Welcome, First Time Attendees!

NLC is thrilled to welcome our first time attendees to the Congressional City Conference. This page contains information intended to help you get the most out of your first NLC conference experience.

How to prepare for the conference:

Download the conference app and start setting your schedule by adding sessions and meetings that interest you to your personalized schedule. Read up on the workshop descriptions so you have an idea of which workshops to select in each timeslot. (The session descriptions are only available on the website and in the app; they are not printed in the program book distributed onsite.)

Be sure to add the New Member and First Time Attendee Breakfast to your schedule on Sunday morning. This fun networking breakfast offers an invaluable opportunity to meet other first timers and NLC members who will ensure your conference experience is a successful one.

What to Pack:

  • Business cards – make the most of new connections by exchanging business cards and following up after the conference.
  • A sweater/jacket – it can be cool in the meeting rooms, so carry an extra layer with you.
  • Comfortable shoes – even though the event takes place in one hotel, you’ll be doing a lot of walking and standing. Keep your feet comfy!
  • Snacks and a water bottle – water is available at the conference, but if you want to avoid lines between sessions, bring your own bottle. And snacks are never a bad idea to have on hand to give you a mid-morning or afternoon burst of energy.
  • A small tote bag – you may be collecting handouts and business cards throughout the day, plus you’ll have your laptop/tablet, snacks, extra clothing layers, etc. A bag is always handy!

Can’t-Miss Sessions and Events:

New Member and First Time Attendee Breakfast Session – Sunday, 7:45-8:45 am
Attend this breakfast to get the full scoop on the conference, meet NLC leadership and staff, and make new friends and helpful connections.

Federal Advocacy Committee Meetings – Sunday, 1:30-4:30 pm
Sit in on one or more of these meetings Sunday afternoon to see NLC’s policy process close-up. Consider whether you might want to join a committee for the 2018 term.

Member Council Meetings and/or Constituency Group Events – Sunday evening through Tuesday
Try out the council meetings and constituency group events that interest you and start finding your place in NLC. These events offer great educational, leadership and networking opportunities.

Federal Advocacy 101 – Monday, 1:45-3:15 pm and Tuesday, 10:30 am-12:15 pm
This course is offered on both Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. It’s a perfect overview of the advocacy process and how you can be an effective voice for your city throughout the year.

Federal Agency Round Robin – Monday, 1:45-3:15 pm
This is one of the best opportunities to get face time with staff of various departments and offices in the new Administration. Make important connections here for your city!

Capitol Steps Comedy Performance – Tuesday, 6:00-7:00 pm
Close out the conference on a high note with a performance guaranteed to make you laugh. Enjoy some lighthearted moments and fun among new friends and connections.

View all of our recommended sessions for first time attendees here.

Helpful Resources:

Consult the conference app or program book for information about sessions. The app has the most updated information.

If you want to learn about our November City Summit conference, there will be representatives in the registration area from 2017 host city Charlotte, North Carolina to share what the host city has in store for our conference. You’ll hear a lot more about NLC’s largest event in the coming months.

And finally, general questions about NLC or the conference can be directed to the Ask NLC desk located next to the main registration counter. Take advantage of this opportunity to talk to NLC staff face-to-face and get your questions answered!