Today I attended and presented at a conference. One you probably haven't heard of. It ran from 9am-around 3:15. It included 3 sets of sessions, an opening key note, and lunch. The sessions offered a pretty wide variety of topics. The main theme (note: not a theme to which adhere, but which the entire conference was focused on) was leadership education, meaning those working with student leaders. The conference attendance was small compared to big NASPA, less than 100 people.
I drove about 2.5 hours each way, but there was a hotel room block available had I wanted to spend the night and not drive. And you know what? This whole experience cost me $60 plus the cost of a tank of gas (around $25 for my CR-V).

We should all be submitting proposals and attending these small conferences. The sessions are good, most of them are focused. They're presented by actual practitioners, many of who include theory or research-based practices. We don't need to spend $1,200 to attend big NASPA (although I do understand why we do). If we invested in these small conferences, brought in colleagues from outside of the area to present with us, we could spend less and get a good return on that investment. Plus it would be supporting local cities and economies, versus Tier 1 cities.

Conference info here:
PDF of conference program here:
Backchannel on Twitter: #NYLEC

PS - it should be unsurprising, but Christine and I presented on student veterans and how leadership educators can work with student veterans to get them involved.


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