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First-Time Attendees old


New to the National Council’s Conference?

Welcome First-Time Attendees!


We’re excited to have you join us for NatCon2015 in Orlando! You will be joined by more than 4,500 of your colleagues and peers for an exciting, informative, innovative, and fun-filled event.

For the first time ever, the National Council has created a hub for all first-time attendees: The Hive. Designed to be your resource for all things Conference and the National Council, the Hive offers networking opportunities, meet-and-greets, pop-up sessions, and more.



We encourage you to regularly check this webpage for updates and new information on how to prepare for NatCon2015!


Laira’s Conference Survival Guide Part 1

Now that you’ve registered, be sure you…

  1. Book your hotel room. We’ve just released the information for another area hotel with availability for the Conference. Book rooms at the SpringHill Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista here. (All Conference events take place at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center).
  2. Make your flight arrangements. Get the best flight deals by booking your flights ASAP. Keep in mind that we offer exceptional Preconference Universities, including deep dives into trauma-informed care, suicide prevention, and mobile technology. All Preconference Universities are held the Sunday before the Conference — April 19— so please book your flights accordingly. (You must register for Preconference Universities.)
  3. Get familiar with the Conference schedule. The preliminary Conference program is now available, so be sure to take a look and check out all of the great sessions and events that will be offered.


Conference First-Time Attendee Coffee Chat

On January 29th, first-time attendees got the chance to chat with Laira Roth and Bridget Branch about what to expect and the “must knows” for Conference 2015. If you missed it, listen to the recording and download the slides.


Tips from the webinar:

  • Planning on attending the Awards of Excellence dinner Tuesday night? Be sure to dress up a bit in case you want to get your picture taken on the red carpet! These prestigious awards honor the achievements of our peers in the field of mental health and addictions. The dinner is a fancy affair where you’ll get the opportunity to hear some of the most moving and inspirational stories. The winners will be recognized, there will be special performances, and overall it’s just a classy, fun evening!
  • You’ll be doing a lot of walking at the Conference, so be sure to wear comfy shoes AND your steps tracker if you have one (at the National Council we’re having a steps challenge so you’ll see a lot of us checking our Fitbits and pedometers throughout the Conference).
  • Coming to Orlando early? Register on Saturday between 4 and 7 pm to get your badge and materials. On Sunday night and Monday morning, the lines might be pretty long!
  • Get to the general session early! The seats fill up quickly so it would be a good idea on Monday morning to get your breakfast and then head over to the main ballroom.
  • If you weren’t able to get into the main conference hotel, try calling the hotel the last week in February or first week in March to see if there’s any availability. It’s usually around that time that people start cancelling their reservations if they can no longer attend the conference.
  • All hotels with room blocks for the Conference will have shuttles periodically running to and from the Gaylord Palms. A more detailed schedule with shuttle times will be made available closer to April. Book now.
  • If you’re looking for information about parking rates, please check out the Hotel/Onsite section of our FAQ page.


Have questions? Concerns? Thoughts? Contact Laira Roth [].

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