Posted by Cindy Bracker, Communications Director

Earlier this week I sent out an email to all the first time attendees of NCECA that registered by the early bird deadline.  I let them know that I lead a session (Wednesday, 6pm in Ballroom B/C) especially for people attending their first NCECA conference.  My goal is to help folks better understand what happens at the conference so that they can make educated decisions and maximize their conference experience.

I also invited them to ask me questions to help me write this blog article. I got SO many great questions that I would never have thought to ask.  And I’ll include all of those below, because if ONE person has the question, chances are someone else does too.  I encourage anyone reading this to post any additional questions they may have in the comments below and I’ll answer those too!  Immediately below is a version of my presentation for the session, WHICH IS NOT THE SAME AS BEING THERE, but for people that can’t make it in by 6:00 on Wednesday, it’s better than nothing.  Below that is a whole slew of conference FAQ.  (rhyme not intended)

Then, come join me, meet some other first time attendees, ask any question you like, and then we can head over to the opening ceremonies!  If you’re really lucky, some long-time conference attendee or past board member may show up to heckle me too, and we can all have a good laugh.

Let’s get this party…oops I mean conference (ok, same thing) started!!!

(please note…there’s no audio on this until the app video starts playing toward the end, so pop on some tunes while you watch)

Questions from actual first timers

  • Will there be available parking somewhere for the conference?
    • There is parking at the convention center and I think it is $12/day.
  • The big question that I have is whether or not I need to sign up for presentations ahead of time? Or are they just open?
    • They are completely open.  Walk in/walk out as you please.  Insider’s tip – the process room is so popular that it is likely to be completely full…possibly to the degree that we have to have someone at the door preventing entry. (Fire codes…and i heard the fire marshal WILL be onsite, so we’ll likely HAVE to follow room capacity rules). So any of those you’re interested in…arrive early!!!
  • I can’t arrive until Thursday.  Given that I’m goingto be late to the party, so to speak, I was hoping to find an online listing of the scheduled programming.  Is there such a beast?
    • Yes, several options for you. First (and I think best) is the NCECA app.  Check out the blog post that went up today.  The schedule in there is fully interactive.  There’s also a web-app version.   This is the link to the schedule  or you can look at the pdf of the print guide here

      You might also peruse the 2015 conference programming section of the blog.  It might give your more insight into some of the sessions than is printed in the guide.

  • where is very first place to go once you get to Providence? I assume registration, but where is that and when?
    • I’d say first, check in to your hotel, then wander over to the convention center (connected to both the Hilton and the Omni).  Registration should be basically the first thing you run into, or there will be signs showing the way.  Registration opens Tuesday from noon until six,  Wed-Friday it is open 8:00am-5:00pm, and Saturday from 8:30am-11:00am
  • should I print out a copy of the program ahead of time or will there be copies available?
    • Don’t worry about printing.  You get a complete program guide in your packet.  🙂
  • I am a 1st time attendee and am having a tough time with your information. I can’t figure out the schedule and when I click on some links, the 2014 conference comes up. HELP!
    • 1. within the blog, you can use the menus at the top to find information specific to 2015.  Information about Providence can be found within the “conference cities” menu, just scroll down to Providence.  Similarly, Exhibitions has a subcategory for 2015 as does Programming (though with that, you need to select conference programming first, and then the menu for years should appear.
      2. The complete program guide as a pdf can be found here
      3. Here’s the complete 2015 Exhibition Guide.  It’s sorted by the NCECA-designed bus tours, so basically, they are geographically grouped. Exhibition Guide
      4. The NCECA App also has a web interface, and all the latest exhibition information is in the App.  Here’s the link to the Art Exhibitions information in the web app: https://event.crowdcompass.com/nceca2015/custom-list/Art%20Exhibition .  From there you can also find the schedule, speakers, and ALL the current information.
  • My burning question is:  Can my boyfriend who is NOT participating in the conference go with me if I pay for him on the excursions to art galleries or is it only for conference participants?
  • One question that’s been on my mind is whether I would be allowed  to record audio of the sessions I attend. I intend to use them for my own personal reference after the conference is over. I have no intention of publishing them.
    • All  conference content is officially owned by NCECA and copyrighted.  NCECA does record most of the sessions itself and we are working on really getting that information processed and disseminated.   However, if you are ONLY recording it for your own personal use later (reflection, transcription, etc) I don’t believe it’s specifically prohibited.
  • I will be attendingthe conference with 4-6 other potters from my studio in NY. We’re getting to Providence Thursday afternoon, attending the conference on Friday and leaving Saturday morning. We’re looking for some worthwhile galleries to visit on Thursday afternoon and Saturday morning. The NCECA site only has last year’s info. Any suggestions?
    • Here’s the complete 2015 Exhibition Guide.  It’s sorted by the NCECA-designed bus tours, so basically, they are geographically grouped. Exhibition Guide
      The NCECA App also has a web interface, and all the latest exhibition information is in the App.  Here’s the link to the Art Exhibitions information in the web app:   From there, you can also click on the maps and look at the providence map.  We’ve listed all the NCECA Sponsored and partnered exhibitions on that map.  The locally generated exhibitions are *not* on the map.
      Also, the NCECA blog contains some exhibition highlights from curators who have chosen to write something beyond what exists in the regular exhibition guide.  Here’s a quick index
Categories: Featured

5 Responses so far.

  1. This will be my 4th NCECA. I go alone with my husband tagging along at night. I’m terrible at networking and hardly know a soul. It’s my goal to make contacts and explore any sales and opportunities for me to teach workshops and learn how to balance making, selling and social media. HELP! I feel like Charlie Brown.

    Also can my husband go to the opening ceremonies?

    • LISA! You should join my first timers session, even though it’s not your first time. You can meet some new people and probably find at least one person with similar interests! Bring your husband along, and yes, he can come to the opening ceremonies with you. Also, one of the BEST things for getting to know others with similar interests is the NCECA Connections sessions. I wish it wasn’t on Friday, because people always make “insta-friends” there and have to wait a whole year to see them again. And the biggest key to Networking is to just be bold. Seriously, I’ve made some of my closest friends at NCECA by walking up to people and saying “Hi, I’m Cindy, what’s your name”

      • Ok Cindy, I’ll suck it up and see you at 6 in the ballroom. I’ll be the one in the back in the fetal position. I’ll bring my husband with me. I’m usually not a timid person, only when I try to promote myself!

        Thanks for the tips, see you next week!

  2. Marcy says:

    Aloha and thanks,Cindy, for all you are doing for this nceca. I have attended 3 ncecas in the past, and wish you had been around to do what you are doing to help us prepare ourselves for all that nceca offers. I know that I have wasted precious opportunites in the past at this conference thourgh sheer ignorance of what was going on because there was not much advance information offered.
    Mahalo and blessings. I wish I could be there this year. Keep up the good work and may other leaders take their cue from you and continue to make NCECA worthwhile to those of us who come so far to attend.