Greetings NCECA friends!  I have some amazing news.  Last week our advance registration closed at a record high of 4750.  Usually about 600-1000 people will register onsite.  This means close to 6,000 of us will be gathering together in Kansas City in just over a week.  Of course, with that many people, comes that many logistics concerns.  Last year in Providence, many popular presentations were packed, and some people couldn’t get in.  Rooms for programming in Kansas City are MUCH larger, but, again…6000 people.  Please be assured that there are LOTS of different things you can do and see at the conference, and you’re sure to enjoy what you do see, even if it wasn’t what you planned to see.

This brings me to my next point….conference content online…over the last year, NCECA has been able to upload dozens of conference sessions from the 2015 conference.  This year, we are hoping to do more, however, please know it is not instantaneous.  There is some editing involved, though we believe we have improvements in place to speed up the process and make it easier.

Sessions at NCECA are property of NCECA.  However, if you record something for your own personal use, we probably won’t mind, just please do not upload or share content socially (youtube & periscope are primarily what we’re talking about here…instagram pics or 15 second videos are fine).  We know you’re excited, we are too.  If you’ve got the skills to do these things, let us know, we’d love to have you on the tech team!

Now let’s talk about other good news.  The weather in Kansas City is looking quite promising for the conference week…

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But keep in mind that around these parts, the weather is changeable in the blink of an eye, so be sure to pack for anything.  Speaking of packing, if you fly southwest where bags fly free, send a second suitcase for swag and shopping.  If you DON’T fly southwest, don’t have an extra suitcase, or are already bringing two full suitcases full of clothes and shoes (oh wait, that’s me…) you may like to know that there is a FedEx Office Pack and Ship location less than a half mile from the convention center.

If you’re not flying to the conference and you have the luxury of being able to simply pack your car to capacity with pots and other treasures, you may be wondering about parking.  Sure you can park in hotel parking, but with the hotels completely full, you might opt for another option.  There is parking at the convention center, (also helpful to know if you’re driving in for the day).  Details about that are here.

Here’s a cool fun thing for your non-clay friends who are tagging along with you to KC to do.  It’s called Escape Artist and it’s HOT!  This live-action brainteaser offers three different interactive puzzle rooms with its own scenario, mission and set of clues.  You have one hour to solve it and get out.  With 5 stars on both Yelp and TripAdvisor both, this is a great group experience and they’ve got a groupon right now…if you can find 8 people to go in together, it’s under $15 a piece.  Be sure to tell Nico that you’re with the clay conference.  I met him tonight while I was in KC for first fridays and he’s pretty hip.

I also want to leave you with a short app addendum.  I’ve answered a few questions from people who are frustrated that their app won’t update to display this year’s information.  Did you know that your NCECA app actually includes information from the last two conferences in addition to this year’s?  So if you are seeing 2015 info, you just need to switch events.  here’s how to do that in less that 30 seconds:

PS…points if you understood my top image.  double points if you laughed or grinned