Frequently Asked Questions
Here you will find information on frequently asked questions about The Communications Network annual conference. If your question is not answered here or elsewhere on the site, please contact us at email@example.com
- Registration and Fees
- Breakout Sessions
- The Lab - 2016 Exhibitor's Hall
- Additional Questions
When and where is ComNet16?
ComNet16 will take place from September 28 - 30, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan at the Westin Book Cadillac.
What is the theme of the conference?
The theme of ComNet16 is Driving Change.
Who should attend?
You. The conference is aimed at social sector professionals interested in communications who share our belief that strategic communications can be a force that helps spur positive social change.
In 2015, we hosted CEOs, policy and program leaders, communication directors and social sector consultants from across the globe including folks from Ford Foundation, Sesame Workshop, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Denver Foundation, Barr Foundation, the Heinz Endowments, Heritage Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and more.
See a full list of our 2015 conference attendees here.
Why should I attend?
The Communications Network will host over 500 senior nonprofit and foundation professionals from across the social sector for three days of learning, networking and idea sharing to advance the field strategic communications and help you improve your work. Attending the conference will provide you with the unique opportunity to make connections with other leaders in the social sector while learning about the latest developments in strategic communications that will help you communicate your message in an impactful way.
Where can I find the conference schedule?
Find it on the Schedule page here.
Will I be able to connect with other conference attendees prior to the conference?
The names, affiliated organizations, and twitter handles of registrants will be made public so registrants can have the opportunity to connect before the conference. Please note that we will not share or sell registrants personal contact information, such as email addresses or phone numbers. Current Communications Network members can communicate using our online Listserv: firstname.lastname@example.org or connect through our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheComNetwork.
Are there limits on how many sessions I can participate in?
No. Once you are registered, you are allowed to attend as many sessions as you would like.
Are consultants able to attend the conference?
Yes, but they have to be current members of The Communications Network to do so. Only foundations or nonprofits can register as non-members. Additionally, there is a strict no-solicitation policy at the conference that registrants should be aware of. If you are a consultant and would like to join the Network, you can find more information here.
About The Communications Network
If you’d like to learn more about The Communications Network, check us out on our website: http://www.comnetwork.org/
REGISTRATION AND FEES
When can I register?
Registration opens June 1, 2016 and ends when tickets sell out. There are only approximately 500 spots, so register early!
What are the fees to attend the conference?
Early bird registration will be $675 for Communications Network members and $849 for non-members. Early bird registration opens on June 1 and will close on June 20. Regular rates for the conference (starting June 21) will be $799 for Communications Network members and $999 for non-members.
Are you offering discounts on hotel and travel?
Registrants for the conference will receive information on reserving discounted rooms at the Westin Book Cadillac after they have completed registration for the conference. The conference will not be offering discounts for travel.
How do I register for ComNet16?
You can register for ComNet16 by visiting the registration page.
Is there an early registration discount?
Yes, early bird registration will be $675 for Communications Network members and $849 for non-members.
Are group discounts offered?
Group discounts are not offered for regular registration. However, sponsors receive free and discounted registrations depending on the sponsorship level. For more information on becoming a sponsor, please visit our Sponsors page.
Do presenters receive a complimentary registration fee?
Presenters will receive a discounted registration fee. Presenters must register for the conference. Instructions were emailed with submissions acceptance notifications.
What do my registration fees include?
Registration fees include:
- Access to 4 plenary sessions
- Ability to choose from among 15 breakout sessions
- Opportunity to register our pre-conference skill-building workshops (additional fees apply)
- Admission to The Lab at ComNet16
- Entry to conference's opening night reception - including light appetizers and beverages
- A discount on your hotel room (if booking at the Westin Book Cadillac)
- A copy of the conference program
- A conference "swag bag" and related conference materials
- Meals including breakfast on Thursday September 29 and Friday September 30 and lunch on Thursday September 29
- Coffee breaks with snacks available throughout the day on Thursday September 29 and Friday September 30
Registration does not cover the cost of a hotel room, so please reserve your room separately.
May I attend the conference without registering?
No. Anyone who would like to attend the conference must register.
May I register for a single day at a reduced rate?
Single day passes will be determined on a case by case basis. Please email email@example.com for more information.
Can I get a refund for ComNet16?
Yes, you can get a full refund until September 7, 2016. No refunds will be available after that date.
Can I transfer my registration?
Yes, but you must alert us if you do so. Keep in mind, if you are a member and are transferring your registration to someone else, it must be another member in order for them to receive the reduced member registration price.
What hotel should I stay in and how do I book a room?
The conference will be hosted at the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit, Michigan. Registrants are encouraged to stay here. Once you’ve registered, you can book a room at our preferred conference rate of $192 a night. After you have registered, you will receive information about reserving a room at the discounted rate, subject to availability.
Can I stay at a different hotel?
Yes, you are welcome to stay at a different hotel but transportation from your hotel to the conference site will not be provided by the conference. Most registrants will stay on-site at the Westin.
If I choose to stay in Detroit through the weekend, can I stay at the hotel for the discounted rate?
Arrangements should be made directly with the hotel.
What meals are included?
The opening night reception will include appetizers and beverages, but not a full dinner. Breakfast will be provided on Thursday September 29 and Friday September 30. Lunch will be provided on Thursday September 29. Coffee breaks with snacks will be available throughout Thursday September 29 and Friday September 30. Dinner will not be provided on any night of the conference.
What is the dress code?
The dress code for the conference is business casual. The temperature in Detroit during late September and early October typically varies from 55°F to 60°F and is rarely below 44°F or above 73°F. Please note that the majority of the conference will be held indoors with the exception of transportation to and from the receptions. Please plan accordingly.
When will breakout sessions take place?
Presentations will take place Thursday September 29 and Friday September 30 at the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit, Michigan.
How do I register for a breakout session?
It is not necessary to register for breakout sessions. If you register for the conference, you'll have the opportunity to choose your breakout sessions during the conference. You can use the ComNet16 app to set up a customized itinerary/schedule for the conference if you wish.
Do presenters have to register for the conference?
Yes. Presenters can register for the conference at the reduced presenter rate. Details about the discounted presenter fee will be e-mailed with acceptance letters.
Will the sessions or keynotes be recorded?
Keynote sessions will be recorded and available to conference attendees after the conference.
What time will keynotes take place?
Please check the Schedule page or the ComNet16 app for updates.
What will be the format of the presentation?
The format of each presentation will vary based on the speaker.
THE LAB - 2016 EXHIBITOR'S HALL
What is The Lab at ComNet16?
The Lab is an interactive space for companies and organizations to collaborate and connect with ComNet16 conference goers to debut programs or showcase innovative communications products that are changing the way we communicate.
Is The Lab the same as a conference sponsorship?
No. Participation in The Lab is an opportunity for companies to work with communications and social sector professionals to help them better utilize their products and tools in an interactive setting. If you are interested in sponsoring the conference, you can view a list of our sponsorship opportunities on the Sponsor page.
Who attends the conference?
Last year’s conference attendees included folks from the following organizations:
The Rockefeller Foundation, Sesame Workshop, Ford Foundation, Soledad O'Brien, Annie E. Casey Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, The Hewlett Foundation, Human Rights Watch, The Ad Council, The Stanford Social Innovation Review, The James Irvine Foundation, and more.
A list of ComNet15 attendees can be found here.
Who sets up the meetings? How?
Meetings will be set up by conference attendees prior to the conference via an online scheduling tool. It is possible that conference attendees will also have an opportunity to schedule meetings when they arrive at the conference for registration if meeting times are still available.
What will we meet about?
What do you do? Are conference attendees a user of your product? If so, how can you help them improve their experience? If not, why aren’t they using it? Would it be a good fit for their organization’s communication efforts? If they’ve signed up to meet with you, chances are they already have a few questions of their own. These meetings are intended to open a dialogue between outstanding companies and nonprofit and foundation leaders about using a company’s products or services to have a larger impact on society.
How long will Lab meetings last?
Each meeting will be for up to 15 minutes.
Will there be breaks between meetings?
Companies will be able to schedule two 20 minute time slots throughout the day to take breaks between meetings. Additionally, The Lab will close for lunch on Thursday September 29 from 12pm to 1pm PT.
When is the ComNet16 conference?
The Communications Network annual conference, ComNet16, will take place September 28 - September 30, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan, at the Westin Book Cadillac.
What time will The Lab be open?
The Lab will be open on Thursday September 29 from 10am - 5pm PT.
What do companies and organizations get for participating in The Lab?
Each company that participates in The Lab will receive the following:
- Invitation to the Opening Night Reception on Wednesday September 29
- Discounted rate for hotel room at the Westin Book Cadillac
- Invitation to The Network’s sponsor reception on Thursday September 30
- Valuable professional contacts from major social sector institutions
- Exposure for your business
Who leads The Communications Network?
The Communications Network’s Board includes senior leaders from some of the world’s most consequential social change organizations.
Among them: Ford Foundation, The MacArthur Foundation, The John S. & James L. Knight Foundation, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Lumina Foundation, and The Duke Endowment. You can find a complete list of our Board members here.
Sean Gibbons is the Executive Director of the Network. Prior to joining The Communications Network, he held a series of leadership roles at Third Way, a public policy think tank in Washington. D.C. and served as the Director of Media Strategy at the Center for American Progress. Before his career in public policy, Gibbons was an award winning producer at CNN and worked at ABC News on programs including World News Tonight with Peter Jennings and Nightline with Ted Koppel.
Who can I contact for more information about the conference or participating in The Lab?
How do I become a sponsor?
Please visit our Sponsor page to see all of our sponsorship opportunities. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, you can email Sean Gibbons at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Communications Network is open to customized sponsorships so if you have a proposal, please contact us at email@example.com.
How do I pay for my sponsorship?
You will receive an invoice for your sponsorship. We are happy to accept credit cards or checks.
Is my sponsorship tax deductible?
Your sponsorship could be partially tax deductible as The Communications Network is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Please check with your accountant or a tax expert to determine this.
Do sponsors receive free registration to the conference?
Some sponsorship opportunities do include free registration to the conference. All benefits of sponsoring are listed on the Sponsors page. If you have questions about the benefits for specific sponsorship opportunities, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do sponsors receive invitations to any special conference events?
Yes. All sponsors will be invited to a sponsors-only reception during the conference. The reception will be hosted by the Board of The Communications Network.
I'd like to donate to the Network. Who should I contact?
Please check with an accountant. We welcome charitable donations so if you are interested in giving to The Communications Network, please contact Sean Gibbons at email@example.com.
Does The Communications Network accept advertising in its conference program?
Yes. Foundations and nonprofits can advertise in the conference program by becoming sponsors. Please visit the Sponsor page for more information.