Three Conference Tips For NIRSA


Can you believe NIRSA is less than a week away?

I must admit: I’m a bit nervous. I’ve never been to a NIRSA conference before, and still being so new in this industry, I’m bound to make some blunders. But, I was super grateful for the email they sent out this week with tips and tricks to make your experience awesome.

In fact, that email got me thinking: Is there a right way and a wrong way to do a tradeshow? Is there stuff I should know that I don’t?

So, in my questioning I looked up some lists that pertain to tradeshow tips. While most tips I found were for exhibitors, I came across a few I thought would be helpful to share to the attendee:

  1. Be prepared. Sounds simple enough, but for a newbie I don’t really know what to expect. So, I’m doing my best. I am making a list of our partners so I can stop by and visit them. I’m drawing up some questions to ask the campus rec professionals I meet in hopes we can learn how to better serve you all. I am also thinking about social media and a posting strategy. It doesn’t seem like much, but at least it’s something!
  2. This word is a big deal, especially in the industry of campus recreation. I’m a little worried about how out of place I’ll be, a newbie in the industry and all. However, I know it’s oh so important to connect and talk and learn. How else will I grow?
  3. Just enjoy it! I want to see all the new products and offerings in the industry just like you. Sure, I’m not going to buy a whole new slew of equipment for my imaginary rec center, but I’m interested to see what’s out there. How can I write to an audience I don’t understand?

So, all of that to say, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in Denver next week! Come stop by Booth 415 to say hello, chat it up and share with Campus Rec Magazine how we can better serve you, the rec professional.

Oh, and maybe give me a few pointers on how to do NIRSA right!

Heather Hartmann
Heather Hartmann is the editor for Campus Rec Magazine. She can be reached at

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