First-Time Attendees at the 2021 NCFR Conference

First Time Attending the NCFR Annual Conference?

Here's what to expect:

  • The Theory Construction and Research Methodology Workshop on Tuesday, Nov. 2
  • Three days (Wed. - Fri.) packed with research and practice presentations by your colleagues — paper presentations, symposia, roundtables, and workshops
  • Three plenary addresses (the major presenters at the conference)
  • Special sessions featuring invited presenters
  • 13 interactive poster sessions
  • Social receptions
  • NCFR member group meetings (e.g. sections, focus groups, committees)

Here is some more basic information to get you ready for your first NCFR conference. If you have a question you don't see answered here, you can chat with us during business hours at the Conference Virtual Help Desk.


Conference Hours

  • All business meetings are scheduled before the main conference begins, from Wednesday, Oct. 27 to Tuesday, Nov. 2.
  • Academic sessions are scheduled for Nov. 2-5, between 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central Time.
  • Section meetings, focus group meetings, and receptions are scheduled between 5 and 9 p.m. Central Time.


Access the Conference

Access to all sessions during the conference (including Zoom meeting links) will be through Whova, our 2021 Conference Platform. You will also be able to view session abstracts, recordings, University Reception participants, and connect and chat with other attendees through chats and meet-ups. Go to Whova.

Find session recordings by searching the program schedule.


Conference Tips

These tips were suggested by NCFR conference veterans.

  1. Go to the Newcomers Welcome event (Tuesday, Nov. 2 at 4–5 p.m. session #132). Mix and mingle with other first-time attendees, as well as other family scholars and professionals attending the conference. There are prizes, and more information to help make the most of your conference experience and involvement with NCFR.
  2. Attend sessions marked “SNP." That stands for "Students and New Professionals." These sessions are designed for anyone who is currently pursuing a degree or earned their last degree within the last five years, but anyone is welcome! Find a filtered list of SNP sessions in the conference schedule.
  3. Connect with presenters. Attend sessions on topics you’re interested in, take notes, and introduce yourself to the presenter(s) after their session. Arrange a time to chat or meet-up with them later during the conference or ask if you can call or email them. A big part of the conference is networking and making connections, and most presenters are happy to see people take interest in their work and discuss it further.
  4. Remember to eat and take breaks. It can be easy to get swept up into the busyness of the conference.
  5. Download the conference app to create your own schedule. It’s also a quick and easy way to review past or upcoming sessions and get the latest updates when you’re on the go.

Have fun! Tag your social media updates from the conference with the hashtag #ncfr21 and see what else people are posting. You might learn about an upcoming session or make a new connection.