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Notes from the Backpack Podcast

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General Questions

When and where is this year's convention?

The 2019 National PTA Convention & Expo will be June 20-23, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, 400 N High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

Who should attend convention?

We encourage PTA members, non-members, education professionals, community leaders and others interested in the education and well-being of children to register. Over 1,500 of the nation's most influential educational leaders, parents and experts will be at convention.

Where are the host hotels?

Hilton Columbus Downtown
401 N High Street
Columbus, OH 43215

Hyatt Regency Columbus
350 N High Street
Columbus, OH 43215

What is the schedule for convention?

View the agenda. The schedule is tentative and is subject to change.

What dates should I book my travel to ensure that I won’t miss any of the Convention? 

Plan to arrive Wednesday night and you can experience it all! Convention activities start Thursday, June 20 at 8:00 a.m. and conclude by 11:15 a.m. Sunday, June 23 after the closing general meeting.

What can I expect if I attend convention?

At the 2019 National PTA Convention & Expo, you will:

  • Get innovative ideas to use at school and at home.
  • Be inspired by speakers with proven strategies for success.
  • Learn helpful solutions to challenges PTAs face every day.
  • Enjoy captivating performances at our awards ceremony.
  • Network with the best in the industry through meetups and other sessions.


Are there any special activities or events that I will be able to participate in while at the convention?

There are several events and special activities that you may choose to participate in during convention. Please note that some of the ticketed events are an additional charge. Your registration fee entitles you entrance into:

All of the events that require additional fees are included on your registration form. For these events, tickets are limited in quantity and it is required that you purchase these tickets in advance of your arrival in Columbus. Tickets for special events will not be sold onsite at convention.

Endowment Luncheon
Friday, June 21, 12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Tickets: $45 each

National PTA Awards and Reflections 50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner
Saturday, June 22, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 
Tickets Prices:
$100 Reserved Seating 
$65 Non-Reserved Seating
$45 Kids meal available for children 18 years and under

Diversity and Inclusion Breakfast
Sunday, June 23, 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Tickets: $35 each

I am a first-time convention attendee, what can I expect?

Whether you are looking for ways to diversify your PTA’s leadership, increase interest in local PTA events, find no-hassle fundraising ideas or increase and diversify your membership and volunteer leaders, the 2019 National PTA Convention & Expo has opportunities for you to discover it all.

Will I have any free time during the convention to explore the city?

We built the schedule so that most evenings are on your own to explore Columbus. Columbus is a great destination, loaded with live entertainment, great food and shopping. View all things to do in Columbus.

I heard there’s a baseball game event? How can I attend?

Yes! You can enjoy exciting Columbus Clippers baseball action, cool food and fun with your PTA family and friends at a pre-convention event Wednesday, June 19! The Columbus Clippers (the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians) will be facing off against the Rochester Red Wings at 7:05 p.m. at Huntington Park (a 10-minute walk from the Convention Center). Special-priced food and drinks will be available for $1. Buy your box-seat tickets in the PTA Section for $14 by June 16 through Groupmatics.

For more information, contact Jacob Fleming, Assistant Director, Columbus Clippers (614)-462-5250 or

Will there be daycare offered at convention?

PTA does not provide daycare services at convention. Please contact the hotel to inquire about babysitting and children’s program services.

What happens at the general meetings?

General meetings are where delegates help National PTA conduct the business of the association. There will be five general meetings held during the convention week. All convention delegates attend these general meetings to vote on national resolutions, bylaws and the election of the association’s officers, and board members. Special guest speakers, national announcements and award presentations also make these sessions memorable.

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Voting Credentials Questions

Why Electronic Voting?

Electronic voting streamlines and simplifies the voting process. National PTA uses electronic voting during some of its general meetings.

If you are selected as a delegate (see delegate question), you will receive voting instruments (a keypad card and a voting card) when you check in at registration and you will be provided an explanation of how to use both cards. Both will be used during general sessions, so carry both with you to all general meetings.  When electronic voting is planned for a general session, you will exchange the keypad card for an electronic keypad device as you enter general meetings and you will be given instructions on using the keypad.

What is a delegate?

While anyone can attend and enjoy the 2019 National PTA Convention & Expo, only PTA members forming the voting body are able to vote during meetings and elections. National PTA Bylaws define the voting body as members of National PTA governance and delegates selected by state PTAs. The potential number of delegates named by each state PTA is based on state PTA membership. If you have questions about becoming a delegate, please contact your state PTA office. When you check in at registration, you will be told if you have been selected as a state PTA delegate and, if not, provided guidance on how you may be able to change your delegate status.

How do I get my voting credential card?

National PTA does not use credential cards. Most delegate names are provided by state PTAs prior to the start of convention. If you have been named as a delegate, you will receive a delegate badge and voting instruments when you check at convention. If you have not been named as a delegate prior to arrival at convention, credentialing staff will explain the process for gaining delegate status while you are onsite. Please be sure to carry your PTA membership card to identify you as a member.

I joined PTA as a National Supporting Member, can I receive voting credentials?

National Supporting members may not be credentialed in accordance with National PTA Bylaws. If you would like the opportunity to be selected as a delegate, join a local or state PTA.

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Exhibit Questions

What can I expect when attending the Expo at this year’s convention?

You’ll be able to explore over 100 exhibits from companies and non-profit organizations providing products and services for PTAs and schools. Find the latest information and ideas on child and school safety, fundraising, health and fitness, education and much more!

How can I find out if a specific company will be exhibiting at the national convention?

Check out the complete list of 2019 convention exhibitors.

When will the Exhibit Hall be open?

The Exhibit Hall is open the following two days:

  • Friday, June 21, 10:45 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 22, 10:15 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Where can I purchase official PTA merchandise during the convention?

The PTA Store, provided by, will be selling PTA merchandise in the Expo Hall.

What is offered at the National PTA Booth?

The National PTA Booth will be in the Expo Hall. Stop by to help us celebrate the 50th anniversary of our Reflections arts program! See our exhibit of national award-winning student artwork.

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Registration Questions

How can I register for this year's convention?

There are three ways to register:

Online in Advance (by credit card or purchase order (PO). It is quick, easy, and secure. Our online registration is now open. Online registrants paying by PO must register and submit payment to National PTA by May 1, 2019. Plan ahead!

Plan to Pay by Purchase Order?
Please note: This option is only available online, and your registration and payment must be received by National PTA by May 1, 2019 or your registration will be cancelled. 

Mail in Advance (by check, money order, or credit card). Complete the registration form and mail it, postmarked by June 10, 2019, along with payment to:

2019 National PTA Convention & Expo
Showcare Event Solutions
1200 G Street NW
Suite 800
Washington, DC 20005-6705

Onsite (by check or credit card). Onsite registration begins Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. in the Hall B pre-function space. 

If I select to pay by purchase order online, how long will it take to receive the invoice so I can process my payment?
The invoice will be sent automatically. Please make sure to reference registrant(s) name and order number(s) with payment by May 1, 2019.

Can convention costs be covered by my PTA budget?

Convention registration fees and travel costs are legitimate expenses that can be included in your PTA budget. Many PTAs budget to attend convention every year. While other organizations charge thousands of dollars for a 4-day conference like ours—we keep registration fees low to allow as many PTA leaders as possible to attend. This is just one way National PTA invests in its members and volunteer leaders. By seeking sponsors and outside funding to defray the costs of convention, we can keep early registration fees as low as $250 per member (and as low as $190 if you register early with a group from your local unit). 

What are this year's registration rates? 

Registration Category 


Jan 15Mar 18 

Regular Rate

Mar 19June 18
June 15, if by mail


Jun 19Jun 22 

Member Full




Member Full - Group (3+ Members)

$190 Each

$265 Each

$340 Each

Member One-Day




Student w/ ID




Non-Member Full




Non-Member One-Day




How do I register multiple attendees at once?

You can register online for your whole group now! PTA members can save $60 per person on registration rates when registering as a group. All 3 or more members must register at the same time to be considered a group.

When is the last day I can register and still receive the Advance Registration discount?

Registrations must be submitted online by midnight (EDT) June 18, 2019 or postmarked by June 10, 2019 to receive the advance registration discount. Any registration received after these deadlines, will be charged the onsite rate.

I’m a PTA MEMBER. How much will it cost members to attend this year’s convention?

If you are a member of a state or local PTA or a PTA National Supporting Member, you are entitled to the Member rates above. Your registration fee entitles you entrance into general meetings, workshops, Symposium, and the Expo Hall. Register online

I am NOT A MEMBER. Can I still attend the convention? If so, how much will it cost to attend as a non-member?

National PTA welcomes non-PTA members to convention. If you are not a PTA member, you are entitled only to the Non-Member rates above. Your registration fee entitles you entrance into general meetings, workshops, symposium and the Expo Hall.

I’m a STUDENT. How much will it cost students to attend this year’s convention?

If you are a full-time student with a valid, current student ID, you are entitled to the Student rates above. Your registration fee entitles you entrance into general meetings, workshops and the Expo Hall.

I have registered for this year’s convention. When and how will I receive my confirmation?

A registration confirmation email will be sent to you at the address provided immediately upon completion of your registration. Your confirmation email will include your registration receipt.

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Registration Cancellation and Transfer Policy Questions

What is National PTA’s Registration cancellation and transfer policy for convention registrations and ticketed events?

Registration and Event Ticket Transfer Policy
If you complete your registration and later find that you cannot attend convention, but would like to transfer your registration and any purchased event tickets to someone who is not yet registered, you must request in writing, prior to June 3, 2019, that your registration be transferred to them. Event tickets may not be separated from the original Convention registration nor designated to be transferred to multiple attendees. “Ticketed event-only” registrations and associated tickets are not transferrable. No transfer requests will be accepted after June 3, 2019. All registration transfers will incur a $75 processing fee, payable at the time of your request by a credit card, or by check. If paying by check, the transfer will not be made until the check is received (check must be received by June 3, 2019). All requests must be submitted in writing via email at

Make checks payable to National PTA and send to: 
National PTA Convention & Expo
c/o Showcare Event Solutions
1200 G Street NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20005-6705

Cancellation and Refund Policy
If you are unable to transfer your registration and need to cancel, you will need to make the request in writing. Event tickets are not cancellable and are not refundable, but are transferrable (see Event Ticket Transfer Policy). If your request is submitted by the refund deadline of May 10, 2019, you will receive a refund on the registration fee only, minus a $75 processing fee for each cancelled record. No refunds will be issued for cancellation requests received after May 10, 2019. All written requests must be submitted via email at Credit cards will be refunded within one week of receipt of request. Checks will be issued in the name of the original payer. Please allow 6 weeks for refund checks to be issued.

If I lose my badge and event tickets is there a fee to reprint new ones?

Badges may be reprinted one time only, at a fee of $25, payable at the time of printing. No badges will be printed any additional times.

Tickets will not be reprinted. They should be treated as cash and it is the attendee’s responsibility to ensure receipt of purchased tickets before leaving the onsite registration area.

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Hotel & Travel Questions

Which hotel is the official Convention Hotel for this year’s convention? What is the cost per night and how do I book?

Special convention rates have been secured for the 2019 National PTA Convention & Expo attendees at our official convention hotels below:

National PTA Group Hotels and Rates:
*The rates listed below do not include 17.05% occupancy tax per room, per night.

Hilton Columbus Downtown
401 N High Street
Columbus, OH 43215

June 20-23: 
Double/Single/Triple/Quad Occupancy: $184*
Please use this link to book your reservation.

Hyatt Regency Columbus 
350 N High Street
Columbus, OH 43215

June 20-23: 
Double/Single/Triple/Quad Occupancy: $179*
Please use this link to book your reservation.

All Hotel room rates are based on availability. It is advised that reservations be made prior to the deadline May 26, 2019.

I need to change and/or cancel my hotel reservations—what do I do?

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations of reservations (must be made directly with the hotel) within 72 hours of arrival date or you will forfeiture one night room and tax.

How do I get from the Airport to the Hotel?

GO Airport Shuttle: 1-773-363-0001 or toll free 1-844-787-1670
Airport Shuttle for John Glenn Columbus International Airport.
$24.00 one-way
$44.00 roundtrip
Gratuity is not included

Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA): 1-614-228-1776
Provides direct bus service between the airport, Greater Columbus Convention Center and downtown hotels.
$2.75 one-way
Use the COTA Trip Planner

Does the National PTA have negotiated discounts for air travel? 

Delta Airlines is pleased to offer discounts of 3% - 10% off published airfares. Book online via or call Delta Meeting Network Reservations at 800-328-1111 and provide the Meeting Code NY2MH. For all tickets issued through Delta Meeting Network Reservations, there will be a $25 per ticket service fee collected. This fee is subject to change without notice. Such service fee is nonrefundable and applies to all itineraries, one-way or round-trip.

United Airlines is pleased to offer discounts of 2% - 10% off published airfares.  Book online via entering ZGFP746804 in the Offer Code box, or call the United Reservations Meetings Desk at 800-426-1122 and provide the Z Code ZGFP and the Agreement Code 746804. The Meetings Reservations Desk is open Monday – Friday, 8am – 10pm Eastern Time and Saturday – Sunday, 8am – 6pm Eastern Time. United Airlines is waiving the $25.00 service fee on tickets booked with the assistance of a representative from the United Meetings Reservations Desk.

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Special Needs Questions

If I have special needs, who can I contact?

If you have a condition which requires accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and you require accommodations at the event, please contact the National PTA Meetings Department at to describe the condition and the specific nature of the requested accommodations. National PTA will provide accommodations in accordance with law.

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Do I need to bring an ID?

Photo Identification Policy
To verify pre-registered and onsite participants and provide a measure of security, National PTA requires attendees to present a government or school-issued Photo ID at registration to collect registration materials. Individuals are not permitted to pick up badges for other attendees, except for a parent or legal guardian picking up a badge for a child under the age of 13 who may not have a photo ID. In this case, the child must be present. In all other cases, access to the event may be denied if an approved form of identification cannot be produced. In addition to photo ID, you may also be asked to show your PTA membership card during the registration process.

What are the policies regarding cell phones, photography, live streaming and video recording?

Mobile Phone, Video Recording and Live Streaming Policies
Attendees are strictly prohibited from using mobile phones and/or tablet cameras, and all other audio and/or video recording devices during National PTA meeting sessions. Recording and live streaming with any devices during National PTA sessions, meetings and workshops without prior written consent from National PTA is strictly prohibited. Video cameras and recording equipment, other than that approved by the president, shall not be permitted in the general meetings.

Attendees may not take videos of speakers presenting. Attendees not adhering to this policy may be asked to leave the room and will be asked to delete all videos already taken; repeat offenders will be asked to leave the conference and no refunds will be granted. When you register, you are required to agree that you acknowledge and will adhere to this policy. Personal photography is permitted.

Cell Phone Policy
Talking on mobile phones is strictly prohibited during all National PTA Convention sessions, meetings and workshops. Cell phones should always be in silent mode during sessions, meetings and workshops to avoid disruption.

What is National PTA’s policy regarding equal opportunity and treatment at events?

Safe Meeting, Misconduct and Admission Policy
National PTA is a professional, not-for-profit association committed to providing valuable and safe conference and exhibition experiences. National PTA is dedicated to equal opportunity and treatment for all its members, meeting attendees, staff and service providers. Attendees are expected to be respectful to other attendees, National PTA staff, and service providers. Harassment and other misconduct will not be tolerated. National PTA, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to accept or decline an individual's registration for an event. Further, National PTA, reserves the right to prohibit entry or remove any individual whether registered or not, whether they are attendees, exhibitors, representatives or vendors, who in National PTA’s sole opinion are not, or whose conduct is not, in keeping with the character and purpose of the event. Without limiting the foregoing, National PTA reserves the right to confiscate badges/credentials, remove or refuse entry to any attendee, exhibitor, representative or vendor who has registered or gained access under false pretenses, provided false information, or for any other reason whatsoever that they deem is cause under the circumstances. In such a case, if any fees have been paid, no refunds will be given.

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Contact Us


(866) 614-5509 (toll-free U.S. & Canada)
(514) 380-5376 (International)


(888) 926-1278 (toll-free U.S. & Canada)
(514) 360-1049



National PTA Convention & Expo
c/o Showcare Event Solutions
1200 G Street NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20005-6705

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