The Seminar Scoop

2021 NSPRA National Seminar - New Orleans - July 11-14

What To Know Before You Go In Person to the 2021 NSPRA Seminar

Excitement is building for the NSPRA Seminar, which is right around the corner! To help you make the most out of your in-person experience, we’ve compiled some important information to know before you go!

All Seminar registrants will receive login information to access the virtual learning platform by Tuesday, July 6, so watch your email. As an in-person attendee, this access will allow you to participate in virtual-only Skill Sessions and have virtual chats with colleagues from across the country. If you miss an in-person Skill Session, or want to rewatch the livestreamed General Sessions, you can watch those recordings online, too. Next week, you’ll also get directions on downloading this year’s Seminar app.

New this year, you'll get the daily scoop! The Seminar Scoop newsletter will be sent to all in-person and virtual attendees Monday through Thursday to share the latest news and updates. And use our social hangouts to stay connected!


Reconnect at the Welcome Back Dock Party

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Did you hear? The Welcome Back Block Party is now an even better Dock Party. Join your friends in a second line parade leaving the Sheraton hotel on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. and strolling through the French Quarter to the City of New Orleans riverboat.

Seminar badges will be required for entry into the Dock Party and on the riverboat for all the food, fun and festivities. Seminar registration and badge pickup is open on Saturday, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Sunday, from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Arriving late and still want to join us? Check in at the table at the dock for entry.

Special thanks to Blackboard for partnering with NSPRA on this awesome party! Adding to the fun will be a live mural wall artist to help capture the energy of the party -- and you can be part of the art! Come ready to write inspiring and fun messages on your friends' commemorative t-shirts, provided by Blackboard.

Run, NSPRA, Run at the #k12pr5K

Your Road2NSPRA t-shirt is your entry to the #k12pr5K, which is a run, walk, or jog (or coffee run) for everyone. Show up in the lobby of the Sheraton by 6:15 a.m. on Sunday for a group photo and run instructions (or directions to coffee). There isn't a marked course, awards or aid stations. It's just a great group of folks moving forward together.

If you didn't order a t-shirt, you still can join the #k12prfit fun! Make an online donation of any amount ($20 suggested) to the NSPRA Foundation and please specify that the donation is in honor of #k12prchat/#k12pr5k so that your donation will fund #k12prchat scholarships for school PR professionals to attend the 2022 NSPRA Seminar. Follow event organizer Cathy Kedjidjian @cateked and check #k12pr5K and #k12prfit on Twitter to get updates on the run and other opportunities to keep moving during the Seminar.

Smile! Free Headshots Return to the Seminar

Free professional headshots will be available courtesy of SCoPE School Surveys, which is keeping you looking sharp and your communications in focus! No appointment is required for your headshot on Monday, taking place from 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in the Rampart Room next to the SCoPE Booth in the Marketplace.

Tips on getting the best professional headshot:

  • Clothing: Avoid busy patterns and flesh-tone solids; mid-tone colors work best. Make sure you are wrinkle-free. Avoid sleeveless tops and tops that bunch up when you sit down. Best is something you feel good in that fits well.
  • Make-up: Professionals suggest going one slight step above what you usually wear. Avoid extreme and harsh colors. Aim for natural. Hydration and a good night’s rest the night before go a long way.
  • Jewelry: Avoid oversized and over-dramatic pieces; they can be distracting.
  • Glasses and contact lenses: If you wear colored contact lenses, bring clear ones. If you want to wear your glasses in your photo, make sure they are cleaned well just before your photo.
  • Bring your own make-up and hairbrush/comb for any last-minute touch-ups.

New Orleans Weather and Whatnot

New Orleans is hot and steamy during July with occasional afternoon thunderstorms, so it’s a good idea to bring an umbrella or a rain poncho.

Like most cities, New Orleans is in the midst of staffing up to return to pre-COVID times. Pack your patience as wait times may be longer than expected.

And when you are out and about, don’t be a target for petty theft. Don’t wear your badge outside the hotel (except for Sunday’s dock party), keep your purse on your person at all times, and walk with a buddy especially before dawn and after dusk.

Steppin' Out

A highlight of the NSPRA Seminar is gathering with old and new friends at social events sponsored by some of our outstanding corporate sponsors. Here are two you’ll want to note:

Celebrating Equity Through Inclusion Mixer -- Join the Communication Equity and Diversity Task Force for a social mixer, networking opportunity and celebration of the diversity of NSPRA members and Seminar attendees on Sunday from 5:15 -- 6:15 p.m. on the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel's second floor, Lagniappe Balcony/Waterbury Ballroom. Hats off to Finalsite for sponsoring!

Battle of the SPRAs Karaoke – Start warming up your pipes for the return of this favorite event on Monday from 8:00 – 11:00 p.m. at the Cat’s Meow Karaoke Bar on Bourbon Street. Special thanks to Gabbart, Monsido and BenchmarkONE for hosting! Details here including how to register.

COVID-19 Safety Guidelines

The NSPRA Seminar is following the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel and City of New Orleans guidelines to ensure the safest learning experience for all. Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a mask or maintain social distance. All others should continue to wear masks and maintain social distance for their protection.

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