Thursday, November 1, 2012

Site Visit To Norfolk, VA

Earlier this fall I traveled to Norfolk, VA for a site visit for the 2013 Association of NROTC Colleges and Universities’ conference.  Prior to our annual conference each October, I will make a site visit to the school and city that is hosting the following year’s conference.  The site visit is one of my favorite parts of my job, for many reasons.  First, I enjoy visiting new cities and since I have a real passion for higher education, I really enjoy touring different colleges and universities.  However, more importantly, like most event planners I am very anal.  The thought of running a multiple day conference, using different venues, various caterers, transportation, hotels, etc can be a bit overwhelming.  The good news is that this is the point of my site visit.  By the time I return home from my site visit, I am very confident that all of these details will be ironed out.  And my trip to Norfolk, VA did not disappoint.

I have a pretty good checklist of things I need to accomplish when I visit a host city:
Hotel Negotiations and Tour: I ask each host institution to recommend 3-5 area hotels that they think would work for the conference.  A lot of times I will check with the local visitor’s association for their feedback as well.  About 6 weeks or so before I arrive, I will contact these hotels, ask for their bids and arrange for tours.  I use a spreadsheet to make sure I am asking the same exact questions to every hotel; such as “Do you have an airport shuttle?” to make sure all of the hotels are on a level playing field.
After visiting four hotels in Norfolk, I decided on the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside hotel.  The hotel is conveniently located near our host school; Norfolk State, all rooms will have a harbor view, great space for our Executive Committee meeting and New Member Orientation, and the patio of the hotel will be perfect for our Thursday evening welcome reception.

The hotel is also located within walking distance of the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, which I found very interesting.  The Museum is the home of the U.S.S. Wisconsin where Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan made their first public appearance earlier this summer after Romney announcing Ryan as his running mate. 

After touring the hotels, next on my site visit check list is working with the host school.  I will meet with our Association’s representative to discuss Friday’s Navy Day with his NROTC unit, where we can have Saturday’s business meeting, Saturday’s lunch, and Saturday evening’s reception and banquet.  The space that we have at Norfolk State University to work with is absolutely phenomenal, and NSU’s representative Dr. Larry Mattix was a great guide.  He suggested using their Student Center for Saturday’s meeting and lunch, and the atrium of their library for Saturday evening’s reception and dinner.

After returning from my trip to Norfolk State University, I am very excited for next year’s Association of NROTC Colleges and Universities Conference, which will be held October 17-19, 2013.  This happens to me every year….I can never figure out why I get so nervous before my site visit!?  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Does my calendar really say August? How did that happen?!?!

Does my calendar really say August?  How did that happen?!?!

We have had a very busy, productive, and fun summer here in Conference and Events.  I usually mark the summer and fall seasons by Commencement (summer starting) and Orientation (summer ending, fall starting).  So our summer kicked off with the Conference and Events staff and 3,092 of our closest friends (not to mention their families and friends) having their degrees conferred over a three day weekend; May 18-20. 

The weather was absolutely beautiful on Friday for the School of Nursing and School of Medicine and Dentistry’s Commencement Ceremonies at Eastman Theatre and stayed that way the entire weekend.  On Saturday, the Doctoral and Warner Graduate School of Education Commencement Ceremonies were held at Eastman Theatre, with the School of Medicine and Dentistry Master’s degree ceremony in Kilbourn Hall.  We capped the weekend off on Sunday with the College Commencement ceremony on picturesque Eastman Quad on the River Campus.  Ruth Simmons, president of Brown University, delivered the Commencement address to 1,200 graduating students, their families, and friends.

Many people at the University of Rochester think of Conference and Events, and think “Commencement”…..and rightfully so!  After Commencement, we will often here “I bet it will slow down for you all now”.  Well, not so much.  Our office oversees the Conference Summer Housing process for visiting summer guests.  We work with the Office of Residential Life to make the process smooth for our residential visitors in the summer.  We will coordinate efforts with Security, the ID Office, the Athletic Center, Parking and Transportation, and the Post Office to make sure our summer guests have a memorable experience while on campus.  Summer housing guests started checking in the week after Commencement and we still have a few stragglers on campus that are checking out this week.  Our residence halls were pretty much at a maximum capacity this past summer.

We also put the “Conference” in Conference and Events this past summer.  From May 30 to June 3 we worked on the 2012 International Viola Congress.  This was the 40th annual Congress, and the first time a school had hosted it twice, as the Eastman School had previously hosted it in 1977.  The Congress featured concerts, a banquet, exhibitor space, and lectures.  It truly was an event to see! 

On Sunday, June 10 it was back down at Eastman Theatre for another Commencement ceremony.  The Simon Graduate School of Business has their annual Commencement in June, as they are on the quarter system.  However, two of us were on campus that day working with the Biostatistics Department.  The Sunday through Thursday conference brought students from all over the world to the University of Rochester for an introduction to mathematical and computational modeling techniques and their applications to problems in immunology. 

Following the Summer School, a two day Symposium was held in the Class of ’62 Auditorium, which was open to both Summer School attendees and the University of Rochester community.  The Symposium focused on the use of computational modeling approaches in immunology research and the exchange of research ideas and information on computational immunology between the Modeling Immunity for Biodefense network and other networks and investigators. 

After two very large conferences, combined with Conference Summer Housing, we are knee deep in billing right now.  But we are also looking towards one of my favorite seasons in fall.  I work very heavily with a group called the Association of NROTC Colleges and Universities in the fall, and I promise to write about it more in the upcoming months.  We also have a lot of exciting things planned for our Facebook fans and readers of our blog.  Events, giveaways, and more.  Stay tuned!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Photos from our recent events!

Here are some photos of a few of our recent events - for more pictures, visit our Facebook page!


The annual signing of the Freshman Class Roll, held on August 25, 2010.
The YellowJackets at the Simon School Convocation, September 23, 2010.
Simon School Convocation in the Interfaith Chapel, September 23, 2010.

The 2010 Benefits Expo held in the Flaum Atrium on September 28, 2010.

Energy for the 21st Century Conference 2010

The Conference & Events Office is happy to be involved once again with the Energy for the 21st Century Conference on Monday, October 11, 2010. This is the second symposium sponsored by the University of Rochester’s Energy Research Initiative.

The event, held in the Robert B. Goergen Hall for Biomedical Engineering and Optics, will have many specialized speakers and University of Rochester scientists and engineers will present research posters and will be available for discussions. A buffet lunch and wine and cheese reception will also provide time for networking and conversation.

This event is free and open to the general public. Online registration will be available until Thursday, October 7 at 10am. On-site registration will also be available. For more information, including the day's agenda, please visit the conference website. A listing of the day's speakers is also available.

The 2009 Energy for the 21st Century Conference.

For questions regarding the conference, please contact Ms. Vicki Heberling at

We hope to see you there!
-Kaitlin & Erica

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Some Upcoming Events

I wanted to update you on some events the Conference and Events Office will be working on over the next couple of weeks:

The 4th annual Simon School Convocation will be held on Thursday, September 23 at 4:30 p.m. in the University of Rochester’s Interfaith Chapel. Convocation is the official kickoff to the academic year at the Simon School of Business. Remarks will be given by Chairman Emeritus G. Robert Witmer, University President Joel Seligman, Simon School of Business Dean Mark Zupan, and Sarah Pare, Simon School Class of 2011 and President of the Graduate Business Council. Joseph Abrams ’74, co-founder of MySpace and a member of the Simon School National Council and Executive Advisory Committee, will give the Convocation Address. Simon School faculty, staff, and students are invited to a reception in the Eisenberg Rotunda in Schlegel Hall immediately following the Convocation ceremony.

Make sure you plan on attending the 2010 Benefits EXPO, held September 28-30. This event gives University of Rochester employees a chance to speak with representatives from carriers, third-party administrators, and investment companies under the University’s various benefits plans. In addition, employees can receive information regarding health and wellness initiatives, tons of freebies and handouts, as well as raffle prizes!

Some of the participants include:
Retirement Companies
TIAA-CREF, Fidelity,
T. Rowe Price, Vanguard
Health Care Plan Administrators
Aetna, Excellus
Dental Plans
Flexible Spending Accounts Administrators
Life Insurance
Securian Life
Auto and Home Insurance
Home Ownership Programs
Advantage Federal Credit Union,
Bank of America,
Canandaigua National Bank,
Chase, City of Rochester,
HSBC, M&T, NeighborWorks Rochester
URMC Fitness & Wellness Center
River Campus Athletic Facilities
Employee Assistance Program
. . . and many more!

Tuesday, September 28, Medical Center
Arthur Kornberg Medical Research Building
(Sarah Flaum Atrium), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Wednesday, September 29, Medical Center
Arthur Kornberg Medical Research Building
(Sarah Flaum Atrium),10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Thursday, September 30, River Campus
Wilson Commons (May Room), 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Hope to see you at some point over the next few weeks!