Frequently Asked Questions — Tips for Attendees
Welcome to the AFP Dallas-Fort Worth Conference Website. The purpose of this webpage is to answer questions about the conference and provide a few tips to help you get the most out of your conference experience.
We want you to:
- Have a valuable learning experience
- Meet new friends and network with colleagues
- Have fun
Check back often since the website will be updated as speakers,
topics and plans are finalized!
General Logistical Information about the Conference
The conference will be held at the Irving Convention Center. It is centrally located in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in the Las Colinas area. A new DART public transportation stop is located at the Convention Center. An 800-space parking garage is available and parking is free to conference speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and attendees. Both DFW International Airport and Dallas Love Field Airport are within minutes of the Convention Center.
More information about transportation to and from the Irving Convention Center.
Badges & Conference Program
You will receive your badge and conference program when you check in at the Registration Table. You may want to preview the program book and can download it here. Keep your badge with you at all times as it will allow entrance to educational sessions, the Exhibit Hall and lunch. Coffee, cookies and other goodies also will be served in the Exhibit Hall.
Our educational sessions are categorized into several different topic areas, which we call "tracks." You will probably want to use these track designations to help select sessions that are of most interest to you. In addition, most sessions are targeted to different levels of fundraising experience such as entry level (less than 5 years), mid-level (5-10 years) and advanced (11+ years).
Full-time and part-time students currently enrolled in college, university and post-secondary programs and who have an interest in pursuing a career in the area of development and philanthropy are welcome to attend the conference. With the signature of a faculty advisor, vice president of development or other senior development professional at your school, students are eligible for a special conference fee. Make sure to use the Student Form when registering to attend the conference.
Scholarships are available!
The Greater Dallas and Fort Worth Metro Chapters of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) offer a limited number of scholarships for the Annual DFW Philanthropy in Action Conference. Scholarships cover the conference registration fee, all conference materials and lunch. Application guidelines, materials and form are available here.
Exhibit Hall — located on the 4th floor
Companies will display and demonstrate their products, technologies, supplies and consultative services during the conference. This is a great opportunity to conduct a year's worth of business in one place, meet new representatives and learn about their products and services.
- Plan your strategy in advance. This is your opportunity to talk to many suppliers in one place! The conference program lists suppliers by product and service type as well as alphabetically.
- Bring plenty of business cards to share with exhibitors for more information, prize drawings and door prizes.
- Identify products or services that you will buy in the next eighteen months and focus your time on visiting those suppliers.
- Identify a specific time to attend the exhibits. The hall tends to be busier and more crowded during refreshment break times between sessions. Time is scheduled to provide conference participants plenty of time to visit the Exhibit Hall.
- Begin your visit to the Exhibit Hall by making a quick tour to see the layout and identify interesting booths.
- When you check into the conference, you will receive an Exhibitor Action Pass. When you visit the Exhibit Hall, ask a minimum of 30 vendors to initial your pass. After you get all signatures, put the Exhibitor Hall Pass in the drum for a chance at a grand prize.
- Keep the list of exhibitors for reference after the conference. You will find that it comes in handy for finding the names of companies whose products and services you may need in the future.
How to Get the Most Out of the Conference
- Hand out your business cards and ask for cards from interesting individuals you meet. This conference is a wonderful opportunity to build your referral base and to network.
- Map out your day in advance. If you are interested in hearing a specific speaker, look up the sessions and note the time(s) on your schedule.
As you plan your conference experience, it is a good idea to choose alternative sessions in advance in case your first choice session room is full. Also, think about and/or jot down:
- your professional experience level and specialties
- projects you are currently working on
- your long-term career goals
- your personal goals and objectives
Choose conference activities that address the goals you listed. Think about:
- What you expect to learn from each activity
- How you intend to use the information in your job or long-term career plan
- Be prepared to ask questions in the sessions you attend.
- Think about every conference activity as an educational opportunity, and make the most of it.
- Challenge yourself! Get outside your "comfort zone" to try on a new skill, technique or idea.
More Useful Information
- The 2015 Conference has "gone green"; session handouts will be available electronically at least one week before the conference. Please print your own handouts and bring them with you to the conference. You also are welcome to print any handouts that are interesting and useful to you.
- The Irving Convention Center has wifi throughout the building.
- Check-in on the day of the conference will be on the third floor, as are all sessions. Please plan to arrive before 8 a.m. to ensure you have a good seat for the Keynote Address.
- The opening Keynote Session, Closing Session, Exhibits and Luncheon are on the fourth floor.
- You will receive your CFRE Tracker Form and Certificate of Attendance at the Closing Session.
- If you have questions during the day, look for Conference Committee Members, who will be wearing committee shirts. They are available to answer questions and provide information. The registration desk will be staffed all day, as well.
- As a general rule, bringing a sweater or light jacket will ensure your comfort throughout the day.
Improve the Conference
After the conference, you will receive an evaluation by email. Your input is carefully considered when we plan the next year's conference. This is your opportunity to share your experiences and ideas. Please take a few minutes when you receive the evaluation to help us make the next year's conference even better.