Frequently Asked Questions    

Here are some answers to the questions we’re asked most often about NCDD Austin.

How can I register for the conference?

You can register at whenever you’re ready, but we recommend you look over the registration details page first.

What time does the conference begin and end?

Check out the conference schedule that’s up at for full details.

The full-day pre-conference workshops start at 9:00 am on Thursday, October 2nd (the half-day one begins at 2 pm). If you don’t attend one of those workshops, you should still plan to arrive sometime on the 2nd so you can participate in the free Conversation Cafe event (host training followed by a Cafe, both open to the public) or Traces of the Trade viewing that evening.

The main event begins the following day (Friday, the 3rd) at 10:00 am – although you should show up a bit earlier (we recommend 8:30 or 9:00) to check in, get your badge and registration packet, and start shmoozing! We’ll wrap up on Sunday by 3:30, giving people the chance to catch evening flights.

How can I get my NCDD member discount code?

Organizational members of NCDD and individual members who elected to pay the membership fee are eligible for $50 registration discounts for the conference. Organizational members can send two people at the discounted rate. Check your email to see if you received a message on April 10th with the discount code in it (it should also be in your welcome email from Joy if you joined recently). If you didn’t receive it or can’t find it, email NCDD office manager Joy Garman at [email protected] and she’ll send you the code to use during registration. Be sure to enter your discount code on the very first page of the registration form, in the box that appears after you click “I plan to attend the 2008 NCDD conference.”

Is there a special student rate for the conference?

Yep – full-time graduate, undergraduate and high school students can attend at the reduced registration rate of $175. Just send an email attaching a scanned copy of your valid student ID to [email protected] and Joy will send you the discount code for the student rate. You can also mail a photocopy of your ID to Joy Garman, NCDD, 114 W. Springville Road, Boiling Springs PA 17007.

If you are only a part-time student, or if you need a deeper discount, please complete the scholarship application at and we’ll see what we can do. Please don’t hesitate to do this; having young people at the conference is a priority for us. If you are a high school student or high school teacher who wants some of your students to attend all or part of the conference, contact conference director Sandy Heierbacher at [email protected] to work out the details. We would love to have high school students at the conference and will do all that we can to help them attend. College professors are also welcome to contact Sandy to explore possibilities for student attendance.

Can I negotiate group discounts for the conference?

We love it when people come in groups, and are always open to considering how we can make it easier for you to bring more people. Just get the ball rolling by emailing conference director Sandy Heierbacher at [email protected] and telling her about your group.

Where can I find travel and lodging info?

Details about travel and lodging – including how to find roommates or home stays – can be found on the What To Do After You Register page at

Are CEU’s Available?

Although Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) are not available for the conference, we have gotten approval for professional planners to receive 2 hours of Certification Maintenance Credit for the American Planning Association’s AICP designation for the workshop “The Role of the Facilitator in International Development,” which will take place on Saturday, October 4th at 11:00 am.

What kinds of topics will be covered at the conference?

To get a sense of the topics we’ll cover at NCDD Austin, check out the conference schedule page, where you’ll find links to more details on our featured speakers, the concurrent workshops you’ll get to choose from, and more. Also look over the 5 challenge areas we’ll be addressing at NCDD Austin; the 5 challenges were identified by participants at previous NCDD conferences as things our field needs to conquer if we are to have the impact we’d like to have on our communities and in our world.

We will offer a mix of high-quality sessions that share best practices; address various challenges we face as practitioners and scholars, and as a field; introduce people to various dialogue and deliberation methods and approaches; and allow people to experience dialogue and deliberation first-hand to address contentious issues.

We do our best to balance practice and theory, process and content, and advanced and beginner-level offerings. Balance among the various “streams of practice” in this work is very important to us as well, so that people who focus on transforming intergroup conflict, for example, can attend a variety of sessions directly related to their interests, but also be exposed to strategies and theory developed by those who those whose focus is on helping citizens impact public policy.

How do I get on the conference program?

Workshop proposals were due on May 16th, so it’s too late for that. There’s still time to submit “networking topics” for the structured networking session we’re holding on the first day of the conference, though. The official deadline for submitting those was July 19th, but we are still considering additional ideas. Visit for more details on that opportunity.

What costs do I need to consider?

NCDD conferences are much more affordable than most national conferences, and we do our best to offer scholarships to those who need them. Our regular registration rate for NCDD Austin is $375, and you can register at (The registration fee does increase to the late fee of $440 if you wait until just a few weeks before the conference to register. The late fee goes into effect on September 12th.)

NCDD members who have paid the membership fee will save an additional $50 off of registration, so the registration fee for them is only $325! (Organizational members can send two people at this rate.)

We are offering some wonderful pre-conference workshops the day before the conference, and registration for the day-long sessions is only $95. Registration for the half-day sessions is only $50. These workshops are a great opportunity to go more in depth into a topic before the conference begins, to be taught/facilitated by seasoned and well-respected leaders in D&D, and to develop some relationships before the conference so you’re more comfortable at the main event.

Also, NCDD 2008 Co-Sponsor the Global Facilitator Service Corps is conducting a two-day intensive workshop following the conference on October 6th and 7th. This is a wonderful skill-building opportunity, and paid NCDD members receive a $50 discount off of this $375 training as well!

The conference will be held at the beautiful Renaissance Austin Hotel, which is surrounded by nature trails, sophisticated boutiques, and a variety of restaurants. If you are coming from out of town, you will want to stay at the Renaissance Austin for convenience’s sake. We’ve negotiated a great $149/night room rate with the Renaissance Austin (the rate is normally close to $300). Self-parking on site is free, which is a great plus. If the room rate is a concern, know that we’re helping conference participants find roommates and homestays to help them cut costs.

Other costs to consider are flights, transportation from the airport to the hotel (about $20 on SuperShuttle) and meals (we provide some meals, but not all).

How can I apply for scholarship assistance?

Complete the scholarship application at at your earliest convenience and we’ll let you know what support we’ll be able to provide you. Scholarship funds are very limited this year, so please only ask for what you absolutely need. We especially encourage young people, People of Color, people from outside the U.S. and people who are politically conservative to apply for scholarship support if they need it, since we hope to have more representatives from these groups at the 2008 conference.

Please note that we cannot cover travel expenses for participants, and have very little funds for lodging expenses.

If you are a student or representing students, be sure to look over the answer to the question “Is there a special student rate for the conference?”

Can I request an invitation to the conference?

International participants who need invitation letters to obtain visas to the United States can request invitations by completing the form at We’ll email you an invitation as soon as we can. U.S. participants who need invitations for other reasons are also welcome to complete this form.

Can I display my organization’s materials in an exhibit?

You bet! We always have exhibit tables at our conferences, and we encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to promote your and your organization’s work. The exhibit tables are reasonably priced so that people who run small non-profit organizations can afford to reserve a full ($300) or half ($150) table. Exhibits will be located in a well-trafficked place near the main ballroom. You can reserve a full or half table when you register for the conference. Go to our Support & Sponsorship Opportunities page for more details about this and other promotional opportunities.

What other opportunities are there to promote my organization or work?

In addition to reserving an exhibit table, you can place a promotional item like a brochure, postcard or pen in all conference participants’ tote bags ($300). You can also have an ad in the conference guidebook. Full-page ads are $700, half-page ads are $400, and quarter-page ads are $250.

Of course, we also welcome you to Co-Sponsor or Partner with the conference – and our Co-Sponsors and Partners receive a lot of benefits including exhibit tables, tote bag inserts and half-page ads. More details on all of these opportunities is online at

How can I contribute to the planning process aside from joining the planning team?

Our planning process is more transparent than ever, and you can track it by keeping your eye on the NCDD events blog (at Look in the sidebar on this page and every page in the Events section and you’ll see that we have a bunch of categories in the events blog, so you can click on the ones you care about, like “fun stuff” or “program & content.” We’d especially love it if you would periodically click on the “feedback wanted” category, where we’ll post stuff we can use your ideas, thoughts and feedback on!

How can I help spread the word about the conference?

Since you asked – we could really use your help getting the word out about the conference. We’ve outlined a bunch of different ways to publicize the conference at, and we’d greatly appreciate it if you’d take a minute to see which of these options suit you, and share one of our announcements with your colleagues and networks.

How Can I Cancel My Registration?

If you need to cancel – and we hope you don’t! – please send an email stating this to [email protected] before September 18th. Refunds will be processed after the conference (no later than December 1, 2008). Of course, if you haven’t paid for your registration yet, you just need to let us know you won’t be coming.

Here is our refund policy, as it states on the registration form:

Refunds for registration fees for the conference and pre- and post-conference workshops will be issued for cancellations made before September 18, 2008. We will deduct from your refund a $50 cancellation fee for the conference and/or a $20 cancellation fee for a pre- or post-conference workshop. If you pay by credit card or PayPal, we will also need to deduct the credit card and PayPal fees we incur. And if you elected to become a paid member of NCDD, you will not be refunded the $50 individual membership fee.

If you paid by credit card during the registration process at RegOnline, the credit card fees that were deducted were 5% for Visa or Mastercard were or 6% for American Express or Discover. PayPal charges are a little less than this if you elected to pay through PayPal.

Here’s What 2 People Had To Say…

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  1. Comment added by MARTHA SCHUMACHER on August 12, 2008:


  2. Comment added by Sandy Heierbacher on August 12, 2008:

    Sure – you can attend just a pre-conference training, Martha. They’re $95 for the full-day trainings or $50 for the half-day session. Just register at and choose “pre-conference only.”

    If you’d like to attend the main conference, though, I encourage you to apply for scholarship help. The scholarship application is online at

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