Four jam-packed days of sessions, events, and networking opportunities await attendees at the 2020 NIRSA Annual Conference & Campus Rec and Wellness Expo this April 18–21 in Phoenix, Arizona! Your Conference Program Committee has insights on how to navigate all the options.

Tips for navigating the conference schedule

This year’s conference program features over 150 education sessions spanning dozens of topic areas. And the Program Committee is introducing new learning formats to help you select sessions that best match how you want to learn.

Our 60 and 90-minute general education sessions are the cornerstone of the educational program.  These presentation and lecture-based sessions offer attendees new ideas, promising practices, and professional development tools to help them and their programs grow.

This year, you can select general education sessions by knowledge level, which replaced the audience categories from previous conferences. A session’s knowledge level indicates the base level of knowledge that is recommended for attendees. “Foundational” sessions will provide broad, introductory information about a topic; therefore, limited or no prior knowledge of the subject is required.  “Practical” sessions focus on application, comprehension, and implementation of ideas with some knowledge and experience in the subject area recommended. Finally, “Strategic” sessions offer a detailed, in-depth look at various topics and are designed for attendees with significant expertise, knowledge, and experience in the subject area. Learn more about the new knowledge levels on the NIRSA 2020 website.

Interested in learning a few quick ideas in an express format? Try our new Showcase Mini-Sessions.  Each session of 10-15 minutes will highlight an idea or practice and include tips on how to implement it in your program. Showcase sessions surrounding a specific theme are presented in groups of three to five sessions in an hour.

Looking for multiple perspectives on a particular topic? Hear from panels of experts in one of our 15 panel discussions at NIRSA 2020, now listed separately in the program guide.

Are you one of the hundreds of attendees that prefer to learn through talking with colleagues? Meet up for conversation in one of our redesigned roundtable sessions or our new community connection sessions. Each of our 11 roundtables now provide NIRSA CEU credits and will have a team of moderators engaging attendees in discussion. Our new community connection format offers a specific time and space at conference for ten more groups to engage in informal conversation. Roundtables feature broad topics while community connections are focused on more niche topic areas or specific constituent groups.

Complementing the educational program are career skills building mini-sessions in the Career Services Center, Talk to a Pro and Talk to a GA discussions in the Student Lounge, and Fitness Forum sessions in the Campus Rec and Wellness Expo.

Plus, you can start your conference experience with a preconference workshop. And don’t miss our Opening General Session on Saturday evening featuring keynote speaker Michelle Poler, Sunday’s General Session with Meagan Johnson, and the Closing General Session on Tuesday afternoon with Greg Bell.

There are numerous opportunities for Association engagement in the schedule. Be sure to attend your region’s Member Network Connection Meeting on Monday afternoon. And join NIRSA leaders and colleagues at the Annual Meeting of Members. You can download the overall schedule of events online.

Make plans to get the most out of your conference experience! Browse through session descriptions and conference details now on the 2020 NIRSA Annual Conference website. In April, download the conference guide for use on your phone or tablet in the event app.


Associate Director of Campus Recreation at Florida State University | NIRSA Profile

David Peters is currently the Associate Director of Campus Recreation at Florida State University. He currently serves as the chair of the NIRSA Conference Program Committee.