Annual Conference FAQs

Annual Conference & ExpoNAFSA 2019 Registration

The NAFSA annual conference brings together more than 9,000 professionals in the field of international education for five packed days of training workshops, educational sessions, networking opportunities, and special events.

Have questions about NAFSA's 2019 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.? Check back regularly, as this page will continue to be updated.

When & Where

What are the official dates of the Annual Conference?
The conference begins Sunday, May 26 and ends Friday, May 31, 2019.
What is the address, telephone number, and web address of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center?
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mt Vernon Pl NW
Washington, D.C., 20001
+1. (202) 249-3000
http://dcconvention.com
When does conference registration begin on-site?
Registration opens Saturday, May 25. Registration times will be published in early 2019  
 

Registration

When does registration open?
Registration and housing will open on March 1, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. EST. Further information on registration will be available late 2018.
When do I get my registration materials?
Registration materials will be distributed on site upon checking in at the registration counters. Please bring your registration confirmation to receive your registration materials. Both print and electronic confirmations will be accepted on site, you can also enter your name into the terminal to pull up your registration. Registration counters will be located in the West Salon of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Please note, registration materials will not be mailed to attendees in advance.
How do I get a receipt for my registration?
Once you are registered for the annual conference you will be able to view and print your confirmation, as well as log in to your registration portal at any time to make changes, print receipts and/or confirmations and create your itinerary. You will no longer receive a receipt on-site. You may not cancel your registration online – see the cancellation policies on the Registration page of the NAFSA website.
What if I need to pay by check?
Mail registration form (available March 1, 2019 ) to:
Attn: NAFSA 2019
C/O Experient
5202 Presidents Court, Suite G100
Frederick, MD 21703
How can I access the online planner?
After you have registered for the conference, simply log in to the My Schedule portion of this site using your email address and registration confirmation ID to create and access your personal agenda for the conference.

The personal agenda that you build in the online program and planner will export to your mobile app account automatically each time you log in to the app.
How can I access the mobile app?
The NAFSA 2019 App, which includes the participant list and a communication tool for app users, will be available to registered attendees in the Apple Store and Google Play in early May 2019
What is the NAFSA 2019 Annual Conference Cancellation & Refund Policy?
Cancellation requests must be made in writing and received no later than Friday, May 24, 2019. No refunds or credit will be provided for cancellations made after Friday, May 24, 2019. A $100 (USD) cancellation fee will be deducted from conference registration refunds and a $100 (USD) cancellation fee will be deducted from workshop and signature program/special event registration refunds up to a $200 (USD) maximum deduction for multiple cancellations. Changes to a preconference workshop registration will result in a $25 change fee per workshop. If NAFSA cancels a workshop, you will receive notification of the cancellation and a full refund.

Registration payments made via credit card will be refunded to the original credit card and will be processed four to six weeks after the conference. Otherwise, a refund check will be issued.

Send request by email to nafsa@experient-inc.com, fax +1.301.694.5124, or mail to
Attn: NAFSA 2019
C/O Experient
5202 Presidents Court, Suite G100
Frederick, MD 21703
 

Sessions & Workshops

Where are the conference sessions and workshops being held?
Conference sessions and workshops are held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center from Sunday, May 26 through Friday, May 31, 2019.
Can I still register for a preconference workshop on site?
Many preconference workshops will be filled. Please check with the registration desk on the ground level of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
What time does a particular session, workshop, or event start?
Schedule information for NAFSA 2019 programming will be available in the NAFSA 2019 Online Program beginning in February 2019.
Where will a particular session, workshop, or event take place?
Locations for NAFSA 2019 programming will be published in the NAFSA 2019 Online Program and Mobile App in May 2019.
What types of sessions or workshops are being offered?
NAFSA's annual conference provides a multitude of educational offerings for international education professionals at all levels of experience and in every specialty. These opportunities will help you develop the knowledge, skills, and ideas you need to better serve your organization or institution, move forward in your professional development, and engage effectively with colleagues from around the globe.
NAFSA is no longer accepting proposals for programming content or speakers.

Transportation & Visas

How do I obtain a visa letter of invitation?
To obtain a letter of invitation, you will need to fill out an electronic form to request visa support. Requests for letters of invitation cannot be accommodated after April 29, 2019. Please check with your local U.S. Consulate to allow sufficient time for visa processing. Your request for a letter of invitation to attend the NAFSA Annual Conference does not guarantee you will obtain a visa. Individuals submitting requests for letters of invitation are expected to provide sufficient proof of professional or academic affiliation with the field of international education and/or the NAFSA: Association of International Educators as whole.

Networking & Socializing

How can I find out about visiting attractions in D.C. and the surrounding area, and what restaurants are open and within walking distance?
Attendees are encouraged to visit the DestinationDC website, D.C.’s official tourism site, to learn more about the conference city and all it has to offer. While attending the conference, attendees may also visit the Conference Information and Hospitality Center located in the Grand Lobby of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
For tips on how to navigate through D.C. like a local, subscribe to the NAFSA Blog to receive updates on the NAFSA 2019 Local Arrangements Team (LAT) blog posts. LAT Communications Co-Chairs, Laurel Brooks (Program Coordinator, Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program, Howard University) and Michelle Morris (Program Coordinator, Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center, Howard University) write bi-weekly posts about the conference city, offering information about the neighborhoods, restaurants to dine at, popular landmarks, and details about the rich history of the nation's capital.

Private Events

How can I book a private event during annual conference?
NAFSA does not provide private meeting space for attendee meetings or events.

Volunteering

What are the benefits to being a volunteer?
Based on documented hours worked, volunteers may be reimbursed 50%-100% of the general conference registration fee paid.
Hours
40 or more 100% reimbursment
30-39 75% reimbursment
20-29 50% reimbursment
1-19 No reimbursment
How do I become a volunteer?
The first step is to enroll as a volunteer via Shiftboard, NAFSA’s online scheduling tool. Once you complete your enrollment, you will be contacted via email with a confirmation of your status as a volunteer for NAFSA Annual Conference and will also receive login information to use the Shiftboard system. For more information, please visit our Volunteering page.
Note: This is NOT the same as registering for the conference. Conference registration is available at www.nafsa.org/ac19registration
What are the requirements to be a volunteer?
You must be a conference attendee in order to serve as a conference volunteer.
What jobs will I perform as a volunteer?
Examples of shifts are as follows:
  • Working at the NAFSA Pavilion in the Expo Hall to answer questions and assist attendees in discovering information on NAFSA’s products and services
  • Taking tickets and directing traffic at plenaries and special events
  • Assisting with exhibitor check-in at registration
  • Working registration area to hand out materials and totebags
  • Providing local information and conference directions at Conference Information and Hospitality Center
  • Working as monitor for sessions, handing out and collecting session evaluations.
 
How long are the shifts?
Shifts range from 2 hours to 6+ hours, so plan your schedule accordingly and be sure you are able to commit to shifts you take.
Can I choose my shifts?
Yes. All available shifts will be in the calendar section of the Shiftboard webpage. Volunteers will be able to add shifts to their calendar based on their own availability and interest. Check back for further instructions once volunteer enrollment opens.
Will additional shifts be added?
Additional shifts will be added throughout March and April as the conference schedule and needs develop.
What will I be required to wear?
When you check in at the LAT office at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for your first volunteer shift, you will be given an identifier to wear when on duty, to show that you are a volunteer. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, as most shifts require you to be on your feet for long periods of time.

Support Services

What kind of accessibility arrangements are available?
NAFSA will provide support services upon request. All accessibility requests must be in writing through NAFSA’s Accessibility Services Request Form. Please request accessibility services or accommodations for people who experience disabilities at the time of registration and/or four weeks in advance to maximize our efforts.
The following accessibility services are available during the Annual Conference:
  • Individuals with a Hearing Impairment
    Upon request, sign language interpreting services will be provided. All plenary sessions will have sign language interpreting. NAFSA will provide seating to accommodate for a hearing impairment. The seating will be clearly marked, in a designated area, and provide a good view.
  • Individuals with a Visual Impairment
    Upon request, oral interpreting services will be provided to describe what is occurring during media presentations, read materials/describe visuals during sessions/workshops/other conference opportunities such as Expo Hall, luncheons, and networking events. Oral interpreting services will be provided during official conference hours. NAFSA will offer complimentary registration to a personal aid.
  • Individuals with a Mobility Need
    The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is committed to accommodating the needs of individuals with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Attendees should bring a wheelchair or mobility device with them. NAFSA can also make available a listing of providers for scooters. If a scooter is needed while onsite, registrants should contact the provider to arrange delivery and pickup. See Wheelchair Rental Information for more details
For more information on general accessibility visit, http://www.dcconvention.com/Venues/ConventionCenter/ADAAccessibility.aspx .

Transportation
Upon request, NAFSA will provide accessible shuttle service from attendees from their hotel to the convention center and all NAFSA-approved conference events.

What are the best methods to navigate the convention center?
View interactive floor plans of The Walter E. Washington (WCC) Convention Center. Attendees are encouraged to check in with the Conference Information and Hospitality Center (WCC, Grand Lobby) if they have questions.
What kind of child care services are available?
Please inquire about child care services with the concierge at your selected hotel. Be certain to make arrangements prior to your arrival in D.C.
Will there be areas for privacy at the convention center? (e.g. lactation, prayer, quiet, etc.)
The Walter E. Washington Convention Center (WCC) will have designated areas for privacy.
  • A designated lactation room (Room 155) for nursing mothers will be available Saturday, May 25 through Friday, May 31 during conference hours.
  • A First Aid office is located in the Expo Hall in Hall A . The First Aid office is identified with a red cross.
  • NAFSA will offer a prayer room (Room 153) at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center beginning on Saturday, May 25 through Friday, May 31.
  • The Walter E. Washington Convention Center has informal seating areas throughout all levels of the convention center.
 
What kind of seating will be available at events for those with mobility needs, or who are unable to stand for long periods of time?
There will be seating marked Reserved for Accessible Seating at all plenaries. All events and receptions will have seating available for those who are unable to stand for long periods of time.
What accessibility services will be available during the plenaries?
All plenary events will have interpreting services, and will have front row seating reserved for those with mobility, visual, or interpreting needs.
What shuttle services and transportation is available?
There will be no complimentary shuttle provided for NAFSA 2019. Attendees may walk, take public transportation, or taxi/uber throughout the city.Read more about Washington D.C.'s public transportation system. . Upon request, NAFSA will provide accessible shuttle service from attendees from their hotel to the convention center and all NAFSA-approved conference events. Please call 1.800.523.4046 to schedule pickup from your hotel or the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (allow 30 minutes).

Miscellaneous

What meals are included with conference registration?
There are no meals included with conference registration. However, food and beverage served at the networking, opening, and closing receptions are complimentary with conference registration.
Where are the restrooms and telephones located in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center?
Restrooms and telephones are located on all levels of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
Where can I find out about general conference and program information?
Please visit the NAFSA 2019 Event Overview for general conference information. Program information is available on the Program page found within the Annual Conference website. Attendees will also be able to utilize the Online Planner and Mobile App for general conference and program information.
While attending the conference, attendees may speak with volunteers at the Conference Information and Hospitality within the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
Where is the location of the Lost and Found?
Check with volunteers at the Conference Information and Hospitality Center located on the ground level of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
When is the 2020 Annual Conference & Expo?
The NAFSA 2020 Annual Conference & Expo will take place May 24-May 29, 2020 in St. Louis, Missouri.
Will NAFSA use beacon technology to capture attendee activity data at the conference?
Yes, NAFSA will again use eventBit® technology at the NAFSA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo. Learn more about how the data will be used and your options for participating.

Can't find an answer? Contact NAFSA at +1.202.737.3699. or send an e-mail to conferencemailbox@nafsa.org.

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