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NCDD Seattle FAQs

Here are some responses to the questions we’re asked most frequently.  We’ll be adding to this page more and more as we get closer to the event, so feel free to check back here when questions come up!

Who attends NCDD conferences? Is it for me?

Where’s the conference agenda?

How much is registration?

How do I get the NCDD group rate at the conference hotel?

How can I cut costs associated with attending the conference?

What are the specific start and end times for the conference?

Where can I find other logistics details, like info about transportation to the hotel?

What is the conference theme?

What are your goals for NCDD Seattle?

How can I apply to present at the NCDD conference?

Can I run an exhibit table at the conference?

How else can I share information about my work at the conference?

What’s your cancellation policy?

How can I get involved in the planning process?

I have more questions. Who can I contact for help?

Who attends NCDD conferences? Is it for me?

The short answer is that NCDD events bring together current and future civic leaders and innovators who utilize highly participatory practices like dialogue and deliberation to help people work together to solve their most challenging problems. Our attendees are practitioners, consultants, academics, community leaders, public administrators, funders, artists, activists, and students — all of whom are involved in public engagement, community problem solving, or conflict resolution work. More on this is posted at www.ncdd.org/events/whoattends.

What’s the conference agenda?

The schedule for the conference (including where you’ll hear from our featured speakers — Eric Liu, Carolyn Lukensmeyer, Martha McCoy, Pete Peterson, John Gastil and Fran Korten) can be found at www.ncdd.org/events/ncdd2012/program.  Also check out our stellar line-up of workshops at www.ncdd.org/events/ncdd2012/workshops.

How much is registration?

The regular registration rate is currently $450. NCDD members whose dues are in good standing could register at a discounted rate of $400 through Sept 20th. We were planning on activating a late registration rate of $550 after September 20th, but we decided to stick with the regular rate in order not to deter people from registering.

Register now at www.ncddseattle.eventbrite.com if you’re ready!

Special rate for full-time students

Also note that this year, we’re offering a discounted rate of $300 for up to 75 full-time students.  Undergraduate students, grad students, and even high school students are encouraged to attend the conference at the discounted rate.  After you register, you can send verification of your full-time student status to joy@ncdd.org.

Group registration discount

If you’re registering a group of 5 or more people, send a quick email to NCDD’s director, Sandy Heierbacher (sandy@ncdd.org) to see if we can offer you a further discount.  We love groups!

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What are the fees listed beside the registration rates on the registration form?

Those are fees associated with using the Eventbrite registration website.

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How can I get the NCDD group rate at the conference hotel?

NEW:  Sorry – the hotel is fully booked during our conference now, and our group rate was only good through September 20th. Add a comment to the post at www.ncdd.org/9619 or send a quick post to the NCDD Discussion list to see if somone with a reservation would like to share their room (and split costs) with you.

The conference is taking place at the beautiful “Hyatt at Olive 8” — a luxury green hotel in downtown Seattle. We’ve negotiated a great group rate of $165 per night (plus tax) for conference attendees (reserve your room now at https://resweb.passkey.com/go/NCDD before we fill our block!). That rate is good for single and double occupancy (1-2 people) with either a King sized bed or two Queen sized beds.  Our cut-off date for the reduced room rate is September 20th, so you’ll need to reserve your room before that.

This is a great rate for downtown Seattle, and if you’re coming in from out of town, you’ll definitely want the convenience and comfort of staying at the conference hotel. We’re told that there’s a lot going on in Seattle this weekend, so rooms around the city may be hard to find if you wait too long — please book early!

Be sure to make your reservations at the hotel at this special NCDD group page to get the discounted rate.  We’ll also send you this link after you register.

If you’re interested in rooming with someone at the conference hotel to cut lodging costs, add a comment to the post at www.ncdd.org/9619 to let people know you’re looking.

And if you use the link above to book your room and you’re told there’s no availability, send an email to NCDD director Sandy Heierbacher (sandy@ncdd.org) with the dates you’re trying to book.  We have fewer nights reserved on different nights (with the largest number of rooms reserved for our group on Friday and Saturday nights), but we can try to shift our nights around if necessary.  Of course, call the hotel at 206-695-1234 first and try to make your reservation over the phone.

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How can I cut costs associated with attending the conference?

We know attending national conferences is an investment. Attendees at our past conferences will tell you it’s well worth it. We hope it’s an investment people who consider themselves part of the dialogue and deliberation community will make a point of making — especially since NCDD conferences are only held every two years, and in fact our last national conference was in 2008 since we decided to hold 5 regional events in 2010 rather than one national event.

That said, there are some things you can certainly do to cut costs…

  • Consider sharing a room with someone else who’s attending the conference so you can split lodging costs. Add a comment to the post at www.ncdd.org/9619 to let people know you’re looking for a roommate, and check back there periodically to see who else has posted.
  • Apply for a full or partial scholarship www.surveymonkey.com/s/NCDD2012-scholarship-app. The NCDD community has created a small scholarship fund, and we will do what we can to help make sure you can attend the conference.
  • Keep searching Kayak.com and Skyscanner.com for the cheapest available flights, and book them when you see them!  Cross-country flights to Seattle have actually been surprisingly cheap lately, with people scoring $300 and $350 flights. If your airport services JetBlu or Southwest, you may want to search those airlines’ websites for the cheapest fares. They both fly into SEA-TAC (the Seattle-Tacoma airport) and people have reported great deals lately. You can sign up for alerts on those sites for deals to Seattle to be emailed to you.

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What are the specific start and end times for the conference?

We’ll start at 10am the morning of Friday, October 12th (with registration starting at 8:30am), and go through Sunday, October 14th until 3:30pm.  Conference attendees are self-organizing some pre-conference activities on October 11th as well.

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Where can I find other logistics details, like info about transportation options to the hotel?

Check out our logistics page at www.ncdd.org/events/ncdd2012/logistics for travel, hotel, and other details to help you plan your trip.

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What is the conference theme?

Our framing question for NCDD Seattle is “How can we build a more robust civic infrastructure for our practice, our communities and our country?”

By “civic infrastructure,” we’re talking about the foundational building blocks needed to strengthen our vibrant democracy. Things like…

  • Institutions and public agencies that utilize participatory processes for decision-making
  • Great places and online spaces where citizens can gather
  • A cadre of trained facilitators
  • Strong networks that can mobilize to solve problems

Basically, a strong civic infrastructure ensures we have the capacity to make better decisions and solve problems effectively in the long-term. We look forward to learning with and from you, and to seeing how we can move forward together in this vital area.

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What are your goals for NCDD Seattle?

We’re designing an event that we hope will accomplish the following 7 goals:

  1. Build collective knowledge and momentum for action (among attendees and field-wide) on our conference theme:  building a more robust civic infrastructure for our practice, our communities and our country.
  2. Equip participants with the skills, knowledge, resources and connections they need to improve and expand their work.
  3. Increase awareness of the latest innovations, thinking and opportunities in dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement.
  4. Acknowledge and make progress on some of the major challenges facing the dialogue & deliberation community.
  5. Create a great space for supportive, collaborative relationships to form and existing relationships to strengthen.
  6. Inspire Seattle and have a positive impact on the region.
  7. Leave conference participants feeling energized and inspired to do more great work.

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How can I apply to present at the NCDD conference?

The Application for Session Leaders (for concurrent sessions / workshops) was due on July 10th, and our workshop line-up is posted at www.ncdd.org/events/ncdd2012/workshops. If you missed this deadline, feel free to contact NCDD director Sandy Heierbacher at sandy@ncdd.org to explore what other options may still be available for you to present and share information about your work at the conference.

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Can I run an exhibit table at the conference?

NEW:  It’s too late at this point to add an exhibit table.  You can still send in a tote bag insert if you’d like to get your materials into the hands of all NCDD Seattle attendees (see below).

At NCDD conferences, display tables or “exhibits” are set up in high-traffic areas, and remain set up throughout the conference.  Exhibits consist of an 8-foot table.  People do not “staff” their exhibits at NCDD conferences — exhibitors are expected to attend the conference as full participants.

You can reserve your display table when you register for the conference.  Full tables are $500 and half-tables (shared with another exhibitor) are just $250.  We do have a limited number of exhibit tables, and all sponsors are given display space, so the earlier you register and reserve your space, the better!

Questions about exhibits?  Contact our Logistics Manager, Polly Riddims, at pollyriddims@gmail.com.

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How else can I share information about my work at the conference?

There are a variety of opportunities to share information about your work or your organization at the conference.  Presenting a workshop or Showcase session are two of the obvious ones, as is hosting an exhibit table or half-table.

One very easy way to get info about your organization or program in the hands of every attendee is to sign up for a “tote bag insert” when you register for the conference.  For just $200, we’ll include a brochure, flyer or other marketing piece on your organization or program in every attendee’s tote bag.  You’ll need to ship 375 copies of your tote insert to the conference hotel (to Polly Riddims’ attention) to arrive on or before Wednesday, October 10th.

Not attending the conference, but still want to send us an insert for everyone’s bags?  Email logistics coordinator Polly Riddims at pollyriddims@gmail.com and let her know so we can get the ball rolling.

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What’s your cancellation policy?

If you need to cancel your registration, please notify NCDD Office Manager Joy Garman via email (joy@ncdd.org) before September 20, 2012. Your registration fee will be refunded, less a 15% processing fee plus any Eventbrite or PayPal fees incurred. No refunds will be made for cancellations made after September 20th, 2012, though substitutions can be made any time. Refunds will be processed after the conference has been held.

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Can I help out the planning team during the conference?

Yes!  We need volunteers to help with a variety of tasks at the conference — and the day before the conference.  Send an email to Polly Riddims, our Logistics Manager for NCDD Seattle, at pollyriddims@gmail.com to give her an idea of what you’re willing to help out with, and when.  Thank you in advance for your help!!

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I have more questions.  Who can I contact for help?

Feel free to contact NCDD’s Office Manager, Joy Garman, at joy@ncdd.org with your questions.  She’ll filter them to the right person if she doesn’t already have the answers.  You can also contact NCDD’s director, Sandy Heierbacher, at sandy@ncdd.org or 717-243-5144 — especially if you have questions about the program or sponsorship.

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