For new members, first-time attendees, or anyone wanting to get the most out of NIA’s 68th Annual Convention, April 17–19, 2024, at the Naples Grande Beach Resort, 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 Ashley Bartley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the theme of Better Together, 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, manufacturers, and metal building laminators. 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 invited to invitation-only special events and are 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 email@example.com.
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. We suggest booking as soon as possible before our discounted (first-come, first-served) block sells out!
- Consider bringing your spouse, guest, or significant other —normally, about 40% of attendees bring someone along. If your spouse or guest would like to receive Convention attendee emails specifically for guests, please share the guest’s email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Plan to arrive by Tuesday, April 16—events on Wednesday start at 7:30 a.m.
- Pack casual attire—suggestions range from dressy casual to business casual, such as khakis, golf shirts, etc. Comfortable shoes are recommended as well as jackets and sweaters for possible outdoor events. Bring flip flops for our Wednesday evening beach event.
- 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.
- 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 prepared for the Convention.
Tips and To-Dos During Convention
- Attend the committee session that matches your company’s membership category. An open committee meeting means that you are welcome to attend and participate. 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. After you attend the meeting, you will be added to the roster and will receive committee updates.
- Make sure to attend the Convention First-Timer and VIP Reception on Tuesday. This event is 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 and drinks 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 and our members are friendly.
- 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.
Exclusive Events and Programs for New Members and First-Time Attendees
Convention First-Timer's Happy Hour
Tuesday, April 16
If this is your first NIA Convention, be sure to RSVP to this invitation-only cocktail reception where you'll have the opportunity to network with NIA leadership and industry leaders, and fellow members of NIA. Meet and make friends or new contacts before continuing to dinner. Invitations are required. To ensure your invitation to this special 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.
What the Pros Say about Attending NIA Meetings!
Tips from Matt Caldwell, NIA Board of Directors, SEICA Representative, Membership Committee Chair, Caldwell Insulation, Inc., Powder Springs, Georgia
Relationships—Nothing has been more valuable to me personally than the personal relationships I have been able to make through my NIA participation. Having an ally who lives the same life as I do and walks the same path as I do has proven helpful in many situations over the years.
Exposure & Participation—Actively working in this association shows others my support of the industry that provides our living and that of my family. Don’t just take from it, give to it. It is such a rewarding process to give back to this great industry.
The People—What can I say…This is an industry that is made up of GREAT people. You don’t really recognize the level of professionalism and knowledge that the participants in NIA bring to the table until you come out and meet them. Wow, we have great members. I am truly honored to work and learn alongside these men and women. There is never a meeting that I don’t go back home being proud of my occupation.
Tips from Ashley Luse DeBoer, President, Luse Contracting Group, Aurora, IL
- If you are a young professional, attend the YPAC meeting. You’ll have a greater opportunity for exposure within the association, and I promise you will receive a warm welcome.
- Jump in and get involved. Join a committee to invest in industry advancement and build deeper relationships with other members. NIA needs your contribution!
- Iron sharpens iron. Take advantage of the opportunity to exchange wisdom and best practices with your peers in a non-competitive environment. You’ll find that NIA members are eager to help each other pursue excellence
Tips from Joseph Leo, NIA Immediate Past President, 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!