First Time NCA Convention Attendees

This webpage serves as a resource for newcomers (people attending the Annual Convention for the first time) especially for first time student attendees. 

 

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NCA Annual Convention
Events of General Interest: A Guide

The NCA Annual Convention hosts 1,000 sessions each year, which provides so many options for attendees that they may feel overwhelmed. We recommend starting with the convention’s Events of General Interest. A list of these sessions is available at the bottom of the “Info Booth” tab on NCA Convention Central. Below is a brief overview of what to expect in these sessions:

Be sure to attend

  • NCA Convention Registration: This should be your first stop at the convention. Pick up your badge, convention program book, and other materials.
  • NCA Newcomer’s Welcome and Orientation: This session is for first-time convention attendees and/or new NCA members. Association officers and leaders will provide an overview of both the association and the convention
  • NCA Exhibit Hall: Publishers, tech companies, and other relevant organizations have booths in the exhibit hall. Attendees are encouraged to stop by each booth to learn more from these exciting organizations. Many host give-a-ways at their booths, and all have great information to share.
  • NCA Welcome Reception: All NCA attendees are invited to attend the Welcome Reception. Light snacks are provided. Join your colleagues to reconnect and make new friends!

General sessions are plenary sessions held each evening of the convention

  • Carroll C. Arnold Distinguished Lecture: The Carroll C. Arnold Distinguished Lecture is given in plenary session each year at the NCA Annual Convention and features some of the most accomplished researchers in the field. The topic of the lecture changes annually so as to capture the wide range of research being conducted in the discipline and to demonstrate the value and relevance of that work to society at large. 
  • NCA Opening Session: This session focuses on a social justice issue related to our host city. 
  • NCA Presidential Address and Awards Presentation: The current NCA President will deliver an address followed by the presentation of NCA’s Awards. A champagne toast follows the awards presentation.

Especially for students

  • Graduate School Open House: At this special event, aspiring Communication graduate students can speak directly with representatives from various graduate programs. While the Graduate School Open House is open to all registered attendees, you must have your convention badge to enter the hall. A list of participating schools will be available online in October.
  • NCA Scholars’ Office Hours: Speak with senior scholars in this highly interactive and informal session. Invited scholars and attendees sit together and engage in one-on-one conversations that provide answers to questions about research, the discipline, and graduate programs, and that share advice on issues related to projects, institutions, higher education, and more.

Meet new people

  • NCA Welcome Reception: All NCA attendees are invited to attend the Welcome Reception. Light snacks are provided. Join your colleagues to reconnect and make new friends!
  • NCA Intercaucus Reception: Spend your last evening of the convention celebrating with new friends at the Intercaucus Reception. All attendees are welcome, and you do not need to be a member of a caucus to attend. Light refreshments will be served.

Advance your career

  • NCA Career Center: The Career Center features the NCA Job Fair, CV Consulting, free professional headshots, and PrepTalks – brief presentations related to the job search experience for those in the discipline. While the Career Center is open to all attendees, you must have your convention badge to enter the hall. A list of participating Job Fair organizations will be online in October.
  • NCA Scholars’ Office Hours: Speak with senior scholars in this highly interactive and informal session. Invited scholars and attendees sit together and engage in one-on-one conversations that provide answers to questions about research, the discipline, and graduate programs, and that share advice on issues related to projects, institutions, higher education, and more.

Get involved

  • Legislative Assembly: The Legislative Assembly (LA) exercises fiduciary responsibility over the affairs of NCA and is responsible for the overall strategic director and policymaking of the Association. The LA meets twice during the convention, with both meetings open to all active NCA members. Only LA members are permitted to make a motion, participate in debate, and vote. Members can comment if recognized by the presiding chair. 
  • NCA Second Vice President Candidates Forum: This is your opportunity to meet the candidates for NCA Second Vice President, ask questions, raise issues, and hear what plans the candidates have for NCA. Candidate names will be shared in the fall.

Especially for Teachers

  • Great Ideas for Teaching Students: Also known as G.I.F.T.S, this session presents class-tested activities, assignments, projects, games, simulations, or assessment techniques that address a specific Communication concept, theory, skill, or learning objective.
  • Teachers on Teaching: In this special session the winners of NCA’s Teaching Awards will share their insights and experience.

Especially for administrators

  • Department Chairs Forum: This session is geared toward Department Chairs. Each year, the NCA Department of Academic and Professional Affairs selects a topic of relevance for this group.
  • Doctoral Chairs and Graduate Director Forum: This session is geared toward Doctoral Chairs and Graduate Directors. Each year, the NCA Doctoral Education Committee selects a topic of relevance for this group.

NCA provides a number of opportunities for students who are planning to participate in the NCA Annual Convention. Below are some links to consider. 

  • Student volunteer opportunities, which provide free convention registration to a limited number of students in exchange for volunteer work completed during the convention. For more information, visit the Volunteer Information page. *All student members must have a student membership current through December 1. If you have previously registered, and secure a volunteer position, you will receive a refund of your convention registration.
  • NCA's IDEA Council is offering all students who qualify a NCA Student Caucus Travel Grant up to $300. Grant amount is dependent on the number of applicants. To qualify, a student must be an acitive NCA student member, signed up for at least once NCA cuaucs, registered to attend the NCA Annual Convention in New Orleans. The deadline to apply is October 3.
  • A limited number of discounted student rooms available at a 30 percent reduced rate at the New Orleans Marriott and Sheraton New Orleans. The discounted student rooms will be available on a first come, first serve basis via the online hotel reservation system. For more information, visit the Hotel and Travel page.
  • Check out the Student Section webpage. The NCA Student Section is designed to meet the needs of undergraduate and graduate students, answer questions about the discipline, facilitate ideas, and ensure that student voices are represented in NCA.
  • NCA Student Organization’s Guide to NCA’s 108th Annual Convention flyer (coming soon).