Tips for the first-time attendee and great reminders for veterans of the industry

 Posted on: April 17 2019
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The countdown is on for the 27th annual NASC Symposium! Before your bags are packed, check the conference website. Then, as you prepare to meet event rights holders, vendors and destination representatives from throughout the USA in Knoxville, Tennessee May 6- 9, you might want to check it again. This will help you ensure the most efficient and effective use of your time!

NASC staff and volunteer members have worked diligently to provide several great resources to assist you as you get organized to attend the NASC’s annual meeting (for the first time or the 27th)! Follow the links below to find answers to many of your questions:

Hotel & Travel:

Traveling to a destination by yourself (especially for the first-time) can seem a bit intimidating. A little advanced homework will reduce potential concerns and set you up for a fun, successful conference experience.

  • Review your hotel & travel reservations and itinerary.
  • How far is your hotel from the airport?
  • How will you get to the hotel from the airport?
  • How far is your hotel from the Knoxville Convention Center?
  • How are you going to get to the Knoxville Convention Center from your hotel?
  • Have questions, don’t hesitate to contact your mentor!


What should I attend? Once you know where you’re going in Knoxville and how you’re going to get there it’s time to review the conference schedule. It’s recommended that you attend as much as possible, but it’s not possible to attend everything.

Did I mention to check-out the conference website? LOL! Utilizing this tool to plan ahead will allow you to identify times in your schedule for visiting the exhibitors, attending education sessions, taking breaks, checking your emails, networking and ultimately achieving your personal and professional goals during the NASC’s Symposium.

  • Familiarize yourself with the daily schedules.
  • Prioritize the activities so you’re certain not to miss the ones that are most important to your NASC Symposium goals.
  • If you’re new to the NASC Symposium, plan to attend the New Member Networking event (located at the Neyland Stadium, West Club Skybox).


Prepare to Get Educated! The Professional Education Committee has designed educational content for all levels of learning (from introductory to advanced). Options can be found on the NASC Symposium website under the “Education” tab and sorted by “Track” or “Attendee Type”.

  • Review the 2019 education sessions.
  • Which session(s) best fit your personal and professional goals?
  • Make a list of the education sessions you’re interested in and organize them by date and time.


During the NASC Sports Marketplace event owners, vendors and destination representatives participate in One-on-One and Event Overview appointments. Marketplace hours are separate from educational sessions and other networking opportunities so everyone can focus and get the most out of this dedicated time.  

Important Dates:

March 27:              One-on-One appointment portal opened

April 17:                 One-on-One appointment portal closes

April 22:                Event Overview appointment portal opens

April 24:                 Event Overview appointment portal opens

April 26:                 Schedules will be distributed

  • Once you have your appointment schedule, dedicate some time to researching each prospect and jot down some talking points for each appointment.
  • Know your elevator pitch! You are going to have the opportunity to meet a lot of people. Having your elevator pitch prepped and ready will allow you the opportunity to make a good first impression.
  • To learn more about One-on-One and Event Overview appointments in the Marketplace visit the “Marketplace” tab on

Additional Tips:

  • Download the mobile app -- schedule updates, education sessions and more important information will be housed on the mobile app! You will be able to downnload the mobile app beginning May 1!
  • Network, network, network! Don’t hesitate to meet new people and to ask questions.
  • Bring lots of business cards.
  • Bring a laptop/notebook/3-ring binder/device of your choice -- Prepare to take lots of notes!
  • Dress is business casual.
  • Comfy shoes are a must—you will do a lot of walking!
  • Don’t miss any last-minute news or updates. Check out the NASC website and follow NASC on Twitter (@NASCNews), Facebok (@SportsCommissions) or the hashtag #NASC19 for news on the event.
  • Most of all…. laugh loud, laugh often and have fun!

Still have questions? Call or email a mentor, or visit the FAQ page of the NASC Symposium website, and download the mobile app. And, if you’re attending for the first time, you won’t want to miss the New Member Networking event Monday, May 6th (6:00-7:00pm) at the Neyland Stadium, West Club Skybox.

We look forward to seeing you at the 2019 NASC Symposium!

Terra Alphonso, MBA, CMP, CSEE
Director of Sports Marketing & Development
Branson, MO CVB
Mentoring and Engagement Committee


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