Q. Can I bring my children to the conference? A. Children may attend the conference with their parents, under the Homeschool Iowa Conference family registration. Children under 12 who are attending the conference must remain with their parents or a responsible adult at all times. Children are welcome in any of the adult conference keynote or workshop sessions as long as they are not disruptive. If seating is limited in adult conference workshop rooms, we ask that parents of younger children make sure that adults are all seated before seating their children. We offer a private room on the east side of the keynote room for mothers to use when caring for their babies.
Q. Do you offer childcare at the conference? A. No, the conference facility is not equipped for this purpose. However, children ages 5-12 may attend the Conference Children's Program, which is held throughout the day on Friday and Saturday. Participating children must be registered in advance for the program on the family conference registration form. A limited number of spaces are available. There is an extra per child fee for the Children's Program, which includes lunches provided on both days. Details are available on the Conference Children's Program Page.
Q. Do you offer any programming for teens at the conference? A. Children ages 12-18 may attend the Conference Teen Track, but they too must be registered in advance for the teen track on the family conference registration form. The fees for teen track offerings vary. Details are available on the Conference Teen Track Page.
Q. How do I register my unmarried homeschool graduate still living at home? A. Unmarried homeschool graduates who are still living at home are permitted to attend the conference under their parents' family conference registration. If a homeschool graduate is married or no longer living at home, he/she must register separately as an adult and pay the full admission price.
DISTRIBUTION OR COLLECTION OF MATERIALS
Q. Can I pass out fliers about my business, group, organization, club, church, etc.? No. The distribution of materials at the conference is prohibited. There are four sanctioned means for sharing information with conference attendees about businesses, organizations, products, services, opportunities, etc. which must meet certain criteria and be approved. These four authorized means are (1) renting booth space in the exhibit hall, (2) placing items in the conference hand-out sacks, (3) purchasing advertising space in the conference program, and (4) buying advertising on the keynote room projection screen. We do not allow people to hand out fliers, brochures, business cards, or other materials through any means other than the four listed above in order to be fair to those who have paid for the authorized means. Any fliers, brochures, card, catalogs, etc. found on tables, in public restrooms, etc. will be picked up and discarded.
Q. How can I find out about renting booth space, placing items in the conference hand-out sacks, or purchasing advertising? A. Information about all of these opportunities can be found on the Conference Exhibitor & Advertiser Page.
Q. Can I put out a box to collect eyeglasses, cell phones, etc. at the conference? A. No. These types of service project collections are not permitted at the conference.
Q. What types of exhibitors are permitted to have booths in the conference exhibit hall? A. We focus on exhibitors who assist and encourage parents in their efforts to teach their own children at home. A limited number of exhibitors who offer items or services that would provide enrichment or extra support for homeschooling families are also included in the exhibit hall as space allows. Colleges and universities who welcome homeschooled students are also among our exhibitors. Our facility prohibits the sale of food items.
Q. What hours will the exhibit hall be open? A. The conference exhibit hall will be open 6:00 - 8:00 pm Thursday evening, 9:00 am - 7:00 pm on Friday, and 9:00 - 4:00 pm on Saturday.
Q. Why don't you open the exhibit hall before 9:00 am? A. Our exhibitors have a very labor intensive weekend at our conference. They arrive on Thursday morning to unload and set up. Then, they must staff their booths two hours on Thursday evening, ten hours on Friday, and seven hours on Saturday -- with tear down and load out following. The 9:00 am exhibit hall opening is a courtesy to our exhibitors.
Q. Why don't you keep the exhibit hall open after 4:00 pm on Saturday? A. Our exhibitors need to pack up their materials and drive home on Saturday evening. Exhibitors and NICHE volunteers are dismantling exhibits, loading materials, and moving carts & vehicles out of the facility well beyond the time you leave the conference on Saturday.
Q. Do I have to register for the conference if I just want to come to the exhibit hall? A. Yes. The conference registration fee grants access to the entire conference -- keynotes, workshops, and the exhibit hall. Attendees can choose what portions of the conference they wish to visit. We do not offer an exhibit-hall only admission.
FRIDAY EVENING FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT
Q. How do I purchase admission to the Friday Evening Family Entertainment event? A. Conference attendees can purchase discount admission to the Friday Evening Family Entertainment event on their online advance conference registrations for any family members included on the conference registration. Tickets for Friday Evening Family Entertainment admissions purchased in advance via conference registrations will be distributed at on-site conference registration check-in. Ticket sales are also available to the general public through the regular Iowa Events Center ticket sales system, but the cost is higher for tickets purchased through that venue. More information is available at our Brad Stine Event Page.
Q. Can admission be purchased at the door? A. Yes! Admission can be purchased at regular prices at the door. Cash and check payments will be accepted. Credit card payment options will not be available. Use the Brad Stine Event Page hyperlink above to find more details.
Q. What is the admission price for grandparents? A. Non-homeschooling grandparents can attend our conference free-of-charge with their adult children who are registered for the conference. Grandparents who are still homeschooling one or more of their own children must register separately and pay the full conference admission fee.
Q. How do I add my children's non-homeschooling grandparents to my conference registration? A. First you must complete and pay for your own family conference registration. Then, you may send a message to email@example.com with your children's non-homeschooling grandparent's name(s) and ask us to add it to your registration.
Q. Do you offer free admission to pastors? A. We used to offer free admission to non-homeschooling pastors, as an effort to build relationships with local church bodies. However, the offer was not used very much, and due to the lack of attached financial commitment to the registration, a number of these resulted in no-shows, leaving us with little benefit from the registration processing time and cost expended. We would, however, encourage homeschooling families to consider offering the gift of a conference admission to their own pastors and families, so you can attend the conference together.
Q. I have pre-registered for the conference, but I am unable to attend. Can I get a refund? A. Our policy, as published on the conference registration check-out page, is that the conference registration fees are refundable, except for a $5 cancellation fee to cover the online registration and credit card processing fees, if we receive the refund request in writing on or before May 15, 2014.
Q. Can I give my registration to a friend to use if I am unable to attend? A. We are unable to process this, as our registrations are non-transferrable.
Q. When does conference registration open? A. Advance online registration opens in early February and remains open until May 10, 2014.
Q. How do I register after May 10, 2014? A. After May 10, 2014, registration is only available at the door.
Q. Is there an advantage to registering online in advance? A. Yes, we offer a $5 discount for advance online registration. Further, you'll find that it allows for faster check-in upon arrival at the conference.
Q. Why is the Standard Conference Registration fee so much more than the NICHE Member Discounted Conference Registration fee? A. Unlike for-profit conferences, all of the proceeds from our conference go to the ongoing operations of our non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. NICHE is active throughout the entire year, serving Iowa homeschooling families and promoting home education in the state. NICHE membership fees and Homeschool Iowa Conference fees support these ongoing efforts.
Q. Why does my NICHE membership have to have a payment made after May 18, 2013, in order to access the NICHE Member Discounted Conference Registration? A. May 18, 2013, was the last day of our 2013 conference. Setting the cut-off date at that point assures that the NICHE Member Discounted Conference Registration rate is used only once during each membership renewal period. Every time a person logs on our online membership system to pay a one-year fee, one year of NICHE membership is granted, either from the date of payment or in addition to the unexpired renewal date.
Q. How do I get the NICHE Member Code that I need to use in order to access the NICHE Member Discounted Conference Registration rate? A. All NICHE members who qualified for the 2014 NICHE Member conference rate at the time we activated the conference registration system were sent an email with the NICHE Member Code. All new or renewing members now receive the NICHE Member Code in their membership confirmation emails.
Q. Why don't you have the "Special Offer" conference registration -- the one that combined a conference registration with one year of NICHE membership (new or renewal)? A. Even after diligent searching, we have been unable to find an online service that combines both event and membership management that will automatically link an event registration to a membership renewal. Therefore, our administrative assistant has been manually processing all of the hundreds of "Special Offer" conference registrations. This is not only extremely time intensive, but it has the potential for errors. We decided that it is best to have registrants complete their own member application or renewal and then log on for conference registration. We've tried to make this process worth your while by offering a huge $40 discount for conference registration. We really appreciate your cooperation with this new system.
Q. If my husband/wife cannot attend with me, can I bring a friend instead? A. We certainly encourage you to bring friends to our conference; however, they will have to pay the full conference admission fee. We grant free spouse admission to encourage couples to attend together. This is because we see the importance for parents to "be of the same mind" in the formation and implementation of educational decisions.
Q. Is there a discount if my spouse cannot attend with me? A. No. As described in the answer to the previous question, we offer free spouse admission to encourage couples to attend our conference together. We do not offer a discount if the spouse is unable to attend.
Q. Is there a discount if I can only attend one day of the conference? A. No. We have one price, which includes as little or as much as the registrant can attend. Our overall conference expenses are not reduced when some registrants attend less than the full conference. The Homeschool Iowa admission fee is quite reasonable, even if you can only attend only one day.
Q. If I pre-register, where do I check in when I arrive at the conference facility? A. Our conference registration area is located on the west side of Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center (the renovated Veteran's Auditorium facility) on the skywalk/north parking lot level.
Q. Where do I register as a non-pre-registered walk-in? A. Our conference registration area is located on the west side of Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center (the renovated Veteran's Auditorium facility) on the skywalk/north parking lot level.
Q. How do I purchase recordings of conference keynote addresses and workshops? A. CDs and MP3 recordings of keynote addresses and workshops will be available for purchase at the Rhino Technologies booth located at the east side of the conference keynote room, HyVee Hall B. Rhino Technologies sets their own prices and operates independently of NICHE.
Q. Can I purchase conference CDs or MP3s after the conference? A. Yes. Recordings can also be purchased following the conference at the Rhino Technologies website.
Q. What is the Young Entrepreneurs opportunity and how can my child register to participate? A. The Homeschool Iowa Conference is offering this new opportunity for homeschooled entrepreneurs to offer their products and services at our conference. Complete details are available on our Young Entrepreneurs Page.
Serving Families Homeschooling in Iowa - Since 1992 Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators - firstname.lastname@example.org