2023 NASPA Annual Conference

Finally, We’re In Person… Wait… Are You Okay With That?

Remember way back in 2020 when staying at home to work was a bit of a treat--not to mention safe? Commute times decreased, wardrobe budgets were allocated to professional tops, and happy hour went virtual. The novelty of staying connected virtually seemed so futuristic and changed the way we thought about productivity. If you are anything like me, those changes exhilarated you and probably exhausted you a little too. 

As time went on, we learned so much about productivity and how to squeeze in a couple of personal errands between virtual meetings--but something was missing. The quick-witted jokes with colleagues after a meeting, the last minute requests you could negotiate in the workplace hallway, and the informal interactions that we never knew we had just kinda vanished.

Remember in 2021 when we prepared for in-person meetings and classroom instruction? The excitement to touch, taste, and feel the energy of being outside of our homes was palpable. Students shared how much they enjoy seeing people. The cafeteria was full again. I got to tell my quick-witted jokes to people in person! So, we did it. We transitioned from work-from home life to work-at-work life again. It was weird and oh so familiar at the same time. 

I know there are many mixed emotions about the ever evolving state of this pandemic which still keep us from interacting with each other like we used to. So, it is understandable that you are probably excited to attend NASPA 2022 in person but you might also be a little apprehensive. You’re probably wondering if we are going back to our 2020 roots--and, yes-- as I write this, we are doing a modified version of 2020. However, it’s 2022, we’ve come a long way. I can’t help but think that we can take the best of 2020 and 2021 so 2022 can be even better! 

Think about it, to stay safe in 2020 we stayed indoors and kept our distance from each other and that worked. 2021 motivated science and technology leaders to improve health and wellness options with monitoring devices and the vaccine. So, 2022 is ready to take on whatever comes next. I acknowledge that this still remains a challenging time, but we can do this. 

Whether you’re visiting Baltimore in person for NASPA 2022 or experiencing Baltimore virtually, we can still be one community. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Sensory Space: If you need a place to seek refuge from the overstimulation of a conference environment, visit our sensory space designed to bring solace and comfort in the midst of busy.
  • COVID-19 Protocols: In addition to the stated vaccination and mask wearing requirements, you can also wear your comfort zone on your name tag. This way others can see how you would like to interact with others:
    • Red = Greet From 6 Feet
    • Yellow = Elbows Only
    • Green = Handshakes and Hi-fives
  • Virtual engagement: conference sessions, networking, and community building open to both virtual and in-person attendees.
  • Need More?: Accessibility accommodations, requests can be made as part of your registration. If you have questions about your registration you can contact 864-699-0936 or [email protected].
  • Guidelines for inclusion of everyone, available on the website.

Be on the lookout for email messages from [email protected] for more details as the conference date gets closer. See you in Baltimore.