Conference 101: A Crash Course for New Attendees

New to conference?  Then you don't want to miss this!  Students, new professionals or distinguished professionals can all learn from a crash course of NRPA Conference including the different events, networking opportunities and where your best resources are located.  Make the most of your time at this year's NRPA Annual Conference with these tips, tricks and secrets. A nearly identical version of this session will be offered in-person at the Phoenix Convention Center at 5:00pm (local time) on Monday, September 19.

Section #1 Off To A Good Start: Attendees will be asked to write down 3 goals to accomplish at Conference.

Section#2 The Basics: Quick run-downs of specific events or programs and how to maximize the attendee experience at each.

Section#3 Tips & Tricks: Best practices to get the most out of conference as a whole -- regardless of where the attendee is at.

Section#4 Connect: The biggest long-term benefit of NRPA and Conference is Networking!  Attendees will get advice on getting an introduction, having a fulfilling conversation and building the strongest connections.  Attendees will then put into practice this advice to meet 3 other professionals in the session.

Section#5 Back to "Work": Best practices about what to do post-conference.


1. Identify the ways to maximize your time and impact at Conference through making schedules, picking the right sessions, and networking opportunities.
2. Learn what to expect from Conference week -- both in education sessions and at the various networking events.
3. Provide strategies for starting conversations and tips for amplifying your network while attending conference as well as solidifying connections long-term.

Michael Biedenstein, CPRP, AFO (he/him)

Volunteer and Awards Manager

National Recreation and Park Association

Michael is responsible for NRPA's national awards program including this Hall of Fame, the Parks and Recreation 30 Under 30, Spotlight Awards, Innovation Awards, and Scholarship & Fellowships. Michael previously worked 18 years in the field of parks and recreation in St. Louis, MO. Michael has presented 17 times over 11 years including a highly rated session at the 2021 NRPA Conference.

Hayley Herzing (she/her)

Senior Manager of Membership

National Recreation and Park Association

Hayley Herzing is currently the Senior Manager of Membership for the National Recreation and Park Association. She has worked for NRPA for eight years and previously worked at the National Community Pharmacists Association. Hayley received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications/Journalism from Shippensburg University. She enjoys spending time with her husband, children and dog.

Kevin Witte (he/him)

Recreation Manager

Auburn (WA) Parks, Arts, & Recreation

Kevin is the current YPN Network Chair and is excited to meet everyone at conference in Phoenix! Kevin is from Seattle, WA and spends his free time enjoying the outdoors. He currently serves as the Recreation Manager for Auburn, WA. If you see Kevin at the conference, please do not be shy. You will find he is a super outgoing and friendly guy.

Components visible upon registration.