NEDRA's 29th Annual Conference, #NEDRAcon2016, welcomed a crowd of 213 at the Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside in Portsmouth, NH on April 14th-15th. Thanks to the hard work of the Conference Committee, co-chaired by Amy Begg and Lisa Foster, we enjoyed another hugely successful conference with 18 excellent educational sessions, networking opportunities and more!
On Wednesday before the conference started, Amy Begg and Amber Countis put a group of new researchers through the paces at our third-annual pre-conference Research Basics Bootcamp. The conference itself began on Thursday morning with an inspirational keynote by Laura Schroff, a best-selling author and former ad executive. Laura shared the story behind her book An Invisible Thread. Thirty years ago she was a successful ad sales rep in Manhattan with a busy and demanding life. One day she passed an 11 year old panhandler on the street. She kept walking when he asked her for change but something pulled her back to Maurice and she invited him to lunch. These strangers, 2 people out of 8 million, developed a remarkable friendship that changed both their lives. Laura deftly weaved the work of NEDRA members into her message and copies of her book brought in by local bookseller RiverRun Books sold out after her talk.
At lunchtime on Thursday, APRA President-elect Jill Meister and Dan Lowman of GG+A, a NEDRA Platinum Sponsor, welcomed attendees to the conference. There were also several lunchtime roundtable discussions on topics such as News Alerts, Twitter IRL, Starting a Prospect Development Career and more.
After the nine educational sessions offered throughout the day, iWave sponsored a lively networking reception at the Thirsty Moose, which was followed by group dinners at nearby Portsmouth restaurants. Then a rather large group of attendees found themselves at the Daniel Street Tavern for some karaoke and karaoke-watching.
Friday, the excellent educational programming continued with presenters like Michael Quevli and Marianne Pelletier sharing their knowledge and experience. After lunch on Friday the Annual Business Meeting took place with NEDRA President Suzy Campos sharing highlights of the past year, announcing the slate of next year’s board approved by our first-ever online election, and recognizing outgoing directors. Treasurer Lisa Foster also gave a report on NEDRA’s finances. You can download the 2016 Annual Meeting Presentation on the NEDRA website here.
Then the recipients of this year’s Heather Reisz Memorial Scholarship and Helen Brown Group-NEDRA Scholarship were announced as well as this year’s Ann Castle Award winner Dina Zelleke!
Thanks to everyone who joined us for the conference this year! If you haven't yet done so, don't forget to fill out your conference evaluation, sent by the NEDRA office on April 18th. We value your input on these surveys, because it will help us make sure that next year's conference is even better! For those of you who didn't make it this year, we hope to see you at next year's conference or at one of our programs throughout the year.
© 2018 New England Development Research Association