The 2015 NRPA Annual Conference is just around the corner and we’re not just excited about another stellar conference, we’re excited to celebrate our 50th anniversary with you in Las Vegas!
If you’ll be joining us in Las Vegas, we’re here to give you the insider knowledge. Here are seven things that will help you navigate this year’s conference like a pro.
1. Getting to the convention center: tram schedule
For those of you not staying in Mandalay Bay or an adjacent property, there is a tram that stops at the Excalibur, Luxor and Mandalay Bay. For those staying in the New York New York, you can take the skywalk over to the Excalibur to catch the tram there. Check out the full schedule and map to help you find your way!
2. Where’s the WiFi?
If you’re staying at an MGM hotel like Mandalay Bay, Delano, MGM Grand, Excalibur, Luxor, New York New York and others, you can use your WiFi access code from the hotel you are staying at in the convention center too. Note: If you aren’t staying at Mandalay Bay, you’ll need to access the WiFi at your hotel before you’ll be able to connect in the convention center. The log on process will vary slightly from hotel to hotel and you may also find it helpful to ask for specific log on instructions when you check in to your hotel. Once onsite you’ll want to connect to MGMGrandWifi, select “Hotel Guest” and enter your last name and room number.
3. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a giant social media wall!
Knowing that we had to go all out in celebration of our 50th anniversary, we will have a large social media wall in the Member Celebration Area where you can see what everyone is posting on Twitter and Instagram in real time! It’s a great place to snap some photos and find yourself on the big screen. Just don’t forget to use the hashtag! #NRPA50
4. The Pocket Guide is back!
After an enthusiastic debut last year, we’ve brought back the handy pocket guide. It has all the schedule information you need and it folds up neat and tidy to fit in your, you guessed it, pocket. Pair this with the NRPA Events App and you’ll basically be a conference information ninja.
5. Where’s the coffee and food fuel?
Las Vegas certainly offers plenty of food options to suit anyone’s taste, but if you’re in a rush you won’t need to go far for a quick bite or a caffeine pick-me-up. Not only will lunch be offered in the exhibit hall on Wednesday, there is also a food court and a Starbucks just outside the convention center area at Mandalay Bay. This map can help point you in the right direction — after all we don’t want anyone getting “hangry.”
6. Is it just me, or is the schedule different?
It’s not just you! If you’re a long time NRPA Annual Conference veteran, you’re probably used to certain activities happening on specific days. This year, things have switched up a bit and you can expect:
• Exhibit Hall Reception on Tuesday evening
• NRPA’s 50th Anniversary Celebration on Wednesday evening
• Best of the Best Ceremony and Quiz Bowl on Thursday evening
The best place to keep track of your schedule is in the NRPA Events App, so download it early and start planning your personal itinerary.
7. Learning Labs, Learning Playground, Glass Room Sessions? What does it all mean?
Last year we introduced some great new interactive session areas in the exhibit hall. We’ve brought them back for this year, but just in case you were wondering what’s what, we’ll break it down:
- Learning Labs: Experience - Experience innovative technology geared for the park and rec field including a new GIS platform, NRPA’s new Facility Market Analysis, an improved PRORAGIS survey and a special interactive virtual park presented by BYU.
- Learning Lab: Engage - Get your questions answered and have meaningful face time with some of the most engaging speakers following their sessions. You can event get some time with Keynote speaker Gil Penalosa.
- Learning Playground - Our most interactive, get-out-of-your-seat sessions.
- Glass Room Sessions - Sessions intended for director and executive level professionals with a focus on cutting-edge issues facing agencies across the country.
We can’t wait to see you soon in Las Vegas! Come prepared to learn, network and be inspired by the biggest event just for park and recreation professionals like you!
Roxanne Sutton is NRPA’s Senior Marketing and Communications Specialist who will be absent from this year's conference due to bringing a new java junkie into this world (in other words, she's having a baby!).