Next week will be the culmination of almost two years of planning when the 33rd annual NASIG conference takes place at the wonderful Grand Hyatt Atlanta – Buckhead (#NASIG18). We’re expecting a good crowd, with people coming from all over the U.S. and Canada, as well as the Caribbean, Mexico, Asia, and Europe. There will be a fantastic lineup of speakers who will address the conference theme of “Transforming the Information Community.”
Putting an annual conference of this scope and complexity together with almost entirely volunteer effort is a big undertaking. For months now, we’ve worked closely with partners in the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau and at the Grand Hyatt. Dozens of NASIG volunteers have spent hundreds of hours making sure that everything will work smoothly for attendees. There have been many ups and downs along the way. As recently as last week, NASIG people traveled to Atlanta to meet with hotel staff to ensure that everything is properly arranged. Even at this juncture there are still many moving pieces being worked on. The pressures and workload have been intense, especially for those in the Program Planning and Conference Planning committees.
As a non-profit member organization, NASIG tries very hard to ensure that attendees are provided with the best possible conference for the lowest possible price. This not only includes the cost of registration, but also a negotiated hotel room rate ($149 for this year, which is much less than the regular rate). This year we added a significant new feature, NASIG on Demand, at no extra cost for full conference registration. I am really excited about that. Those who are unable to attend can purchase NASIG on Demand for a reasonable amount, while those who attend can access the session recordings to catch up on noteworthy presentations they might have missed or wish to revisit. NASIG on Demand came about by negotiating a new type of contract with an A/V company with whom we hope to partner longer term. Non-Profit Help, which specializes in providing support to non-profit organizations, played a key role in helping us to put it together.
Then, too, I am happy that many library-related companies have shown their support for NASIG by signing up as conference sponsors. Again, this is not accidental; it’s due to a lot of hard work put into making it simpler and easier for companies to sponsor, and into soliciting sponsorships and following up on various contacts. That effort has paid off. A great deal of work has also gone into consistently and frequently marketing the organization and the conference, and I think that has also been successful, resulting in a greater awareness of what NASIG is about and why it’s worthwhile to participate in and contribute to the conference.
The following photos give a sense of some of the hotel features that conference attendees will enjoy at the Grand Hyatt next week. I took them during a visit for a NASIG Board meeting last September. My favorite is the Japanese garden. In the middle of a busy urban environment, you step inside and feel transported to a quiet, calm oasis. There is also a Library Room, a very nice pool area, and many more amenities. I look forward to seeing everyone at the conference next week!