dos during Convention
- Make sure to attend the NIA Member Orientation and the Convention First-Timer and VIP Reception on Wednesday. These events are specially designed for first time attendees (more information is below).
- Don’t miss NIA’s meal events—many of your meals are included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Wednesday; breakfast on Thursday: and breakfast and dinner on Friday; plus amazing desserts at the Hosted Dessert Hospitality Suites, which are open to everyone.
- Use those business cards you packed—time to make business connections.
- Be ready to tell fellow attendees about yourself and your company—your badge will help identify you as a first-timer.
- Speak up if you have questions—industry-specific sessions are an ideal place for questions and sharing information. Most industry sessions are open and all are welcome to attend and participate.
- Share your Convention highlights with colleagues and on social media—we have a hashtag! #NIAmeets
- Stop by the NIA Registration Desk or find a NIA Staff person for any on-site questions you might have—they are happy to assist you. Look for the staff ribbon on their badges.
- Attend the session that matches your company’s membership category. Note that some of the sessions have speakers too and closed meetings are indicated on the schedule. To learn more general information about committees, click here.
Wednesday, April 3
9:45–11:35 a.m. Health and Safety Session
9:45–11:35 a.m. Technical Information Session
1:15–3:00 p.m. Union Contractors Subcommittee (open only to Signatory Contractors of the International)
3:00–3:30 p.m. Union Contractors Committee
1:15–3:00 p.m. Associates (Manufacturers) Session
1:15–3:00 p.m. Distributors/Fabricators Session
1:15–3:15 p.m. Merit Contractors Session
3:55–5:30 p.m. Young Professional Advisory Committee (open to members under 40 years of age or new to the industry)
3:55–5:30 p.m. Metal Building Laminators Session
Exclusive Events and Programs for New Members and First-Time Attendees
New Member Orientation
Wednesday, April 3, 9:00–9:30 a.m.
Get introduced to a NIA mentor, learn how to get the most out of Convention, and find out which events will be beneficial for your business type. This invitation-only orientation includes an overview of how NIA serves its members and the industry, and introduces new members and first-time attendees to NIA’s staff, committee members, and association leaders. If you are a first-time Convention attendee, be sure to check the “First Convention” box when you register.
Convention First-Timer and VIP Reception
Wednesday, April 3, 5:45–6:30 p.m.
At this invitation-only cocktail reception, you'll have the opportunity to network and mingle with NIA leaders and staff. Use this relaxed atmosphere to find out more about the Convention, NIA's industry specific sessions, educational programs, or just enjoy getting to know members of NIA. Invitations are required. To ensure your invitation and space at this event, be sure to check the "First Convention" box when you register.
Helpful Tips after Convention
- Follow up and reach out to any new connections you made during your time at Convention.
- Complete the online Convention attendee survey that will be emailed after Convention—honest feedback helps us make the event better for all attendees.
- Keep an eye out for the post-Convention email—this communication will include information about the speaker presentations made during the event.
- Save the date for future NIA events: NIA’s 65th Annual Convention: April 15–17, 2020, JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa, Scottsdale, Arizona.
What the Pros Say about Attending NIA Meetings!
Tips from Joseph Leo, NIA Board of Directors—ESICA Representative, and President, Atlantic Contracting & Specialties, LLC, Hicksville, NY
- You made a decision to come to the convention, SO BE AT THE CONVENTION—instead of having your mind on your business operations 24/7, you must try to turn that off and focus on fully attending the convention and all that it offers.
- Always carry business cards with you, even at the pool.
- Go to all the orientation sessions and first-timer events.
- Network, it is what you’re there for!
Tips from Dana Vlk, NIA Board of Directors, President-Elect, and VP, Marketing, Distribution International, Inc.
- NIA’s Mobile Meeting App—You’ll find everything you need to know in the app. Easily export your meetings into your Outlook calendar and retrieve contact information for Convention attendees. Be sure to populate your complete contact information into the app so your new contacts know how to reach you.
- Meetings—Attend as many meetings as possible. In addition to great educational opportunities, each meeting has a networking opportunity you don’t want to miss. This is a great way to collaborate with people from all over the country and bring future value to your business. Be sure to attend the First-Timers Reception!
- Valuable Speakers—NIA speakers will provide a new perspective inside and outside of your business.