2017 NATJA Conference Schedule

Below you will find the NATJA Conference schedule for the 2017 conference in Chapel Hill/Orange County, North Carolina.

Please note that the schedule is subject to change.

Updated: April 18, 2017

Tuesday, May 16 

Pre-conference press trip attendees begin to arrive. 

9:00 am NATJA Conference Check-In Begins
Location: Sheraton Chapel Hill Front Lobby
10:00 am - 12:00pm NATJA Advisory Board Meeting
Location:
Board Room
12:00 pm - 1:00pm Lunch & Opening General Session
Location:
Venetian Room (3rd Floor)
1:00 pm - 2:30pm Opening General Session
Location:
Venetian Room (3rd Floor)
NATJA and the Chapel Hill/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau welcome attendees to Chapel Hill! NATJA Awards Competition winners and finalists will be recognized and celebrated. Our keynote and guest speakers will take the stage. Lunch will be held first, followed by the Opening General Session at about 1:30pm. 
2:30 pm - 2:45 pm Break
Location:
Lobby
Coffee and water are available for your refreshment
2:45 pm - 4:00 pm

Professional Development Workshops: Session 1
Knowing Your Social Media Legal Rights
Meeting Room:
Amsterdam Room
Presenter: Amanda Martin, Communications Lawyer, Stevens Martin Vaughn & Tadych
Learn the legal aspects of social media. What rights do journalists have to get recognition for their work in the digital and social sphere? For DMOs, what should you know before sharing or using others’ content?

Tips for Writing on Social Media to Grow Your Audience
Meeting Room:
London Room
Presenter: Joe Bob Hester, Associate Professor, University of North Carolina School of Media & Journalism
Get insight on how crafting the right headline can attract more eyes to your content while also improving your search engine optimization (SEO) for better ranking on search engines such as Google.

Tips and Tricks on Creating Your Destination Video
Meeting Room: Paris Room
Presenters: Nando Grancelli, award-winning videographer and producer; Yanira Leon, Director of Operations, NATJA
In this interactive workshop, destinations will learn what it takes to craft an appealing story about your destination through a short video to share with the world – on your website, social media networks, and more. This workshop will take you from concept to finished product!

4:00 pm - 4:15 pm Break
Location: Lobby
Coffee, water and snacks are available for your refreshment
4:15 pm - 5:30 pm

Professional Development Workshops: Session 2
Knowing Your Social Media Legal Rights
Meeting Room: Amsterdam Room
Presenter: Amanda Martin, Communications Lawyer, Stevens Martin Vaughn & Tadych
Learn the legal aspects of social media. What rights do journalists have to get recognition for their work in the digital and social sphere? For DMOs, what should you know before sharing or using others’ content?

Tips for Writing on Social Media to Grow Your Audience
Meeting Room:
London Room
Presenter: Joe Bob Hester, Associate Professor, University of North Carolina School of Media & Journalism
Get insight on how crafting the right headline can attract more eyes to your content while also improving your search engine optimization (SEO) for better ranking on search engines such as Google.

Tips and Tricks on Creating Your Destination Video
Meeting Room: Paris Room
Presenters: Nando Grancelli, award-winning videographer and producer; Yanira Leon, Director of Operations, NATJA
In this interactive workshop, destinations will learn what it takes to craft an appealing story about your destination through a short video to share with the world – on your website, social media networks, and more. This workshop will take you from concept to finished product!

5:00 pm NATJA Registration Closes
5:30 pm Professional Development Sessions End
You will have a break before departing for the evening’s activities.
6:30 pm Meet to Depart for Barn of Valhalla
Meeting Location: Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel Lobby
Please arrive promptly or you may miss the bus!
7:00 pm Opening Night Dinner
Location: Barn of Valhalla
Attire: Casual
Kick off your first night of the NATJA Conference with finger-lickin’ good BBQ from the Hillsborough BBQ Company and wash it all down with samples from seven local craft breweries. Enjoy an evening filled with art, music, and performances. Take a scenic walk down to the gazebo over the pond and take in the art from local artists and simply enjoy an evening filled with music, and performances.
8:30 pm Return to Hotel
Last bus leaves at 9:30pm. Attendees who miss the last bus will be on their own for transportation back to the hotel.

Wednesday, May 17

7:30 am Breakfast
Location:
Venetian Room (3rd Floor)
Breakfast buffet and omelet station will be available before the beginning of the General Assembly.
8:00 am - 9:30am

General Assembly
Location: Venetian Room (same as Breakfast)

Welcome to North Carolina!
Favorite Haunts of Traveler’s to North Carolina, including Local Restaurants, Diners, and Barbecue Joints
Presenter: D.G. Martin

D.G. Martin is well-versed on North Carolina literature, history, politics, sports, and the best place to get a good meal in our state. D. G. Martin has spent years traveling the major roadways of North Carolina, on the lookout for community, local history, and, of course, a good home-cooked meal. In D. G.’s address to NATJA he will provide an overview of what makes North Carolina unique:  from its colonial beginnings, fierce fight for independence, the decision to put the nation’s first public University in Chapel Hill and the communities’ ongoing respect for individualism.  D.G. will provide members of the group a colorful description of NC notable local roadway haunts that serve not only as places to eat but also as fixtures of their communities

What Every Author Needs to Know about Working with a Publishing House

Author Panelists: Daniel Wallace, DG Martin, Georgann Eubanks, Sheri Castle
Publisher Panelist: Lucas Church, Associate Editor, UNC Press

Why do so many of us who live in this day of 140 - character tweets, still want to write a book? The answer varies. But regardless of the success of any book, most authors agree that publishing a book cannot be done successfully without the “middlemen,” or the publishing house that helps assure publication, editing, distribution and promotion. It’s these middlemen that bring-on the revenues and audiences, and there continues to be a demand for books of all genres. On a local level, in a college town like Chapel Hill, publishing is a critical part of academia. Local publisher, UNC Press together with four local authors will talk about the challenges and rewards of book publishing in 2017.

The University of North Carolina Press in 1922 was the first university press in the South and one of the first in the nation. Nationally, university-related and independent presses remain committed to both digital formats and printed books. Sales figures aside, printed books are still the preferred format of 65 percent of book readers in the U.S. UNC Press publishes about 100 titles per year over the course of two seasons --fall and spring.
9:30 am - 9:40 am Break
Location:
Lobby
Coffee and water are available for your refreshment
9:40 am - 10:55 am

Professional Development Workshops: Session 3
The Branding of Me, Building and Maintaining a Personal Brand Online

Meeting Room: Amsterdam Room
Presenter: Gary Kayye, Adjunct Professor, University of North Carolina School of Media & Journalism
Building and maintaining a personal brand online is vital in today’s world. Stay in the loop on the key tools for building your brand.

Photo and Videojournalism on Your Smartphone: Tips, Tricks and Mistakes to Avoid
Meeting Room: London Room
Presenter: Bridgette Cyr, Graduate Student, University of North Carolina School of Media & Journalism
Your smartphone can be one of your most powerful tools for photo and video journalism. Learn how to use it to its fullest potential!

How Being an Award-Winner Can Enhance Your Brand
Meeting Room:
Paris Room
Moderator: Helen Hernandez, CEO, NATJA
Panelists
: Tamra Jane Corbin, Media Relations Manager, Branson Convention & Visitors Bureau; Tonya Fitzpatrick, journalist, lawyer and author, World Footprints Media; Tim Leffel, author, freelance writer, and editor/blogger, Cheapest Destinations Blog and Perceptive Travel; Don Mankin, travel writer and author, Adventure Transformations; and Gustavo Rivas-Solis, Director, Latitude International
Whether you’re a travel journalist or a destination, winning an award can be a tool to enhance your brand. Learn from recent NATJA Award Winners how submitting and placing in competitions can boost a travel journalist’s or destination’s public profile.

10:55 am - 11:05 am Break
Location:
Lobby
Coffee, water and snacks are available for your refreshment
11:05 am - 12:20 pm

Professional Development Workshops: Session 4
The Branding of Me, Building and Maintaining a Personal Brand Online
Meeting Room: Amsterdam Room
Presenter: Gary Kayye, Adjunct Professor, University of North Carolina School of Media & Journalism
Building and maintaining a personal brand online is vital in today’s world. Stay in the loop on the key tools for building your brand.

Photo and Videojournalism on Your Smartphone: Tips, Tricks and Mistakes to Avoid
Meeting Room:
London Room
Presenter: Bridgette Cyr, Graduate Student, University of North Carolina School of Media & Journalism
Your smartphone can be one of your most powerful tools for photo and video journalism. Learn how to use it to its fullest potential!

How Being an Award-Winner Can Enhance Your Brand
Meeting Room:
Paris Room
Moderator: Helen Hernandez, CEO, NATJA
Panelists
: Tamra Jane Corbin, Media Relations Manager, Branson Convention & Visitors Bureau; Tonya Fitzpatrick, journalist, lawyer and author, World Footprints Media; Tim Leffel, author, freelance writer, and editor/blogger, Cheapest Destinations Blog and Perceptive Travel; Don Mankin, travel writer and author, Adventure Transformations; and Gustavo Rivas-Solis, Director, Latitude International
Whether you’re a travel journalist or a destination, winning an award can be a tool to enhance your brand. Learn from recent NATJA Award Winners how submitting and placing in competitions can boost a travel journalist’s or destination’s public profile.

12:20 pm Professional Development Ends
You will have an opportunity to return to your room and prepare for your afternoon activity.
12:50 pm Meet to Depart for Afternoon Tours
Meeting Location: Sheraton Chapel Hill Lobby
Depart for afternoon activities. Make sure that you are on the right bus: Check the back of your badge for your tour schedule. Please arrive promptly or you may miss the bus!
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Afternoon Tours
Click here to view each tour's full description.
  • Option 1: Carolina on My Mind - Just updated!
  • Option 2: Discover Hillsborough, NC
  • Option 3: Orange County Farm Tour
  • Option 4: Explore Chapel Hill
  • Option 5: Feel Free, It's Carrboro
  • Option 6: Downtime on Your Own
5:00 pm Return to Hotel/Downtime
Attendees begin to arrive back at the Sheraton Chapel Hill from the afternoon tours. You will have the opportunity to return to your hotel room and freshen up before heading out for the evening’s activities.
6:15 pm Meet to Depart for Dine Around
Meeting Location: Sheraton Chapel Hill Front Lobby
Please arrive promptly or you may miss the bus!
6:30 pm Dine Around
Location: Various
From traditional Southern cuisine to Indian, Greek, to Asian fusion and more, there is a restaurant for everyone! Click here to view the full list of restaurant choices from which you can select!
8:30 pm Return to Hotel
Buses will run until 9:30pm to take attendees back to the Sheraton Chapel Hill. Meet at your designated pick up spot.

Thursday, May 18

6:30 am - 10:30 am Breakfast
Location: Carolina 1663 (take the elevator behind the front lobby to the 2nd floor; the restaurant will be on the right)
Breakfast will be available from 6:30am to 10:30am at the hotel restaurant. Please be sure to bring the voucher you received at check-in.
8:30 am - 11:30 am Exhibitor Marketplace
Location: Europa Ballroom
11:30 am - 12:50 pm Break/Downtime
Location:
Europa Ballroom
12:50 pm Meet to Depart for Afternoon Tours
Meeting Location: Sheraton Chapel Hill Front Lobby
Depart for afternoon activities. Make sure that you are on the right bus: Check the back of your badge for your tour schedule. Please arrive promptly or you may miss the bus!
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Afternoon Tours
Click here to view each tour's full description.
  • Option 1: Carolina on My MindJust updated!
  • Option 2: Discover Hillsborough, NC
  • Option 3: Orange County Farm Tour
  • Option 4: Explore Chapel Hill
  • Option 5: Feel Free, It's Carrboro
  • Option 6: Downtime on Your Own
5:00 pm Return to Hotel/Downtime
Attendees begin to arrive back at the Sheraton Chapel Hill from the afternoon tours. You will have the opportunity to return to your hotel room and freshen up before heading out for the evening’s activities.
6:15 pm Meet to Depart for Closing Dinner
Meeting Location: Sheraton Chapel Hill Lobby
Please arrive promptly or you may miss the bus!
6:30pm Closing Reception & Dinner
Location: The Carolina Inn
Attire: Business casual
Join us as we thank and bid farewell to Chapel Hill, Hillsborough and Carrboro, and find out where next year’s conference will take place!

The Carolina Inn is a beautiful and well-known icon on the UNC campus in downtown Chapel Hill that architecturally represents both the colonial and antebellum South. The 1924 design incorporates late 18th century elements from George Washington's Mount Vernon, particularly the two-story portico and cupola on the original Cameron Avenue façade, and early 19th elements from Richland, a plantation house in Louisiana. The Richland elements include the familiar hipped-gable brick end walls with integral flat double chimneys above a central demi-lune window.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Carolina Inn offers an atmosphere of elegance and the spirit of tradition. Furnished with antiques, North Carolina made furniture, interesting artwork and historical images, this hotel on the UNC campus has offered guests the finest lodging, fine dining, and excellent hospitality for more than eight decades.
9:00pm Return to Hotel
Bus will take attendees back to the Sheraton Chapel Hill.

Friday, May 19

POST-FAM TRIP DEPARTURE TIMES

Make sure you have checked out before your departure time.

Stay and Explore More in Chapel Hill & Carrboro: 10:00 am
The Crystal Coast: 10:00am
#OBXnow Outer Banks Immersion: 8:30 am
Meeting Location: Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel Lobby

Transfers to the Airport

Transportation to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport will be available at the top of the hour starting at 7:00 am. The last bus will depart at 12:00 pm. Meet the bus shuttles at the hotel entrance.

Bus shuttle schedule may change depending on travel itineraries.