Do you have an organization that might be of interest to people? Is
there some topic or area of research you are developing that you
might like to share with others informally? Are you looking to meet
a certain type of people, to recruit for your school or
organization? Do you consult or offer training? Do you simply think
you are an interesting person, or have an interesting cause or
issue? Do you have an agenda for action? Are you a presenter who
wants to "market" your presentation in advance? Any of these
reasons are good ones to set up a networking niche at the
What is a networking niche?
It's something we thought up as a fun way to help
participants meet each other early on in the conference process. The "niches" are simply designated locations around the conference site where we can set up chairs, and in some cases tables, and where people can gather to discuss a topic.
Following the opening plenary session, we will use the rest of the morning as
a networking session. Participants are free to do one of two
1. You may sponsor a "niche." A niche will consist of a seating area where participants can assemble informally to talk to the niche sponsor. As a sponsor you can tell
people about your organization, your cause, your agenda, etc.
2. Or, you may roam about the conference center, sampling the
various niches and hearing what each sponsor has to say.
We will break the networking period into two sessions. You may
elect to set up a niche for just one session (and
wander around as a participant during the other). If so, please
indicate if you have a preference for the earlier or later session.
Or, you may elect to sponsor a niche for both sessions. Regardless,
if you are sponsoring a niche during a session, you must have
someone available at the niche at all times during the session.
How to sponsor a network niche.
Your stated purpose for sponsoring a niche should have
some relationship to the conference topic.
There is no fee for sponsoring a niche.
You must be a registered participant at the conference.
You may offer printed and educational material for sale, provided it relates in some general fashion to the conference. Materials on cultural and activist issues are fine. Sale of items as part of a standard fundraising approach by your nonprofit organization are also permitted. Private commercial sales of things like arts and crafts, clothing, etc. are not. Display space is limited. We will try to accomodate your needs, but can not guarantee table-size space to everyone.
You should prepare an 8-1/2 by 11 inch announcement of your niche. At the start of the networking exercise, we will place all announcements together on a display wall, along with the location of each niche. This is how people will find you. Some suggestions: Use large lettering, brief and simple descriptions, catchy phrases to develop interest. Avoid lengthy, small print, explanations.
We will have 20 to 25 niches available. Niche sponsors will be signed up on a first come, first served basis.
To register as a niche sponsor, send Email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or see Jeff Hitchcock on the morning of the conference. We will register sponsors up to the start of the networking exercise, space permitting.