The NCA Annual Convention and COVID-19

Updated 10/25/2021

Upload Your COVID-19 Vaccine Information via link below.


COVID-19 Considerations 

The NCA 107th Annual Convention in Seattle will take place as a face-to-face meeting. We are excited about the return to our typical convention format, but we also hear and understand the concerns of  attendees regarding travel, group meetings, and COVID variants. We are committed to following facility, city, state, and federal guidance regarding the health and safety of attendees.

We recognize that attendees may have questions and concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to providing our attendees with the latest information about the 107th convention and preparations in light of COVID-19. This page will serve as the hub for that commitment. This page is intended to provide members with information and keep members updated regarding plans for the convention. Because the situation is somewhat fluid, the page will be updated frequently.

For Those Attending the Annual Convention:

Know Before You Go!

  • Bring proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (physical card or photo of card) with you when you travel to the convention. You will need to present this vaccination card as proof for entry to all restaurants and bars in Seattle, (including in the hotel) and to be verified for entry to all convention meetings and events, so carry this proof on your person when traveling around the city per the current King County Health Order.
  • NCA recommends that those who are unvaccinated stay home, stay safe, and do not attend the convention. If you are attending unvaccinated, please receive a negative COVID-19 test prior to travel (within 72 hours of arriving onsite) and expect to take multiple rapid tests on-site during the convention.
  • Upload your vaccine verification or negative COVID-19 test results prior to arriving at the convention for a quick check-in process.

Upon Arrival at the Annual Convention

  • Once arriving in Seattle, all attendees must go through on-site COVID-19 vaccine verification prior to receiving their badge and other materials and prior to attending any convention session.
    • Verification will take place in 6C of the convention center.
    • Verification will be open during the following hours:
      • Wednesday 7:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      • Thursday 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      • Friday 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      • Saturday 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      • Sunday 7:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    • Allow extra time to move through this process. 
  • Once verified, attendees will receive a verification bracelet, which they must wear for the duration of their attendance at the convention.
  • All attendees must also always wear their badge as a secondary verification. If seen without your badge while in a session room, you may be asked to produce it, display your verification bracelet, or leave the session.
  • Bring your mask (and backups) as wearing a mask will be required in accordance with the Washington state renewed mask mandate that requires that everyone wear masks indoors, even people who are fully vaccinated. NCA will have a limited number of masks available in the NCA registration area for those without a mask.
  • Anyone experiencing symptoms of illness on-site should quarantine in their room until obtaining a negative COVID-19 test. 
  • PCR tests will be available for anyone on the first floor of the convention center. Note that it will take 2-3 days to receive results.
  • Rapid tests, which typically produce results within 15 minutes, will be available at the verification site for unvaccinated people to be tested daily.
  • To help ensure attendee safety, NCA will:
    • Place hand sanitizing stations throughout convention meeting space.
    • Keep a stock of masks in the registration area.
    • Provide packages of sanitizing wipes in all meeting rooms to allow participants to wipe down high-touch surfaces.

Presenters presenting research papers who are unable to attend may still have their paper delivered in one of two ways: 

  • Paper presentations may be delivered by someone else who is attending.
  • Paper presentations may be pre-recorded and, prior to the convention, sent to the session chair who can download the material to their personal computer and play it during the session. This would require that the presentation room has an AV set up. To confirm the AV capabilities of your presentation room, email
  • Due to the session format, panel discussion/roundtable discussion participants will not be able to pre-record their contributions to the panel.
  • Per the Professional Standards for Convention Participants, all those who are accepted and appear on the program are expected to register.
  • Best Practices for Pre-recorded Presentations


Why the NCA Convention will not be fully virtual:

There are several factors that contributed to the decision to not host another fully virtual convention. First, we received a lot of feedback that people miss the in-person convention experience. Second, the cost of cancelling our contract with the hotels and convention center  would be $929,789. Last year, hotels were willing to make adjustments based on the status of the pandemic. However, with rising vaccination rates and the latest scientific information about COVID, many hotels are, in general, unwilling to waive such terms in the contracts. 

What will be available virtually?

NCA will be livestreaming nine sessions for public access. These sessions will include the Opening Session focused on Indigenous Peoples; the Carroll C. Arnold Distinguished Lecture delivered by Dr. Tina M. Harris; the Saturday afternoon Presidential Address delivered by Dr. David T. McMahan, followed by the NCA Awards Presentation; the four sessions in the “Renewal and Transformation” series (Democracy, Discipline, Disruption, and Dissent); and two special sessions, one focusing on countering anti-Asian violence and one exploring alternative academic careers. 

Why isn’t the convention more/fully hybrid? 

The NCA 107th Annual Convention will sponsor, at times, more than 60 concurrent sessions, with a total of more than 1,100 sessions between Thursday and Sunday. All of this will happen at the convention center and one of the convention hotels. Creating and formally supporting a mostly/fully hybrid meeting is more complicated than using a laptop and locating a Wi-Fi signal. It involves equipping every in-person session room with microphones, speakers, projector, screen, video camera, and computer. In addition, a paid technician would need to operate the equipment in each session room. Internet access, which is managed and controlled by contracted firms at each facility, must also be purchased to wire each room with sufficient bandwidth to host video streaming. The total cost of making the Annual Convention fully hybrid would exceed $1 million, nearly double the cost of a typical Annual Convention (see infographic below). Beyond cost, bandwidth capabilities of the convention sites are simply not sufficient to support a convention of our size. 

What about future NCA conventions?

A Future Conventions Task Force is in the process of being convened, with the specific mission of considering various options for the long-term format vision for NCA conventions and with the charge of making a series of recommendations to NCA’s Executive Committee. The initial expectation is that a task force report will be submitted for consideration during the August 2022 Executive Committee meeting. 


Click here for an enlargeable version of the infographic below.
Infographic of estimated cost comparison between in-person and hybrid convention