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The 2014 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation brought together 415 innovators in dialogue, deliberation and public engagement in Reston, VA. We had an amazing time together, and we encourage you to check out our Storify page on the conference and to join NCDD (if you’re not already a member) to stay connected. Keep an eye on the NCDD2014 tag in the blog for news on follow-up activities and check out the info below to learn more about what went on at our latest national conference in Reston, VA…

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?

What’s the best way to stay updated on the conference?

What’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 2014?

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?

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Who attends NCDD conferences? Is it for me?

The short answer is that NCDD events bring together current and future leaders and innovators who utilize highly participatory practices like dialogue and deliberation in order to help people work together to solve their most challenging problems. Our attendees are a wonderful mix of practitioners, consultants, academics, community leaders, public administrators, funders, non-profit organization leaders, artists, activists, and students — all of whom are involved in public engagement, community problem solving, or conflict resolution work.

As NCDD supporting member Christine Whitney Sanchez of Innovation Partners International said about our last national conference, “Where else can you collide with social entrepreneurs, scientists, journalists, film-makers, business owners, academics, artists, students, engineers, actors, electeds, consultants, social profit leaders, public servants, graphic recorders, techies, videographers, philosophers, lawyers, executives and more who are also agents of transformation?”

Dig deeper on this question on our “Who Attends?” page at at www.ncdd.org/events/whoattends.

What’s the best way to stay updated on the conference?

There are several great ways to stay updated on the latest conference news and opportunities.  First, fill out our Interest Form to let us know you’re interested in receiving periodic email updates on the conference, possibly presenting at the conference, serving on the planning team, or sponsoring NCDD 2014.

You’ll be added to the Conference Updates announcement list when you fill out the interest form — or you can subscribe directly by sending a blank email to NCDD-Conference-Updates-subscribe-request@lists.thataway.org.

Also visit the Facebook event for the conference to indicate that you’re “going” or “maybe” going in order to stay looped in and connect with other attendees.

And finally, watch for posts about the conference on the NCDD blog by checking the NCDD 2014 tag.

Click here for NCDD 2014 news.

What’s the conference agenda?

The overall conference schedule is online at www.ncdd.org/ncdd2014/schedule. Our amazing line-up of workshops can be found at www.ncdd.org/ncdd2014/workshops.

Also check out the About NCDD’s Events page at www.ncdd.org/events/about-ncdds-events for more details (and a bunch more great links) that will help you understand what our conferences are all about.

How much is registration?

NCDDSeattle-GRs-borderYou’ll be happy to know that we’ve kept the same low rates as the last NCDD conference! The registration fee is $450. Dues-paying NCDD members save $50 off the regular registration rate ($400 rather than $450). Registration is live now at www.ncdd2014.eventbrite.com, so you can sign up today if you’re ready!

Scroll down below the event description to see a list of all the people who have already registered.

Special rate for full-time students

Also note that this year, we’re offering a discounted rate of $250 for up to 50 full-time students.  Undergraduate students, grad students working on their Master’s degree (not PhD), 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 4 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?

The conference is taking place at the lovely Hyatt Regency Reston — a cozy 4-Diamond hotel in the heart of Reston Town Center. We’ve negotiated an incredible group rate of $124 per night (plus tax) for conference attendees.

Reserve your room today at this link to get our discounted group rate:

https://aws.passkey.com/event/10874814/owner/19717/home

Our cut-off date for the reduced room rate is September 30th, so be sure to reserve your room before October. It’s best for NCDD if you reserve your room as early as possible, as we’ve already had to increase the number of rooms in our NCDD block!

The Hyatt is in a fun location, with more than 50 shops, 30 restaurants, and a 13-screen movie theatre right outside the door. The hotel has an indoor pool and the largest fitness center we’ve seen in a hotel — so pack accordingly. You’ll want to fly into Dulles International Airport if at all possible, as the hotel offers a free shuttle from Dulles.

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/16093 to let people know you’re looking.

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How can I cut costs associated with attending the conference?

We know attending a national conference 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 we keep costs as low as possible for attendees.

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

  • Keep searching Kayak.com and Skyscanner.com for the cheapest available flights, and book them when you see them! Remember to fly into Dulles if possible, since the hotel offers a free shuttle from that airport.
  • Apply for a full or partial scholarship at www.surveymonkey.com/s/NCDD2014-scholarship-app. We have some scholarship funds to help students and young people attend the conference. We are running a fund drive to collect funds from the NCDD community to create a small scholarship fund to help others who need it as well.
  • 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/16093 to let people know you’re looking for a roommate, and check back there periodically to see who else has posted.

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

We’ll begin at 10am on Friday, October 17th (with registration open at 8:30am), and we’ll go through Sunday, October 19th until 3:30pm.  Conference attendees will self-organize some pre-conference activities the day and evening before the conference (on the 16th) as well, so we suggest you arrive on the afternoon of the 16th if you’re flying in.

Additionally on Thursday, October 16th, NCDD will be hosting several day-long events at the Hyatt Regency Reston, and then organizing an evening reception to encourage some early networking among conference attendees and those attending these pre-conference meetings.

So far, the following activities are being planned for the 16th:

  • Mediators Foundation (Mark Gerzon’s organization) is planning a day-long invitational meeting for leaders in transpartisan dialogue work. Many of you are on the new transpartisan listserv that will feed into this event.
  • The CommunityMatters Partnership (led by the Orton Family Foundation) is convening leaders in the fields of community building, place-based planning, deliberative democracy, technology for engagement, grassroots grantmaking and more, to strategize about how these somewhat siloed fields can work together in ways that build civic infrastructure in communities.
  • Nancy Gansneder from UVA is working with the National Issues Forums Institute to organize an NIF facilitator training.

If you are planning to attend any of these meetings (the first two are invitation-only), you may want to arrive on Wednesday, October 15th.

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

We have a travel page up at www.ncdd.org/ncdd2014/travel for travel, hotel, and other details to help you plan your trip.

Here are some of the basics you may need:

  • Plan to fly into Dulles International Airport if at all possible, as the hotel offers a free shuttle from Dulles.
  • Reserve your room at the conference hotel (the cozy Hyatt Regency Reston) using this link. We scored an incredible group rate of $124 per night (plus tax) for conference attendees.
  • Feel free to call the Hyatt Regency Reston and talk to their concierge if you have other travel-related questions. The hotel’s website is at www.reston.hyatt.com, and the phone number is 703-709-1234.
  • The hotel has an indoor pool, a huge fitness center, and access to several walking trails, so pack accordingly if you think you’ll want to take advantage of these things.

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What is the conference theme?

YoungLadiesWithMug-NCDDSeattleOur theme for the 2014 conference, Democracy for the Next Generation, invites us to build on all the innovative practices and tools that have been invigorating the dialogue and deliberation community in recent years. Now more than ever, we have both the opportunity and, increasingly, the imperative to bring this work to a much larger stage in order to build a stronger democracy that is able to address society’s most pressing challenges.

What do we want the next generation of our work to look like, and how can we work together to get there? This “next generation” of democracy is the future that embodies the best of what we have to offer the world.

The theme is based heavily on the results of our April 2014 experiment with Codigital, where we asked the NCDD community what they would like to see happen when our field comes together at NCDD 2014. The project drew 122 participants, who contributed 95 wonderful ideas for the conference, edited the ideas 174 times, and ranked the ideas through 5290 votes. There is a wealth of ideas and insight in those results, and we welcome you to check them out at www.ncdd.org/14641.

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What are your goals for NCDD 2014?

Here are the goals that are informing our design of the 2014 national conference…

  1. Create new pathways, new partnerships, and new ways of thinking about how we can expand the scope of our work and find new ways to embed our practices in governance.
  2. Provide attendees with insights and know-how for harnessing the emerging technologies that support dialogue and deliberation.
  3. Connect seasoned practitioners to newcomers, for the benefit of all generations.
  4. Inspire and invigorate attendees’ current work through exposure to new ideas and innovations in the field, and by boldly addressing how to break down persistent barriers to participation.
  5. Map out the future tools of democracy that enable a thriving culture of engaged citizens and communities everywhere.
  6. 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?

We’re interested in finding many creative ways to highlight the best of what’s happening in public engagement, group process, community problem-solving, and arts-based dialogue — and we know you have a lot of great ideas! The Application for Session Leaders can be found at www.ncdd.org/ncdd2014/session-app. Be sure to read the call for proposals at www.ncdd.org/15056, where you’ll find important hints and tips for designing a successful session proposal.

Note: Proposals for concurrent sessions (workshops) were due on June 23rd, but there are other potential “slots” where you may be able to present your work in various formats. Please contact conference manager Courtney Breese at courtney@ncdd.org and let her know what you might be interested in doing so we can consider what might be possible.

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Can I run an exhibit table at the conference?

This year, exhibit tables are limited to conference sponsors only. This is due to the limited high-traffic space available for exhibits (we don’t hide our exhibit tables away). Our Logistics Manager, Polly Riddims (pollyriddims@gmail.com), can answer any questions you might have about exhibits. Please consider becoming a Partner, Co-Sponsor or All-Star Sponsor so you can have an exhibit table.

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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. Becoming a sponsor or partner of the conference provides you with the most exposure at and before the conference. Details about sponsorship opportunities can be found at www.ncdd.org/ncdd2014/sponsorship.

One very easy and affordable 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 450 copies of your tote insert to the conference hotel (to Polly Riddims’ attention) to arrive on or before Wednesday, October 15th.

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

Of course, presenting a workshop or showcase session are two other ways to share information about your work at the conference. Watch the NCDD blog for announcements about these opportunities.

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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 October 1, 2014. 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 October 1st, though substitutions can be made any time. Refunds will be processed after the conference has been held.

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How can I get involved in the planning process?

We have a fabulous conference planning team this year, and at this point we’re not able to work new team members into the process.

However, we will need lots of help at the event itself, so do let us know if you’d like to contribute a few volunteer hours when we’re all together in Reston in October. 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!!

If you have ideas you’d like to propose to the planning team, feel free to email conference manager Courtney Breese at courtney@ncdd.org, or fill out the Interest Form.

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

Feel free to contact 2014 conference manager Courtney Breese (courtney@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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