NORDP 2023: What to Know Before You Go

Greetings NORDP 2023 Attendees:

We are looking forward to welcoming you to Crystal City, VA for our first in-person conference since 2019! Get ready for inspiring keynotes, fantastic presentations, and plentiful opportunities to grow connections. We have put together the following guide that we hope will be helpful as you prepare for your arrival in Crystal City.

🙂  NORDP Conference Concierge 

The NORDP Conference Concierge (not to be confused with the Hyatt Concierge desk!) is located in the Regency Foyer of the Hyatt (2 floors below street level). It’s more than a location! It will be staffed by event management professionals and our wonderful NORDP member volunteers! It’s a place to go when you have a question or problem to be solved, are unsure, or just need a break. For those of you who are new(er) to NORDP, the NORDP Concierge Desk is a great place to learn about NORDP as an organization (e.g., what committees are available to join? Who is on the Board? How can I get involved?). 

Stop by the Conference Concierge Desk anytime during these hours: 

  • Sunday, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Monday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

In addition to the NORDP Concierge Desk, you can use the Whova App to directly message Conference Organizers. Find this feature under Community → Ask Organizers Anything.

🚙  Shuttle & Parking & Metro 

The Hyatt Regency Crystal City provides a courtesy airport shuttle to and from Reagan National Airport

  • The shuttle departs from the hotel front drive every 20 minutes on the hour from 4:20 a.m.–12:40 a.m. seven days a week.
  • Terminal 1 pickup location is outside the main doors. Follow signs for Hotel Shuttle Pickup. 
  • Terminal 2 pickup locations are outside of Doors 4 and 7 on the baggage claim level. Follow signs for Hotel Shuttle Pickup. 

If you are driving to the conference and need to park at the hotel, parking fees can be found on the hotel website

The Crystal City metro station is 4 blocks from the Hyatt Regency Crystal City—about a 14-minute walk. 

✅  Conference Check-In 

Conference Check-in is 12:00–6:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 7 at the NORDP Concierge Desk. If you are not arriving in that time frame, no worries. Simply come to the NORDP Conference Concierge on Monday morning (opens at 9 a.m.) to check in. 

To check-in:

  • Approach the NORDP Conference Concierge to find large QR codes printed for check-in.
  • Open the camera on your phone to scan the QR code. It will automatically direct you to the Whova app for check-in.  
  • Approach the staff and volunteers to collect your name badge and lapel pin. 
  • That’s it!

Note: if you are NOT using the Whova app, you can still access information about the conferencevia the Whova app website (

Please remember: There is no on-site registration this year! No exceptions.

📱  Need help with the Whova App?

We are so excited to offer the Whova App for our entire conference community! The platform is a resource for attendees, speakers, sponsors, and the planning committee. Activity on the app has been ramping up over the last couple of weeks, and it’s been so fun watching all of you engage! If you are not on the app yet, let us know and we can help. Just stop by the NORDP Conference Concierge in the Regency Foyer of the Hyatt. 

Note: if you are NOT using the Whova app, you can still access information about the conference via the Whova app website (

👋   Welcome Reception 

Join us on Sunday from 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. for a Welcome Reception in the Regency Foyer. The Welcome Reception is sponsored by our platinum sponsor, Thorn Run Partners. We are so excited to welcome you to NORDP2023! Brief welcome remarks from NORDP leadership and Thorn Run Partners will be followed by a chance for us to meet each other in person for the first time since 2019!

🌟  NORDP Sponsors

Please make time to stop by our sponsor exhibits in the Regency Foyer to chat with them and find out what’s new in their businesses. Our sponsors make the conference happen! We will also be holding a Sponsor Expo on Monday May 8 from 1-2:30 p.m. Please take this opportunity to check out the sponsor booths! As you visit the sponsors, remember to collect a ‘stamp’ from each sponsor you visit for the Passport Contest. Attendees who collect 20 or more stamps will be entered into a raffle for prizes. 

🔘 ​​ Code of Conduct 

We have posted a NORDP2023 Conference Code of Conduct in the Whova App and on the conference website. In both platforms, it can be found under Logistics → Conference Code of Conduct. Please review it when you have time. If you witness any violations of the Code of Conduct during the conference, please report it using the reporting form linked in the Code of Conduct.

 👕  Attire ​​

Attire for the conference is business casual, and casual after hours. Be sure to bring workout clothes/shoes if you’re planning on taking part in morning exercise. The forecast is for seasonal temperatures, warm during the day (75-80℉) and cooler at night (50-60℉), with humidity running between 55-89%. 

The meeting spaces at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City can get a little chilly. Consider bringing a layer that makes you comfortable and feel good. 

🍽️  Meals 

Your registration fee covers the cost of breakfast and lunch on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of the conference. We have made every effort to accommodate dietary restrictions and requests. Please find one of the service staff if you have any questions. 

Dinners will be on your own—please check out the Whova App under Community → Meet-ups & Virtual Meets to find a Networking Dinner to sign up for, or grab dinner with a colleague or a friend. We have put together this map that provides multiple restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. 

🚰  Water bottle

In the interest of practicing sustainability, we ask that conference attendees bring their own water bottles to the conference. There will be water stations available at breakfast, breaks, lunch, and receptions to stay hydrated! 

🎒 Bring a backpack or tote

No swag bags will be given at check-in this year. If you like to carry things around the conference with you, consider bringing your own packable tote or backpack. 

🏙️ ​​ Optional Social and Fitness Activities

In true NORDP fashion, you all have stepped up to lead amazing social and fitness activities. From walking to local coffee roasters, to enjoying an evening meal around a discussion topic, to swimming laps — there are many options to add some fun to your agenda. Find current options in the Whova App under Community → Meet-ups & Virtual Meets. Don’t see something that you’d like to do? Feel free to post something for others to join!

🧰  Workshops

RSVP registration for the three workshops is now open in the conference app. 

  1. Strategies for incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) during proposal development. (2 hours)
  2. Framework and tools for planning several kinds of workshops (4 hours)
  3. Building communicative and collaborative capacity for cross-disciplinary teams using the toolbox dialogue method. (2 hours)

You can find the workshops by navigating to the agenda section in the app and then searching for them on Tuesday morning or using the ‘workshop’ tag under the tracks function. Click on the session and then you should see a button that says “+RSVP”. We will not be accepting RSVPs via email—sign-up is only through the app (either the mobile app or web browser app). 

If you previously added a workshop to your personal agenda, you will still need to go into the app to RSVP (i.e., adding to your personal agenda did not save you a seat). As the workshops have limited capacity, please only sign up for a workshop if you plan to go. Whova will automatically create a waitlist and notify you if/when spots open. For these sessions, we will be scanning name badges at the room door. Please arrive on time for the workshop; we are providing a 5-minute grace period, after which we will notify individuals on the waitlist that a spot has opened. 

❤️  NORDP’s Got Heart 

This year’s conference committee wanted to make an impact in the community where we are convening. To do this, we are partnering with Carpenter’s Shelter, a local organization that supports individuals and families experiencing and at risk of homelessness to achieve sustainable independence through shelter and housing placement, guidance, education, and advocacy. We will be collecting items and monetary donations during the conference until 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday. Requested items, as a link for monetary donations, can be found on the Whova App and on the website under Logistics → NORDP’s Got Heart. 

Check out the ‘Meet-Ups’ section of the conference app, Whova. Members will be organizing morning walks to CVS or other stores to purchase items for donation. 

We will total both items and monetary donations and present all donations to a representative from Carpenter’s Shelter on Wednesday during our awards ceremony. 

​​🖼️  Presenting a poster

If you are presenting a poster, try to find a time between 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. on Monday, May 8 to hang your posters up on the display boards (located in room Independence B). Posters will be up for the majority of the conference in Independence B. Please take down your poster by 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Any posters left after noon will be thrown away. 

😷  COVID-19 awareness at the conference

We encourage all conference attendees to practice good hygiene. Best practices for conferences include frequent handwashing, mask-wearing if you are at risk or concerned about exposure for any reason, and communication through the event if someone at the conference tests positive for COVID. We refer to the latest CDC Guidance for Travel

  • In Arlington County, Virginia, the community level is Low (as of 5/3/2023) Feel free to keep an eye on this website for the latest information.
  • Follow any prevention advice given to you by your healthcare provider. 
  • If wearing a mask is necessary and/or important to you, please bring the best mask for you. 
  • If you are interested in acquiring a mask or a COVID test while you are at the conference, there are several nearby places to purchase. (CVS Pharmacy, Target, 7-eleven, grocery stores)