8 Life Hacks for 2013 NRPA Congress and Exposition

By Roxanne Sutton | Posted on October 2, 2013

NRPA’s Congress and Exposition is just one week away—all the final plans are coming together and last minute prep is being made. Soon thousands of park and recreation professionals will fill downtown Houston and the hot Texas air will be filled with Great Ideas.

These life hacks may not be the ones made popular by the Internet and BuzzFeed, but they will definitely make navigating this year’s Congress and Exposition just a little bit easier! 

1.  Find a good place to eat within your travel range.


Travelling to a new city has its ups and downs for those who enjoy a good meal. A new city means new cuisine to try—but where do you even start? Luckily, Houston is a great host city and has done the hard work for you. You can filter by type, price and location of Houston’s best meals. Appease your appetite here


2.  Caffeine will not be hard to find.


In addition to a conveniently placed Starbucks on the second level, there will also be a coffee shop in the leisure park on the show floor provided by our local hosts the Houston Parks and Recreation Department.  Check out George R. Brown Convention Center’s floor plans if you want to be extra prepared to find what you need! 


3.  Keep charged and carry on. 


Thanks to our in-kind sponsor StreetCharge, there will be a charging station located on Balcony D on the second floor near the Cyber Café. This way you can keep all your devices powered so you can tweet with us (#NRPACongress) and utilize the mobile app as much as you want!  


4.  Looking for WiFi?


WiFi will be provided by the convention center in public areas on the second and third floors. If you’re looking for a connection, try visiting the Community Center, Cyber Café or hanging out near the Starbucks. Also, always feel free to check in with an NRPA volunteer to find out where the connections are!


5.  Skip the lines!


Skipping the lines at Registration this year is easy! There will be an express registration kiosk set aside from the lines. Head straight there and you’ll be good to go! You can also find a satellite registration kiosk next to the Community Center on the third floor. 


6.  Transportation to and from events is easy.


Whether you’re staying within walking distance to the hotel or not, we’ve made it easy to get to the conference center, off-site events and the Parks Build Community dedication. Check out the shuttle schedule in the on-site program guide to ease any of your transportation worries. 


7.  A healthy lunch is only a few escalators away. 


If you don’t feel like leaving the convention center for lunch, you don’t have to! And you don’t have to sacrifice your healthy diet either. This year there will be healthy lunch options available for purchase or with your lunch tickets (provided with select registration packages only) on Tuesday and Wednesday on the show floor. 


 8.  Passports make networking events an adventure.


To get you networking faster at the opening reception and closing party, you will receive a passport in exchange for the ticket that came with your registration or that you bought as an add-on. For the opening reception, tickets will be collected on the shuttle to the event and passports will be distributed on-board as well. For the closing party, tickets will be exchanged for passports at the Hyatt Regency. Don’t  lose your passport as it has some valuable stuff in there (and will ensure you can quench your thirst too!). 


We can’t wait to see you in Houston! Want more to help you prepare for Houston? Check out this special section in Parks & Recreation magazine. If you aren’t registered yet, what are you waiting for? Register now and save money on the on-site registration price. Let us know what are you most excited about this year and if you have any questions we can help you figure them out ahead of time! You can connect with us by commenting, tweeting to @NRPA_News, or reaching out via Facebook


Written by: Roxanne Sutton, NRPA marketing and communications specialist