Over the years we’ve been asked to post some of the following to make your conference planning experience a bit easier. So here we go:
1. Where is the conference taking place?
Our conference takes place right in the host hotel, The Hyatt Regency on Sarasota Bay. When you check into the hotel, you can come to the lower level and find the Montessori Foundation Registration desk in the Pre-Function area right outside the ballrooms.
2. What does Thursday look like?
Registration opens Thursday morning at 8:00 AM in the Prefunction Area of the Lower Level. Registration is open for those participating in the Thursday Leadership Day. Regular conference registration opens at 3:30 PM.
Make sure you come to registration to pick up your registration bag. Your bag will contain many valuable items such as:
- Your conference and registration program booklet for the weekend, showing you where each workshop and meal takes place,
- Your certificate of completion for the weekend (please be aware that this is different than CEUs which can be purchased with your paid registration from Lander, University, Greenwood, SC, See the tab called PRICING AND CEUs for more details),
- Your silent auction bid number,
- Catalogs and other items from exhibitors who couldn’t be with us,
You will be able to start bidding on our silent auction items, and you are invited to an informal meet and greet and small reception in the evening (starting at around 6:30PM). When it’s time for you to register, please respond to the question asking you if you plan to attend this reception so that we may order enough food.
The Hyatt Regency on Sarasota Bay has an array of things to do right on site because they are a destination location. Enjoy an afternoon sun bathing around the lagoon pool, take in a workout in the gym, or go kayaking or paddling around the bay. Manatees and dolphins are often found right in the hotel’s cove. For a small resort fee, you can take an extra day to relax and enjoy before or after the event – just for yourself.
3. Are any school tours arranged?
Since our lab school staff are all attending the conference, NewGate will be closed on Friday. If you are coming into Sarasota earlier in the week, or early on Thursday, and wish to set up an appointment to tour the school, contact: Tanya Ryskind at 941 922 4949 or email: [email protected]
Please go to the Venue tab and look under the GETTING THERE sub-tab.
5. Coming from another country?
If your country requires an US Embassy interview to permit travel, you will more than likely need a letter of invitation from us to show at the interview.
Contact [email protected] for your letter. Your request must contain the following in this exact order:
- Name as it appears on your passport
- Country of Origin
- Expiration Date
- Name of Employer (School name)
- Position at that place of Employment
- Dates of Travel (we can only provide information that includes dates 2 days either side of your travels.) We are unable to provide a letter if you are staying on or traveling to other parts of the US.
We try to have the letters prepared on Montessori Foundation letterhead back to you in PDF format in just a few days. There will be no time for you to arrange for interviews and travel past October 1, so please get any requests to us immediately.
6. Our recording partners EGAMI Audio/Visual
Blake and Connie Stiles have been recording our event for so many years now that we are practically family. They are on site all weekend long with their staff audio recording any session where a presenter has given us permission to do so and filming keynotes and certain sessions.
Attendees will be given access to the recordings. This is part of your registration fee. This will all happen shortly after the event closes. This is a value that’s almost immeasurable since you need not worry that you weren’t able to get into a particular workshop or you were so conflicted about your choices…you’ll have the ability to listen over and over again to get the most out of each session.
7. Are you traveling alone?
Our group will embrace you right away. One of the ways we identify one and other is by our name tags, which are worn at all times during the event hours. At our meet and greet, you will have the opportunity to put colored dots on your name-tag holder that will easily identify you as a Montessori Administrator, Guide (and specific level), etc. You can then introduce yourself, or others can approach you and say, “Join us for a meal, we are all administrators and having a lively discussion,” – you get the drift.
We’ve built incredible relationships over the years. This is how we build and define our community, and is part of what makes our conferences so special.
8. Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!
This year in particular, we have an AMAZING choice of Roundtables going on so PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, make arrangements now to stay on and include the day. You owe it to yourself to get this extra day out of the event.
Our closing ceremony is as much a part of the conference experience as the first moment. Many hug, many cry, many just want to connect on a very human level. Whatever your level of participation during the closing, it’s the perfect way to leave feeling rejuvinated and appreciated. You will be glad that you stayed for the entire conference.
9. Our Cancellation Policy
This bears repeating, we can not refund money paid once you have registered for this event. You may either gift your spot to someone else (just let them into your registration profile and have them put in their selections and name and contact details), or consider this a donation to the Foundation. We can provide a special receipt. Check with your tax accountant for any rules and regulations that apply in your area.