National AfterSchool Association Annual Convention

Author: Casey Gale       

NAA Annual Convention attendees

Event Details

March 18–21, 2018

Hyatt Regency Atlanta

Atlanta, Georgia


Next month, an estimated 2,000 afterschool professionals and leaders — who work with and on behalf of youth before and after class, on weekends, and during the summer — will attend the four-day National AfterSchool Association (NAA) Annual Convention, where they will participate in workshops, listen to informational talks, and immerse themselves in deep dives on leadership and professional development.

CHALLENGES NAA chose Atlanta for its 2018 event because of the city’s easily accessible location on the East Coast. But the organization was surprised to learn that the state of Georgia would not honor its federal 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax-exempt status, which presented an “unexpected financial challenge,” according to Heidi Ham, NAA’s vice president of programs and strategy. To mitigate the cost, NAA has been offering its “advocate” members — businesses that provide products and services to after-school professionals — year-round engagement packages with a number of opportunities to reach the NAA community, such as through advertising in NAA publications, social-media promotion, convention stage time, and access to convention invite-only special events. “This approach has increased revenue and/or lowered costs for our association,” Ham said, “and increased the product and services reach of participating organizations.”

INITIATIVES In addition to highlighting NAA’s 30th anniversary at this year’s event, the organization is looking to promote wellness among attendees. “Our association defines the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) Standards for out-of-school time,” Ham said, “so it is important that we model these standards at our events.” Attendees will be offered group fitness activities every morning, a range of food and drink options with limited sugar, and opportunities to move around during education sessions.

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