Hello from Kansas City!  We are making our final preparations here and are excited to welcome around 6,000 clay lovers to Kansas City!!!!  It looks like we are going to be blessed with pretty good spring weather for the conference, so pack accordingly!  If you haven’t downloaded the NCECA App yet, what are you waiting for?

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• I strongly recommend that you vote in the NCECA Board Member Election before you leave on the plane.  Although voting continues through 4pm on Friday of the conference, things get hectic and time has a way of slipping away.  If you haven’t seen your ballot in your email, watch for a reminder on Sunday afternoon.  Still don’t find it or having problems voting?  Click here for help.  If you want to meet the candidates face to face before you vote, be sure to attend the members meeting on Thursday at 8:15am.  A final reminder to vote will go out shortly after that meeting.

• Keep your eyes peeled as you head toward KC!  You are definitely likely to see some other ceramics folks heading the same way.  I like to play a fun game I call “guess the potters”  (term potters used loosely to describe anyone who works in clay, btw).  It’s especially fun at the destination airport.   Anyone in a suit is automatically disqualified.  Everyone else gets a “potterscore”  Points are given for beards or blue jeans, bonus points for iron oxide stains on the jeans, points for flannel, comfortable shoes, you get the idea.  You can make your own rules. But I digress…..

Upon your arrival at the Kansas City Airport, you will need to get transportation to your hotel.  Discounted airport transportation is provided through SuperShuttle.  Book online at by clicking here or by calling 1-800-BLUEVAN (258-3826) and provide the discount code: 3CZT9.  Van shuttle service is $15.00 one way; $30.00 round trip includes group discount.  Taxis from Kansas City International Airport to the downtown hotels cost approximately $47-$50 one way.

IMG_1999• The Marriott Hotel main tower has a fabulous lobby area and bar.  It’s a good place to meet up.  You should know there are two separate buildings for the Marriott, and they are connected via airwalk.  The other tower is called the Muehlebach, and that’s where the dance will be Friday night.  In case you haven’t explored the App Map, here’s a quick look at the relationships of the hotels.

• Once you are all checked in to your hotel, you might want to head to the convention center to look around and get checked in for the conference.  Checkin for preregistered attendees, onsite registration & Bus Tour onsite signup is all on the second floor lobby of the Convention Center.  IMG_2001There are a variety of ways into the convention center, but with the weather as nice as it is, it will probably be best to walk outside and look for the big NCECA banner on the skywalk over central street.  Go there, go in the first door you find, and head upstairs.  And again, check the map in the app!

Please note: The Resource Hall will be locked on Tuesday while exhibitors are setting up.  You can not get in to poke around in there or even say hi to a person you know is in there.  Even if it’s your Mom.

• You may have heard that NCECA has adopted a new system that will improve and streamline the checkin process.  You should have received an email with a QR code that you can scan on the express pass kiosk to confirm your conference information and print your name tag.

• YES you can access this from a mobile device (you do NOT need to print a hard copy)

• No you should not stress out about forgetting the paper or the code.  If you find yourself without either, we CAN accommodate you

• YES we will have lots of people standing by to help if you have any problems at all.

Get a preview of how it works here:


• So, since you can’t wander the Resource Hall, you should pop back to your room to check out the contents of the bag!  If you’re an NCECA member, you should have a copy of the NCECA Journal in your bag.  That makes for great reading on the flight home, but it’s also good to peruse in advance.  It contains abstracts from most of the presentations at the conference.  You should also have a copy of the PROGRAM GUIDE.  This is basically the printed version of the app.  Please be aware that the printed guide in your bag, the official NCECA App, and of course, the NCECA Blog are the only official guides to the conference and will contain the most accurate and up to date information.  It has come to NCECA’s attention that some other applications, emails, guides and printed matter have been produced by other companies.  While we are sure these items were well-intended, we have already been informed of some misinformation in these publications.  You will also have 2-3 brightly colored small slips of paper in there.  These are important AND TIME-SENSITIVE.   I won’t tell you what they are, but it involves free things, so look for those and follow the instructions on them.  You’ll also find a beautiful envelope containing emerging artist cards…because why should sports rookies get to have all the glory?  Then there’s always a lot of other fun stuff that you get in your bag, compliments of the non-profit and commercial exhibitors, mostly.  Some may have special offers you can redeem in their booth, sometimes there are some fun gifts included, or there might be a postcard with details about a great show you will want to enter.  I just LOVE looking through my bag immediately, (and then again when I get home as I reminisce about all the magical moments…)

• For those of you who are social media savvy, I’d also like to remind you of NCECA’s video recording policies:

NCECA has worked hard to build relationships with our conference presenters and plan this conference. Presenters have granted permission for NCECA to document presentations for educational purposes. The permission to document conference proceedings using personal devices is not extended to individuals attending the conference via their registration. Please respect the personal rights of our presenters as well as NCECA’s rights by not recording our sessions.

There will be signs posted to remind you of this policy.  We do know and understand that attendees want to capture memories of things they enjoy and also wish to be able to access the information later in the reflective space of their own studio.  Please be assured that we will again be working hard to upload conference content to our YouTube channel.  Be sure to follow Watch NCECA on YouTube

• Lastly…for those of you using the app, be sure to check out the CLICK game on page two.  You could win a conference pass for the 2017 Conference, plus the game is a lot of fun and will help you see and find things you may have otherwise missed.

See you all VERY SOON!