1st Time @ Forum

This page was created to help guide you through your first time at the AIR Forum, answer common questions, and provide resources for a successful conference experience. To get started, it may help you to know that you’re not alone. Each year, typically one-third of AIR Forum attendees are first-timers. So, you’re in good company.

A: Attending the AIR Forum (our annual conference) is an exclusive benefit for AIR members holding a 2017-2018 membership. Not a member? No problem. An option to purchase a new membership is the first step of the registration process.

In addition to registering for the 2017 Forum, you will have the opportunity to add to your conference experience by signing up for Pre-Conference Workshops and other events. After making your selections and confirming your name badge information, you will be ready to check out. You may return to add workshops and other options at any time.

A: Official AIR Forum activities begin on Tuesday afternoon with Impact Sessions and continue until Friday at noon. Additionally, Pre-Conference Workshops* offered Monday and Tuesday provide extra educational and networking opportunities that offer even greater value for your professional development dollars.

Monday 5/29 (Memorial Day)
Wednesday 5/31
  • Opening Plenaries - A.M.
  • Concurrent Sessions - All Day
  • Exhibit Hall Open
  • Networking Reception with Board of Directors – P.M.
  • Affiliated Organization Meetings – P.M.
  • Dinner Groups - P.M.
Thursday 6/1
  • Concurrent Sessions - All Day
  • Exhibit Hall Open
  • Affiliated Organization Meetings – P.M.
  • Dinner Groups - P.M.
Friday 6/2

* Not included in regular registration fee; additional fees required.

A: Business casual is the usual dress for the Forum. Weather should be warm in Washington DC in May, but be sure to pack a jacket or light sweater since meeting rooms can be chilly.

A: Yes. Charging stations will be available in the Exhibit Hall. However, please note that most sessions are set in theater style seating. This means you may not have a surface to place your laptop on during a session.

A: Yes! Complimentary Wi-Fi will be made available throughout the Forum at the Marriott Marquis. You'll receive the password onsite.

A: Yes. Please visit the Forum registration desk to inquire about these options.

A: Yes. Be sure to take advantage of the 1st Time @ Forum Gathering Tuesday afternoon following the Impact Sessions. Join us to meet other newcomers and hear from volunteer leaders who will share tips about how to make the most of the many learning and networking opportunities at the 2017 Forum.

A: Pre-Conference Workshops are interactive, half-day (3 ½ hour) and full-day (7 hour) sessions offered on Monday, May 29 and Tuesday, May 30. Workshops are designed to engage participants in learning about practical tools and techniques, research, or statistics. Most workshops include a mixture of lecture-style teaching, along with individual/group exercises, demonstrations, and discussions. Extending your trip by a day or two will increase the return on your travel investment and provide you with outstanding additional educational opportunities.

These intensive learning workshops precede the opening of regular Forum programming, which begins Tuesday afternoon.

Each workshop has limited seats and an additional fee applies. You may register for as many workshops as your schedule allows, and pay for them along with (or separately from) your regular Forum registration.

Learn more about workshops

A: All registered attendees will receive access to an online scheduling tool that contains information about all of the more than 300 Forum educational presentations, posters, and discussion groups, plus workshops, and networking events. The web-based program will help you build your Forum schedule with user-friendly tools to search for specific sessions, sign-up to facilitate a session, and even download presentation materials as they become available.

To navigate through the many session options, search by day, session type, and topic areas. After you have completed the process, simply access the completed schedule on a laptop or tablet, via the mobile app, or print it out. Schedules can be changed at any time, and notes can be added for each session. The 2017 online scheduling site and the mobile app will be available in May. A list of 2017 sessions is available now as are our MyForum Web and Mobile Apps.

The Forum Digital Pass offers on-demand access to the highest-rated, highest-attended sessions via online streaming (free with your conference registration). Sessions include selected Impact Sessions, both plenaries, the closing keynote, and 30+ concurrent and featured sessions.

Access to session materials and scholarly papers is available through the online scheduling tool.

A: All 2017 AIR Forum meetings and events will take place at the host hotel, the Marriott Marquis, Washington, DC. For information about airport and ground transportation, visit the Travel & Hotel page.

A: See the Travel & Hotel page for more information and a link to our online reservation system.

A: Yes. The special conference room rate is available for three days before and after the conference. So, come early and stay late to enjoy all that DC has to offer.

A: The Marriott Marquis offers premium valet services at a daily rate of $47. In addition to the hotel’s valet, there are also several nearby parking facilities (fees apply). Due to the large number of parking lots/garages available, we recommend using an online service such as Spothero or Parkwhiz to locate and reserve nearby parking.

A: The Marriott Marquis is located within walking distance of several restaurants, shopping areas, and local businesses. Attendees can also enjoy quick and easy transportation throughout downtown via the DC Circulator. The DC Circulator provides public transportation to the District’s main attractions and most lively neighborhoods for business, culture, and entertainment at a cost of only $1. With a fleet of 67 buses, the Circulator services each of its 136 stops every 10 minutes, providing simple, fast, and affordable transit to residents, commuters, and visitors around the nation’s capital. Other transportation options include the nearby DC Metro access at Gallery Place / Chinatown (Red Line) 0.5 miles southeast of the Marriott Marquis or Mount Vernon Square 7th Street / Convention Center (Green & Yellow Lines) 0.1 miles east of the Marriot Marquis.

A: Monuments and memorials, eclectic neighborhoods, true local flavor – Washington, DC is a place unlike any other. It’s your home away from home with free museums and America’s front yard. Plan your trip to the nation’s capital by checking out all the things to do, places to eat, and places to shop by visiting the DC official travel site: Visit DC.

A: One official meal function is included in your registration fee: the closing brunch on Friday. A welcome reception, networking reception, and dessert break are also scheduled and light snacks are provided during these functions. A coffee break is offered Wednesday and Thursday morning in the Exhibit Hall.

The Forum schedule now includes dedicated lunch breaks daily. A variety of outlets are available in the Marriott Marquis, and many additional restaurants are located within a short walk of the hotel. Look for grab-and-go options in the Exhibit Hall Wednesday and Thursday.

A: Be sure to take advantage of the 1st Time @ Forum Gathering on Tuesday afternoon. Meet fellow newcomers and hear from volunteer leaders who will share tips about how to make the most of the many learning and networking opportunities at the 2017 Forum. More information will be available in your registration packet.

Dinner groups hosted by AIR members provide additional opportunities for networking and are scheduled at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30 and Wednesday, May 31. Anyone can organize a dinner group, and AIR staff will help with location suggestions and reservations. Additionally, many regional and state organizations host dinner groups after their meetings at 6 p.m. on either Wednesday, or Thursday. Dinner groups can be added to your online schedule via the online scheduling tool or mobile app. Dinner groups meet up at the Marriott Marquis (Mezzanine Foyer) and go together to pre-arranged locations. Dinner groups are optional, and attendees pay for their own meals at the restaurant.

The AIR networking hub and Exhibit Hall also provides ample opportunity to meet and mingle with colleagues during the Board Networking Reception, coffee and dessert breaks, and lunch hour. Poster sessions are also located here. And don’t forget to visit our sponsor booths and learn about the latest tools and services for IR and related fields.

The AIR networking game also offers opportunities to connect with our sponsors and enjoy activities in the Exhibit Hall and other conference events while earning points for prizes and awards. See your name on the leaderboard in the Exhibit Hall lounge! More information about the AIR networking game will be available in May.

Need More Help?

Send an e-mail to the Forum team at forum@airweb.org or call us at 850-391-6345.