Know Before You Go: How to Prep for NISOD’s International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence

NISOD BLOG

Below is a collection of useful information, answers to FAQs, and some general advice about your stay in Austin. We look forward to seeing you over Memorial Day Weekend!

What to Pack
Austin weather in late May can be very warm. Average temperatures are in the 90s during the day and in the 70s at night. That said, the weather in Texas can change at the drop of a hat, so anything is possible. Be sure to check the forecast before you leave home so you can pack accordingly. Austin is a very casual city, and most people wear jeans, a t-shirt, and tennis shoes (or the equivalent) out and about and to dinner.

Attire for the conference is business casual. We recommend comfortable shoes, as you will be doing a significant amount of walking throughout the day. Also, bring a sweater! Hotel meeting rooms can be very chilly, but you may find that a welcome relief since it is typically very warm outside.

How to Get From the Airport to Your Hotel
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is located less than 8 miles from downtown Austin. The Capitol Metro Bus Route 20 picks up and drops off at the lower level at ABIA, and in about 30 minutes or less, stops just five minutes away from the JW Marriott (Headquarter Hotel). The Capitol Metro Bus Route 20 departs every 15 minutes from the lower level, right outside baggage claim, and the cost is $2.50 each way. Plus, there is plenty of space in the luggage racks! Look for the “Capital Metro” signs, visit capmetro.org, and try the CapMetro App as well for real-time schedules, maps, and to purchase fare tickets.

Alternatively, Uber and Lyft operate in Austin and the airport is just about the only place in town you will find taxis available (something to keep in mind if you’re planning to hop around Austin). Rental car companies are also located onsite at the airport.

Parking at the JW Marriott
Parking is available at the JW Marriott, as well as at city garages, including a garage on E. Second Street and San Jacinto. Limited street parking may be available on Sunday and Monday. The Austin Convention Center 2nd Street garage typically has complimentary parking on Memorial Day, and is a more affordable parking option for the weekend.

What to Do in Austin
Austin is a vibrant city known for its abundance of live music, laid-back atmosphere, outdoor activities, and general “weirdness” (the city’s slogan is “Keep Austin Weird!”). We’ve compiled a list of popular activities for visitors.

Conference Program
There are several options for accessing the 2022 Conference Program. You can pick up a physical copy when checking in at Registration at the JW Marriott. For those who wish to go the paperless route, you can download the Whova app for digital access to the conference program. Once our conference site is set up on Whova, we will send you an email with a link to download the app!

But First, Coffee.
Complimentary tea and coffee will be offered Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday mornings in the Exhibit Area. There is a Starbucks located on the second floor of the JW Marriott. It operates from 6:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. (Memorial Day may impact these hours). There is also a list of suggested nearby coffee shops at the bottom of this page.

Meal Scheduling
It is important to note that there are only two meals provided by NISOD during the conference. One of those is Monday’s General Session Lunch and the other is Tuesday’s Closing General Session Lunch. If you purchased tickets to the NISOD Excellence Awards Dinner and Celebration, dinner will be provided during the event on Sunday night. Breakfast and all other lunches and dinners are meals participants will need to find on their own, but the good news is that downtown Austin is teeming with great restaurants and eateries!

Conference Events
We’ve also arranged for an exciting excursion for conference attendees to participate in on Saturday, May 28. Head down to San Antonio for the afternoon  to experience historically significant attractions and get acquainted with your colleagues.

There are also Preconference Seminars scheduled on Saturday, May 28. Browse the list of scheduled Seminars and purchase tickets for them here.

Networking
Finally, what fun would a conference be without some networking? On Sunday, May 29, join us for a Welcome to the Conference! session from 8:30-9:00 a.m. Then on Sunday and Monday, join NISOD staff at the Connections and Conversations meetups in the afternoon. Great for first-time attendees and returning attendees alike, these meetings allow participants to network and exchange ideas about information that they can take home to their own campuses.

If you’re planning on participating in some online social networking during the conference, don’t forget to use the hashtag #NISOD2022F2F on your posts and to tag us in them! You can find our social media pages by clicking on the links below.