NCA Convention FAQ
Your Guide to the Coffee Industry Event of the Year
How do we gain access to the virtual event platform?
If you registered prior to March 1, your login details are in the email you received on March 1. All new registrants can find their login details in the email confirmation received upon registering. Please contact us to receive a copy of the email if you are unable to locate the message.
You will use your credentials to log into the eShow Virtual Event Platform on the first day of the convention, Wednesday, March 3rd. The same credentials will be used to access the platform for the duration of the convention.
How do I make the most of my NCA Virtual Convention Experience?
Download a Program at a Glance or view some of the Program Highlights in advance to plan your day.
- Within the platform, visit the Auditorium and add sessions to your agenda or download a session to your Outlook or Google calendar.
- Be sure to explore all areas of the Convention platform, including the Breaks & Luncheon tab, Networking Portal, specifically the SmartMatch® Appointments area to search for and email other attendees or schedule appointments, and NCA Virtual Exhibit Hall.
- Add items to your eBag to bookmark some of your favorite things located within the platform.
- Participate in the Scavenger Hunt or Passport Prizes, which will open on Wednesday. Visit the Game Room for additional details and to see the exciting prizes!
- Visit the Awards & Recognition room to see the Distinguished Leadership, the Volunteer of the Year, the Origin Charity of the Year Awardees, and learn how you can participate in the NCA Year of Service initiative.
- View CEO Bill Murray’s walk through of the Convention Platform.
In what time zone will the sessions and activities be conducted?
All sessions and programming are scheduled in the Eastern Time Zone (UTC-05:00).
Will the sessions be recorded?
Yes! The sessions and many of the others features within the platform will be available to all registrants 30 days after the live event.
Can we access a current attendee list?
To protect the privacy of our attendees we have not published a publicly available attendee list. Click here to view the most recent attendee list within the Attendee Service Center (virtual platform log in is required). You may also contact Thrisha Andrews at firstname.lastname@example.org to request access. To view a list of our current sponsors, please visit the NCA Convention Sponsor Showcase. The Exhibitor Showcase features a mix of companies displaying their products and services.
NETWORKING, WELLNESS & ENTERTAINMENT
How can we network and unwind, like we do during in-person meetings, on the online platform?
The eShow platform offers a multiple number of ways to connects with friends and coffee professionals alike. Options include Networking Coffee and Chat breaks, video chat, an Attendee Lounge, and SmartMatch® appointments. To add a level fun and excitement, we will also feature a Game Room, Scavenger Hunt, Health-Focused Wellness Sessions and lively Happy Hours with exciting entertainment.
What can Attendees do in the Attendee Lounge?
- Join an Exhibitor chat or start a private chat with another registrant using the search feature.
- Schedule and manage appointments with other attendees and exhibitors based upon the search option in the SmartMatch® Appointments Area.
- In the SmartMatch® Appointments area, you can search for other attendees to contact them via email, update your profile to be matched with Exhibitors, and view exhibitor matches.
- Conduct a Keyword Search to find other participants, documents, products, sessions and videos
- Download Resource Center Documents
What kind of engagement is offered through the Chat Feature?
- The NCA encourages you to use the Chat function to network with other participants, share ideas, and greet one another. The Chat function will be open during the live event, March 3-5.
- Take note of how the presenter intends to utilize the Q&A field. Participate in questions and polls to stay engaged with the session.
- Questions for the presenters can be submitted through the Q&A function or within the chat.
- An opportunity to request a one-on-one video chat.
- Don’t forget to check the Networking Portal regularly so won’t miss a message from a friend or colleague!
How can we meet new people during the Networking Coffee and Chat breaks and Luncheon Demonstrations?
The Networking Coffee and Chat breaks and Luncheon Demonstration are great networking opportunities! In these events, you will be able to reserve your seats in advance and have the ability to video chat with the other five people at your table. You may also move to another table, provided there is an open seat. The Luncheon Demonstration includes a presentation by award-winning Nashville Chef Deb Paquette.
Make sure to reserve your seats in advance for the Wednesday and Thursday Networking Coffee Break & Chats (sponsored by Dupuy Group), as well as the Friday Luncheon Demonstration with Chef Deb Paquette (sponsored by Cadeco Industries). This is a fantastic face-to-face networking opportunity you’ll want to take advantage of. View a tutorial here to become familiar with the features to make your experience even better.
How do I invite a colleague to attend?
Prospective attendees can click here to register or visit the 2021 NCA Virtual Convention homepage for additional details. The current rates are $449 for members and $599 for non-members.
How can I become a member to save on the registration rates?
Visit https://www.ncausa.org/join to discover the various benefits of membership.
What does my registration include?
Registration includes access to the live event held over 3 days (March 3-5) during eastern standard time hours. This year’s convention will feature 36 speakers, breakout sessions, wellness breaks, networking and social opportunities – all available on-demand for 30 days.
Please note a portion of each registration fee will benefit our 2020 NCA Coffee Gives Back Charity Showcase participants. These thoroughly-vetted non-profits have been doing critical work on the frontlines in coffee-growing communities before, during, and throughout the pandemic, and could use your help in what has been an enormously challenging year. This option comes at no additional cost to each registrant, with gracious support of the sponsors helping make this donation possible.
GENERAL QUESTIONS AND TOOLS & TIPS
What platform is the NCA using the host the Virtual Convention?
eShow! View their company website here.
Set Up and Test Your Equipment in Advance
- We recommend you use a computer or a tablet for the best experience. The system is not responsive on a cell phone.
- Chrome and Firefox are the recommended browsers and will give you the best experience.
- Make sure you are on the most current version!
- Allow cookies to our sites.
- Allow pop-up windows on our sites.
- Allow your browser access to your mic & camera if you are participating in video chats.
- Please do NOT use Internet Explorer as it is not compatible with the platform.
- Do not connect with a VPN during the conference; turn off your VPN.
- Firewall minimum requirements: Assumed by default is that TCP ports 80 and 443 are open. Some firewall rules only allow for TCP traffic over port 443, make sure that all traffic can pass over this port. If you continue to experience issues, you may need to open UDP ports 1025 - 65535.
- Do a few systems checks as soon as possible:
- Run an Internet Speed Test to ensure a good browsing experience. Any speed less than 25 mbps may result in slower page loads.
- BigMarker is the session platform we’ll be using. Run a BigMarker systems check to ensure smooth sailing for session participation.
- Test your system at again at least 60 minutes prior to the live event. This includes your network connection, device battery life (including keyboard and mouse!), and speakers.
- The NCA is unable to assist with IT issues such as browser permissions (i.e. if your camera is not discoverable or blocked), firewall issues, etc. Please contact your organization's IT department for help on these matters. See here to problem solve Firefox camera and mic permissions. See here to problem solve Chrome camera and mic permissions.
Control Your Environment as Best You Can
- Mute other devices that might interfere with your computer audio.
- Create a learning-conducive environment, eliminating as many distractions as possible. Close out of other tabs and mute notifications, if possible.
- Prepare your space with anything you may need during the virtual program (appropriate chargers, note-taking materials, water, etc.).
Troubleshooting Technical Difficulties
- The webinar technology runs on higher bandwidth. Please know that some WiFi connections may be spotty.
- Some networks cause slides to advance more slowly than others. If your slides are behind or you are having audio issues, please try to refresh the page.
- If you have any problems within the eShow platform, there will be a Help Desk available during the conference.
Need technical help with the virtual platform or have a general conference question during the event?
Stop by the Help Desk during the live event where NCA staff can help you. Have more questions? Please do not hesitate to contact us!