Preparing for the Conference


Have general questions about registering for the conference?
Check out our Registration FAQ.
Is this your first conference?
Check out our First-Time Attendee FAQ.
Are you a presenter looking for advice and answers?
Check out our Presenter FAQ.

Conference Connections

Looking for a partner-in-crime for your first time at the NCPH Annual Meeting? NCPH’s Conference Connections program pairs new attendees looking for advice on navigating the meeting with experienced conference-goers who can provide pointers on making the most out of the meeting experience. Participating in this buddy system creates a welcoming environment for everyone and helps develop the future leaders of the field.

We are looking for both new and returning attendees for the 2019 conference in Hartford, CT, March 27-30. If you are interested in participating, please fill out the sign-up form by January 18, 2019 . Deadline extended!

Please note that our ability to pair new and returning attendees is limited; some applicants may be put on a waiting list. Send questions to Sam Opsahl at [email protected] or call (317) 274-2168.


Experienced conference-goers: anyone who has attended the NCPH annual conference at least once before—including students, new professionals, or seasoned professionals—and has a desire to share their favorite events, most recommended sessions, networking skills, and more.

New attendees: a student, new professional, or anyone who is attending the NCPH annual conference for the first time and would like a little help learning the ropes.


  1. New attendees should reach out to their assigned guides over email before the conference for introductions. We encourage you to ask any questions you have about conference events and etiquette before the conference. The conference guide should share their advice for things like packing, reading the schedule, and choosing what to attend.
  2. Agree on a time and place to meet in person at the conference. We suggest meeting at the First Time Attendee and Conference Connections Meet-Upon Wednesday, March 27 (5:30 – 6:00 pm), and then checking in at the Friday afternoon break midway through the conference. It might be helpful to exchange cell phone numbers before you arrive in order to make finding each other easier amidst the rush.
  3. While a good guide should be knowledgeable about the annual meeting, the program is not designed for them to provide career advice, resume review, or networking opportunities. Conference attendees interested in career development should instead register for the Speed Networking event on Thursday, March 28 (10:00 am – 12:00 pm).
  4. You may stay in contact after the conference, but this is not an expectation of the program.


You should develop some questions to ask your guide over email before the conference and when you meet in Hartford. Useful questions might include:

  • What’s the difference between a session, a panel, a roundtable, a working group, and a workshop?
  • How do attendees typically participate in sessions?
  • What sessions/events do you prioritize and recommend I attend as well?
  • What is appropriate to wear at the conference?
  • Should I bring business cards with me?
  • Do you have any advice for presenting my first poster?


Think about how you felt attending your first NCPH conference:

  • What questions did you have?
  • What do you wish you had known?
  • What is unique about an NCPH conference that a first time attendee might benefit from knowing?
  • What are the must-see moments of the conference?