Be sure to check your local chapter and district websites for events! LPA is a membership organization and most events are only open to individuals with dwarfism and their families. Have a question? Contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org or your local chapter or district for more information. Click here for a current list of Spring 2015 Regional Meetings and events.
Tips for Attending a Conference
New to LPA National Conferences?
These tips are geared towards families. If you have tips for any age group, please feel free to pass them on to us at email@example.com. We will update this page as needed.
1) Attending a conference may, or may not, qualify as a ‘vacation’. If your idea of a vacation is lots of free time and laying by a pool or beach, then this may not qualify. Conferences are action-packed, with lots of activities going on all the time, especially if you are involved or have children involved in DAAA, or have kids who will be interested in the nightly dances.
2) Before you bring the rest of family, think about the location and activities. Talk about it as a family and decide what is right for you.
3) DAAA – the Dwarf Athletic Association is a sister-organization to LPA and incredibly important. We strongly recommend every one to make the time to participate in the DAAA activities. Boys are more apt to participate, but girls really need to participate too. It gives a whole different aspect to the week. Don’t be stopped by age or ability – give it a try! It’s a great way to make to make friends for both you and your child.
4) Take walkie-talkies or cell phones to stay in contact with your family.
5) Try to plan one afternoon or day to see the local sights. Most of your time will be spent inside the hotel or at the DAAA venue. It’s nice to have one day or afternoon where you see the local city
6) Take a highlighter. When you get to conference and receive the Conference Book, go through it and highlight the events or workshops you want to attend. It’s too easy for time to get away from you and you will end up missing valuable events.
7) Take business cards or create family business cards. You will meet many people during the course of the week. Create a family business card so that you can quickly exchange information with others. If you have a teen, have them create their own.
8) Food Tips: A week of hotel food is pricey so try to these tips to make it more manageable.
If you are driving consider bringing a 4-cup coffee maker or a toaster. Comes in handy for bagel, toast, etc. and will save you money in the morning.
Find a grocery store and purchase non-perishable grab-and-go items like granola bars, cereal, bread, peanut butter, crackers. Although the hotels technically do not condone outside food, if you are careful and tactful most will let it in; just don’t travel through the lobby with a huge cooler on wheels and cases of drinks on the bellman’s cart. They will frown upon that. The hotel staff may not come to you directly, but they will go to the Conference Chairs.
9) Hotel Tips: Keep your hotel key, credit cards and your cell phone separate. The cards can become demagnetized and nothing is more irritating that not being able to enter your hotel room or use your credit card when you need to.
Carry your ID with you at all times. Make sure your children have some type of ID on them.
Be aware going in that you may end up giving your child more freedom at a conference than you would in a typical situation. Stay in contact. Talk honestly with your kids and tell them the expectations you have of their behavior. If you are a parent of teen or pre-teen, take a book or magazine and be prepared to meet people and hang out in the lobby. LPA has everyone from brand-new parents with a baby, to young adults who are there to socialize, to seniors. Respect everyone for what they are there for. LPA serves different needs for different age groups.
10) Attend the workshops. There is so much great information that has been carefully chosen and prepared. Please take advantage of them.
11) Be aware of the post-conference let-down. Whether it’s you or your child, leaving the safety, comfort, and friendships at the hotel on the last day can be hard. Sometimes it's good to save a day or two on the way home just to unwind and ease back in to daily life.