Frequently Asked Questions

This page will be regularly updated with current information and new questions and answers about the CNPS 2018 Conservation Conference. Please contact cnps@cnps.org if you have additional questions not listed here.


General Questions

Why did CNPS pick this venue?

At CNPS, we’re all about native plants and natural places, so you might find it strange that we picked urban Los Angeles for our Conservation Conference! While we too wish that we could hold our conference in a remote natural area in the high Sierra, the beautiful Mojave, or the majestic redwoods that we all love, there are a few important reasons why we chose the LAX Marriott for 2018 – and why we are so thrilled to be there:

  • We want our conference to be in an easy-to-access location where travel isn’t a barrier, so everyone is able to get there without a big hassle. Less than 1.5 miles from LAX, this venue couldn’t be any easier to get to.
  • Not many conference centers in remote areas are large enough and/or cost-effective enough for a group of our size – we can achieve more when we all work together, so we want everybody to be there!
  • Plus, once you arrive and see how phenomenally perfect the LAX Marriott’s meeting spaces are for our conference, you’ll be just as excited as we are.

Los Angeles will be a fantastic locale for our unique gathering. And if you’re itching to get outside, you can take a pre-conference field trip with a local expert and get to know the plants and natural places of greater LA! Click here for more information about the venue.

Will WiFi be available at the conference?

Free WiFi will be available in all conference spaces (session rooms, exhibit hall, side meeting rooms, workshops, etc.). For overnight guests at the LAX Marriott, free WiFi is available for Marriott Rewards members, which is free to sign up for. You can sign up when you make your reservation, when you check in to the Marriott, or online now.

Can I bring a guest?

Everyone attending sessions and other conference events must be registered for the conference. Guest tickets (for those not registered for the conference) will be available for the Friday Banquet only. There are many great attractions in Los Angeles (parks, museums, and more – see Local Attractions for a detailed list), offering plenty for your family to do and see while you attend the conference.

What dining options are available?

There are three restaurants onsite at the LAX Marriott, plus a Starbucks coffee bar. Other restaurants are within a short walk or drive, or you can take the Ocean Express Beach Trolley from the hotel to Manhattan Beach, where you will find plenty of fun places to eat and things to do.

I’m interested in volunteering. Where can I find out what opportunities are still available?

Check out the Volunteers page for an up-to-date list of available opportunities and information on volunteer rebates.

My group/organization wants to hold a meeting while we’re at the conference. What are our options?

Associated meeting rooms are available free of charge during the conference (priority use is given to conference sponsors). Visit the Associated Meetings page to learn more.

What items will be available for bidding at the auction?

The list of auction items will be maintained on the Auctions & Drawings page.

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Registration

What is the cancellation/refund policy for conference, workshop, and field trip registrations?

If you have to cancel your registration, please e-mail your cancellation request to Becky Reilly, breilly@cnps.org, as soon as possible. The last day to cancel your registration and receive any refund is Friday, January 5, 2018. Refunds are subject to a $50 processing fee.

Please understand that in the month leading up to the conference, CNPS makes budgetary decisions based on the number of registered attendees, which is why we implement a strict cancellation deadline. If you need to cancel your registration after the stated cancellation deadline, CNPS will be unable to issue a refund for your registration and you will forfeit your payment, regardless of personal or professional emergency. However, if you have to cancel after January 5, please still let us know.

Alternatively, registration name changes are accepted, without penalty, until Friday, January 19, 2018. See below for details.

Can I change the name on my registration (i.e., transfer my registration to someone else)?

Yes. Registration name changes are accepted, without penalty, until Friday, January 19, 2018. Please have the original registrant e-mail Becky Reilly (breilly@cnps.org) with the name and e-mail of the person who will be attending in their place. If the original registration was purchased at the CNPS member rate, but the attendee whose name is being changed onto the registration is not a CNPS member, you may be asked to pay the difference between the CNPS member and non-member rate. If the original registration was purchased at the non-member rate, and the attendee whose name is being changed onto the registration is a CNPS member, then the difference in registration rates will not be refunded.

What payment methods does the online registration system accept?

Our secure online registration system accepts major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Maestro).

What will my registration transaction appear as on my credit card billing statement?

Before a transaction clears, it may show as something related to Blackbaud (e.g., Blackbaud San Diego, *BB pending, or similar), which is our payment processing platform. Once the transaction clears, it will show up as “CNPS 916-447-2677”.

How else can I register besides the online system?

While registering online is the easiest and most secure method (and it ensures your spot is held instantly!), you may e-mail breilly@cnps.org to request a printable (PDF) registration form to complete and return to CNPS with a check or your credit card information.

Please note that CNPS is unable to hold or reserve registration spots until payment has been received in full (see agency exception below).

My employer is covering my registration. How do I sign up?

If your employer is covering your registration fee, a supervisor or other purchaser may register you online using a company credit card, CAL-Card, etc., and the registration will still be correctly recorded under your name as the attendee, even if the cardholder name is different.

If your employer would like to pay by check, please contact Becky Reilly, breilly@cnps.org. You will be asked to complete an offline registration form, and mail that in with your payment. Your spot will be held when payment has been received by CNPS.

If your employer would prefer to pay by invoice, please contact Becky Reilly, breilly@cnps.org. You will be asked to complete and return an offline registration form, and upon receipt, CNPS will generate an invoice for your registration fee. Your spot will be reserved when the invoice is paid in full. Payment must be received before the stated registration deadline.

Agency exception: If you are employed by a government agency, and are unable to provide payment by credit card or check before the registration deadline, CNPS will accept a signed purchase order for your registration instead as a last resort. The signed purchase order must be received by CNPS (c/o Becky Reilly, breilly@cnps.org) before the registration deadline. CNPS will hold your spot and invoice your employer upon receipt of the signed purchase order.

If you are paying by check, invoice, or purchase order, we strongly recommend starting this process early. If your employer is covering your registration fee, we understand that it can often take some time to get funding approved and payment made, so starting early increases the likelihood of CNPS receiving your registration fee payment (or a signed purchase order from an agency) to hold your spot before the event reaches capacity or the registration deadline passes.

I am a conference sponsor/exhibitor. How do I register attendees from my organization?

Upon receiving payment for your sponsorship or booth, CNPS will send you forms to register your complimentary and/or discounted attendees for the conference, banquet, and workshops. If you need us to resend your confirmation packet with these forms, please contact Becky Reilly, breilly@cnps.org. If you would like to register more people than your sponsorship includes, please use the online registration system.

Can I register for the conference now and add a workshop or field trip later?

Yes, you may register for workshops/field trips separately – just know that pre-conference events do have capacity limits and will fill up quickly, so we recommend that you register early to secure your spot.

Do I have to register for the conference to attend a workshop or field trip?

You may attend a workshop or field trip without attending the conference – however, workshops are substantially discounted for those attending the conference.

I am a session speaker and/or presenting a poster – do I need to register to attend?

Yes, all speakers and presenters must register to attend the conference. At a minimum, you can purchase a one-day registration for the day you are scheduled to present, but know that the schedule is subject to change, and you will get the best deal for your money by attending all three days!

I am an invited speaker – do I need to register?

Yes, all speakers and presenters must register to attend the conference. At a minimum, you can purchase a one-day registration for the day you are scheduled to present, but know that the schedule is subject to change, and you will get the best deal for your money by attending all three days!

Does my registration include any meals?

Your registration includes coffee and snack breaks each day, however in order to keep registration costs down, no full meals are provided. Tickets for the Friday Banquet include dinner during the banquet.

For other meals, there are three restaurants onsite at the LAX Marriott, plus a Starbucks coffee bar. Other restaurants are within a short walk or drive, or you can take the Ocean Express Beach Trolley from the hotel to Manhattan Beach, where you will find plenty of fun places to eat and things to do.

What does my registration include?

Registration includes conference materials, admission to concurrent, plenary, and poster sessions as well as the exhibit hall, refreshment breaks, social hours, and arts events for all three days (or the day you register for if purchasing a single day registration). The banquet, workshops, and field trips carry additional fees. Attendees receive discounted hotel room rates at the LAX Marriott and reduced self-parking ($20 per night).

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Hotel & Travel

How do I reserve a room at the LAX Marriott at the discounted conference rate?

Click here for information about room rates & reservations. Reservations must be made directly with the hotel, by phone or through the online link provided, no later than Monday, January 8, 2018.

How do I change or cancel my hotel reservation?

Any changes to hotel reservations are made directly through Marriott by calling (310) 641-5700.

Will my credit be charged by the Marriott when I book a room?

No. You will be asked to provide a credit card to guarantee your reservation, but you will not be charged until you check in at the hotel (see cancellation policy information below).

I accidentally booked a room at the regular (non-conference) rate – how do I change my reservation and get the discounted conference attendee rate?

Please call the LAX Marriott at (310) 641-5700 and tell them you need to make a change to your reservation. Be sure to let them know that you are attending the CNPS Conservation Conference. They can easily make this change for you over the phone.

What is the Marriott’s cancellation policy?

You will have until the day before your scheduled arrival to cancel without penalty. Cancellations within one day of arrival will forfeit one night’s room and tax.

Which airport is closest to the conference?

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is less than 1.5 miles from the hotel. The LAX Marriott provides a free shuttle to and from LAX. Other LA area airports (Burbank, Long Beach) are within driving distance, but no shuttle service is provided.

Are discounted hotel rates at the LAX Marriott available if I plan to arrive early or stay late in LA?

Yes – discounted conference attendee rates are honored three days before and after the conference (Jan. 25 – Feb. 6; based on availability, so reserve early!) so you can be flexible with your travel plans. Get the details and reservation procedures.

Can I share a hotel room with someone?

Absolutely. If you’re looking for someone to share a hotel room with, check out the 2018 Room and Ride Share Forum (COMING SOON) and click here for details on nightly rates at the LAX Marriott.

Are there carpools or ride shares available?

If you’re looking to save some gas, check out the 2018 Room and Ride Share Forum (COMING SOON) to find some new road trip friends!

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Students

I am a student planning to attend the conference. How do I request travel and/or registration funding?

Check out the Students page for information about student funding from CNPS. You may also appeal directly to your local chapter. Funding priority will go to students presenting papers or posters, then to student CNPS members. If you’d like to join CNPS at the student rate, visit www.cnps.org/join and maximize your funding potential!

What support is provided for student attendees?

Registration rates for full-time students are substantially discounted, and students may apply for further funding for registration and travel by appealing to CNPS or their local chapter directly – see the Students page for more details. Students are welcome to share hotel rooms at the Marriott to further save on costs. We are also planning networking events to assist students in connecting with each other and potential employers, as well as a job and résumé board.

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Friday Banquet

What will the meal choices be for the Friday Banquet?

See the Banquet page for details.

Do I have to register for the conference to attend the Friday Banquet?

You may attend the Friday Banquet without attending the conference, but you must purchase a “Guest” (non-registered attendee) ticket. Please see the Registration Information page for more information and pricing.

Can I bring a guest to the Friday Banquet?

Guest tickets (for anyone who is not attending the conference) are available for purchase for the Friday Banquet. Please see the Registration Information page for more information and pricing.

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Spreading the Word / Media & Publicity

Is there an official hashtag for the 2018 Conference that I can use on social media?

Yes – use #CNPS2018 to join the conversation!

How can I help promote the conference?

We appreciate all the extra help we can get to spread the word about the Conservation Conference! The Media page houses “canned” copy of varying lengths which you can use in e-mails, newsletters, on websites, and more, as well as conference logos and ads. Or, to request printed flyers, sponsor/exhibitor prospectuses, and more, contact Becky Reilly, breilly@cnps.org.

I want to write an article or news story on the conference – who should I contact for more information?

To get started, please contact Becky Reilly at CNPS (breilly@cnps.org). We appreciate any extra help in spreading the word about the big event!

I want to add an article about the conference to my chapter or organization’s newsletter. Is there canned copy available?

Yes, the Media page includes canned copy which you can use verbatim or edit to suit your needs.

Are there advertising materials available?

Yes, a check the Media page for canned copy and graphic ads. We can also send you flyers and other printed materials to hand out, just contact Becky Reilly, breilly@cnps.org.

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Sponsors & Exhibitors / Exhibit Hall

I am a conference sponsor/exhibitor. How do I register attendees from my organization?

Upon receiving payment for your sponsorship or booth, CNPS will send you forms to register your complimentary and/or discounted attendees for the conference, banquet, and workshops. If you need us to resend your confirmation packet with these forms, please contact Becky Reilly (breilly@cnps.org). If you would like to register more people than your sponsorship includes, please use the online registration system.

Where can I get information on sponsoring or exhibiting?

Click here for information on sponsorship opportunities, and click here for exhibitor opportunities.

When will the exhibit hall be open?

The exhibit hall will tentatively be open from 9:30 AM to 7:00 PM on Thursday, February 1, from 9:40 AM to 5:00 PM on Friday, February 2, and from 9:40 AM to 3:00 PM on Saturday, February 3. Highest traffic times will be during the morning and afternoon coffee/snack breaks held in the exhibit hall, and during the Opening Reception on Thursday.

I am an exhibitor and I am not interested in attending sessions or other events, only staffing my table. Do I still need to register for the conference?

Yes. All exhibitor booth staff/personnel must be registered for the conference, even if you do not plan to attend sessions or other conference events. Persons without valid conference badges will not be allowed into the exhibit hall. We provide one complimentary registration for each exhibiting organization for this purpose.

When is set up/break down for the exhibit hall?

Exhibitor set up will be on Wednesday, January 31, from 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM, on Thursday, February 1, from 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM (all booths must be set by 9 AM for 9:30 AM opening), and Friday and Saturday mornings (February 2-3) from 9:00 AM – 9:40 AM.

Exhibitor break down will be from 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM on Saturday, February 3. All exhibits must be broken down by 5:00 PM Saturday.

Is the exhibit hall located near other conference sessions and events?

Yes! All conference sessions, registration, and events will be held on the Ballroom Level of the LAX Marriott. The exhibit hall will be located in the Imperial Ballroom, which is adjacent to the session and meeting spaces, for maximum exposure and easy navigation. See the LAX Marriott page for details on the conference layout.

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