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NCA First Timer Tips and Tricks

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

With NCA right around the corner and with many being first-time attendees our community has gathered some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the experience.


The most obvious reason people go to NCA is to network, some tips on the subject:

  1. Scholars office hours! Don't be afraid to go to your favorite scholarly celebrity office hours. You never know how it may go. With this, it is okay if the meeting doesn't go the way you expect

  2. Look for connections everywhere! Waiting for a panel? Make a new friend, talk to the people next to you. You never know who you might meet.

  3. Plan plan plan! Know who you want to see and when. While random connections are great, NCA is a perfect time to reconnect too.

  4. Don't be afraid to go to dinner with the random people you meet at panels! You never know who they will become, your next mentor, a new friend, or a new colleague.

  5. Bring business cards! It helps with networking and making an impact.



Panels are another huge factor for NCA. Some advice on going to a panel:

  1. Go to panels that you find interesting! You don't have time to go to them all so picking panels that most apply to your interests is important.

  2. Ask questions at the end! It helps the scholar and you.

  3. Talk to the presenters afterward if you want to connect! While another way to network, talking to panelists is a good way to make connections and get more out of a panel.


There are things other than panels and networking to do at NCA. Division business meetings and resource fairs are important too:


  1. Attend division business meetings related to your research niche/subdiscipline. It's a way to 'get a feel' for the communities present at NCA and find a fit that's right for you.

  2. Resource fairs are great - BOOKS. All the books.



Some more general tips:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the lay of the land, ie food, coffee, and hotel.

  2. Don’t try to do it all - you can’t.

  3. Make time to recoup from longer sessions/days. Take breaks. Not everything has to be work


Check out our events page for more NCA related information


For more information and tips check out NCA’s website for first-time attendees


All blog posts are the property of individual writers and collaborators. Singular blog posts do not represent a consensus across all of the members of End-of-Life and Death Scholars, as an organization, nor do they claim to represent a consensus unless otherwise stated. These are the original ideas and insights of individual scholars and are not wholly representative of the nonprofit itself. Contact individual authors to continue the conversation on a case-by-case basis. End-of-Life and Death Scholars do not recommend undertaking any health or wellness claim stated in this online forum without speaking with a qualified care physician first.

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