So, this post is going up a month after I hoped it would. But, I didn’t end up booking my trip until late last month. Now it’s time: the initial planning and booking phase of NFA!
Last fall, I decided I wanted to go to the 2018 NFA convention. I had never been on a trip like this before, and I thought being a year out of college would be a good time to do it.
These are the steps I took when beginning the planning and booking for the convention.
The NFA annual convention is the largest flute event in the United States. Flutists and vendors from around the world come together for a long weekend filled with all things flute.
It doesn’t matter if you are a student, a professional, or an amateur player. There is something for everyone at the convention. Many flute vendors bring dozens of flutes that you can try.
There are also different recitals, lectures, and other events you can attend. You can also participate in competitions, if you plan ahead.
While I have never been, I am really looking forward to being somewhere where everyone else is as obsessed with the flute as I am.
First, you need to have the money to go on a trip. So that might mean setting some money aside each month. I am lucky enough to live at home and not have many expenses. I have been able to save most of my paycheck.
Convention costs can really add up. There’s the flight (or other means) to get there, the hotel, the registration fee, and more.
As soon as you know you want to go to any convention, start saving the money to cover those costs.
In one of the upcoming segments, we will cover how to save money for a convention.
Becoming a Member
In order to attend the NFA convention, you have to be a member of the NFA. There are a few different membership options, including student, online, and life.
Each level has a different cost, respective of what comes with the membership.
Active membership is the traditional membership; it includes a subscription to The Flutist Quarterly (NFA magazine), access to member profiles on the website, and more.
Student memberships are the same as regular ones, except they don’t include voting rights and are more budget friendly for students.
Life memberships are also the same as active memberships; the membership is paid for once and lasts for the life of the member.
Some levels also have the option for an online membership. You get a small discount but don’t receive a print copy of the member magazine.
Related: NFA Membership Levels
Registering for the Convention
If you do want to register for the convention, do it early. After July 24, the convention fees rise.
You can choose to register for one day or for two-four days. If you do not want to attend more than one day, the single day registration can save money.
The one day pass is also a good option for local residents or attendees who don’t plan to attend multiple days.
If you want the full experience, though, the full registration is worth it.
There are also special events for which you can buy tickets.
You also have to renew your membership at the time of registration.
Booking the Hotel
Possibly the biggest cost for this sort of trip is the hotel. If you want to stay in the convention hotel, you can’t shop around for nightly rates.
If you are okay with staying in another hotel, you can look at others in the area and use ground transportation.
In order to avoid high taxi costs, I chose to book a room at the convention hotel. I did that through the NFA website. That way, I could get the group discount, and I know for sure it is the right hotel.
Booking the Flight
There are many different ways you can travel somewhere. You can drive, take a train, or fly. For me, flying was the easiest option.
After looking around for the best flights, price and schedule, I booked my flights there and back.
If you live close to Orlando (the convention city this year), driving is an option. No need to worry about getting a seat or flying with your instrument.
Are you planning a trip to the NFA convention this year? Have you booked everything yet? Let me know in the comments!