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NCDD2016 · Boston Metro Area

FAQs

The 2016 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation is over and we had an amazing time at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center in the Boston Metro Area, October 14-16!

Here are some answers to the questions we’re asked most frequently.  Although the conference is over, we’re keeping this page up for a few weeks as an archive of information.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

How can I cut costs associated with attending the conference?

Where can I find travel details for the conference, like ground transportation?

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

What is the conference theme?

What are your goals for NCDD 2016?

How can I apply to present at the NCDD conference?

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

I was selected to present in the D&D Showcase. Got any advice for me?

What’s your cancellation policy?

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 conferences, “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.

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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 2016.

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 2016 tag.

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What’s the conference agenda?

The conference agenda can be found at www.ncdd.org/events/ncdd2016/schedule. Details are still being posted so check it regularly for the latest updates!

Registration begins Friday morning October 14th and the opening plenary launches at 10am, and with the conference closing Sunday October 16th at 3:30pm. And we’ll be having some interesting pre-conference offerings on Thursday, October 13th, so look for those details soon.

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.

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How much is registration?

NCDDSeattle-GRs-borderYou’ll be happy to know that we’ve kept the same low rates as the last two NCDD conferences! The registration fee is $450. Dues-paying NCDD members save $50 off the regular registration rate ($400 rather than $450).

We also have a limited number of discounted registrations (just $250!) for full-time students, so now’s the time to register if you’re a student. After you register, you can send verification of your full-time student status to joy@ncdd.org.

Register today at www.ncdd2016.eventbrite.com to secure your spot!

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. We cannot reduce or remove them, unfortunately.

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

The conference is taking place in Framingham, Massachusetts at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center. We’ve negotiated a great rate of $165/night for conference attendees. You can learn more about the hotel on their website here, but you must use this link to get the NCDD rate:

www.starwoodmeeting.com/Book/NCDD2016

Note that the rate is only in effect until the end of the day on Monday, September 26th, so you’ll need to reserve your room before that to guarantee the $165 rate.  (Note: We’ve gotten the room rate extended through Friday, October 30th!)

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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!
  • Apply for a full or partial scholarship at www.surveymonkey.com/s/NCDD2016-scholarship-app. We will do our best to help you get to the conference, and we’re currently running a fund drive to help students, young people, and lower income folks join us at the event.
  • Consider sharing a room with someone else who’s attending the conference so you can split lodging costs. Use the comments on the blog post at www.ncdd.org/21690 to let people know you’re looking for a roommate.

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Where can I find travel details for the conference, like ground transportation?

Check out our travel page at www.ncdd.org/events/ncdd2016/travel for details on ground transportation options and much more.

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

We’ll begin at 10am on Friday, October 14th (with registration open at 8:30am), and we’ll go through Sunday, October 16th until 3:30pm.  Conference attendees will self-organize some pre-conference activities the day and evening before the conference (on the 13th) as well, so we strongly suggest you arrive on the afternoon of the 13th if you’re flying in.

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What is the conference theme?

YoungLadiesWithMug-NCDDSeattleOur theme for the 2016 conference is Bridging Our Divides.

NCDD 2016 is taking place a month before the U.S. Presidential election, and in light of the extreme rhetoric and partisan rancor in this election cycle, we want to lift up our attendees’ stories about healing the partisan divide and about creating and implementing strategies that will help us move forward together in addressing our shared problems.

But the divide between left and right politics is not the only divide that we as a field need to help our country address – the Bridging Our Divides theme is an invitation for us to address the most persistent of our gaps in our society. We want this conference to lift up stories and strategies about people working together across our race divides, our religious divides, our economic divides, our divisions around gender, orientation, and expression, our generational divides, our divides between government officials and everyday citizens, and others.

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 our society’s most pressing challenges.

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What are your goals for NCDD 2016?

Here are the goals that are informing our design of the 2016 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/ncdd2016/session-app. Be sure to read the call for proposals at www.ncdd.org/20721, where you’ll find important hints and tips for designing a successful session proposal. You can also request a spot as a presenter in the D&D Showcase event during the conference, which you can learn more about at www.ncdd.org/21476.

Note: Proposals for concurrent sessions (workshops) were due on Wednesday, July 13th. If you missed this deadline but have a great idea or offering, we might have some flexibility for especially compelling concurrent session proposals or other session formats where you can present your work. Please contact conference manager Courtney Breese at courtney@ncdd.org and let her know what you’re interested in doing so we can consider what might be possible.

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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 during and before the conference. Details about sponsorship opportunities can be found at www.ncdd.org/ncdd2016/sponsorship.

We’ll update this page as other opportunities are firmed up, but keep an eye on the NCDD2016 tag on the NCDD blog for announcements about these opportunities.

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I was selected to present at the D&D Showcase. Got any advice for me?

First off, congratulations! Being selected as a D&D Showcase presenter is a high honor for conference participants. Showcase presenters are asked to prepare and bring a simple poster and additional informational materials to help people become familiar with the program, tool, concept, or project they’re presenting. You can watch the slideshow here to get a sense of what presenters have done with their displays for past Showcase events.

Advice on poster content: We advise Showcase presenters to keep the content on their posters simple and to the point, as participants don’t do much reading during the Showcase. Your poster should NOT consist of large amounts of small type! The major purpose of your poster is to help people discern at a glance what your Showcase topic is about – they should be able to quickly understand your message/topic and determine whether they want to learn more of the details from you or move on to other displays. If you like, your poster could be a visual map that helps you walk participants through the story of your tool, concept, or program. But still, try to keep it visually simple.

Regarding posters themselves: Presenters are welcome, of course, to use whatever kind of poster they like. But we’ve recommended that past Showcase presenters purchase a bi-fold foam board like this one at Amazon ($13), which is 15″ by 20″ closed, and 30″ by 20″ open because it fits in most suitcases (you can always cut off an inch or so from the ends if you’re just bringing a carry-on and it’s snug). If you’re a local or willing to ship the board, then you may want to purchase a larger tri-fold foam display board like this one at Staples ($15).

Your poster must be finished and ready for presenting in advance of the conference. If you choose a poster board that’s too large for your suitcase, you can ship it to yourself at the hotel, but it should arrive no later than the morning of Friday, October 14th.

Other considerations: We also recommend that you prepare a physical flier, card, or other handout that participants who stop at your display can take with them when they leave. These materials are a good place to place more detailed information than the poster can hold if you wish, and they are most effective if they have links to more information on your work and details on how to contact you and/or get involved.

In addition to a poster, some past presenters have used a laptop to display a presentation or slideshow that complements their poster and other materials. If you plan to do this, please complete and test your presentation before the Showcase begins. Also, please be sure to have your laptop fully charged before the Showcase begins as we cannot guarantee that your display will be placed near an accessible outlet to plug into. We will not move presenters to accommodate for outlet access. The Showcase will last approximately 90-120 minutes, so we suggest that you use a laptop that is able to run for about as long without plugging in.

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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, 2016. 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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I have more questions.  Who can I contact for help?

Feel free to contact 2016 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 founding director, Sandy Heierbacher, at sandy@ncdd.org or 717-448-8313 — especially if you have questions about the program or sponsorship.

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