Things to Know Before You Go

At this year’s Best Friends National Conference in Dallas, we’re going big. Why? Because that’s what it takes to Save Them All … and we’re so thrilled you’re joining us!

From packing to parking to pets, here’s all you need to know to make the most of your 2019 conference experience.

Download the conference app
Please be sure to download the conference app. You’ll gain access to the schedule, session descriptions and a map of the venue, and you can connect with other attendees. If you have any questions or problems with the app while at the conference, stop by our app support table near the registration area or get help online. Prefer paper? No problem. You can print a copy of the schedule.

Get discounted parking
Self-parking is available for hotel guests at the discounted rate of $15 (normally $22). Guests who opt into the hotel’s resort fee can access self-parking for 50% off the regular rate of $22 and valet parking for $10 off the regular rate of $31. In/out privileges for self-parking are also included in the resort fee. For more information, please visit our parking page.

Dress for comfort
Conference attire is casual. We recommend comfortable shoes because the hotel is pretty large. Also, because the meeting rooms are often cool in the mornings and warmer later in the day, we suggest bringing a sweater or light jacket with you. And please note that Saturday evening’s TAILgate party will be held outdoors. Since the summer months can be very warm in Dallas, please dress accordingly.

Events and sessions
All conference events will be taking place on the Tower side of the hotel, so we recommend using the Tower entrance.

Costume party
Don’t miss Saturday night’s TAILgate costume party — the theme is Team 2025! Enter the costume contest with categories that include team spirit, best duo, best group, best team cheer and most colorful. Creative interpretations are encouraged. One lucky MVP will win a 2020 conference registration. (You must be present to win.) Be sure to wear your name badge lanyard; your drink ticket will be inside.

Check in early
If you can, take advantage of early check-in. Our conference registration booth will be open Wednesday evening, July 24, between 5 and 8 p.m. Of course, early sign-in means more time for networking with fellow conference goers.

Wi-Fi at the hotel
The hotel offers guests free Wi-Fi in their rooms, the lobby and the conference area. To help prevent other attendees from having issues with connectivity, we respectfully ask that you refrain from streaming music or videos, and connect to the internet with only one device at a time.

Sign up for Save Them All Table Talks
Sit down one-on-one or in a small group with an expert speaker, sponsor or Best Friends staff member. Sign up via the conference app by tapping “+” and it will be automatically be added to your agenda. Need help? Swing by the Table Talk/App help desk on-site. There are limited spots available, so sign up early.

Wear your name badge and ribbons
When you check in for the conference, you’ll receive your name badge. It’s your ticket to all things awesome, including meals, sessions and events, so you’ll want it to be visible at all times. Be sure to visit the networking ribbons table, too. The ribbons can help connect you with other attendees as well as find and share resources to help Save Them All.

VIP experience
Did you sign up for the VIP experience? Check in at the special VIP table to get your exclusive VIP bag. Wear your VIP button throughout the conference to enjoy all the perks, including lunch with special guests on Thursday, July 25, from noon to 2 p.m.

Get help from a volunteer
Best Friends conference volunteers are a pretty amazing crew. Seriously, you won’t find a more friendly, helpful group of folks. And they’re really easy to spot: Look for the bright orange T-shirts. Ask them a question, get directions to an activity or session room, or just show them a cute photo of your pet on your phone (they love that).

Be social with #BFNC19
Don’t forget to use #BFNC19 when posting session takeaways, favorite moments and photos on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Lifesaving tips from the experts and dog puns are equally encouraged.

Join the fun
When you’re not in sessions, there’s so much to do at the conference! For a full list of all the options, check out our activities page.

Find what you’re looking for
With someone regularly stationed at the conference registration desk, you can stop by any time to get information or simply ask a question. Missing something? The lost-and-found bin is there, too.

Just say no to bootleg session recordings
Please feel free to use your smartphone to make the most of your conference experience, including accessing the conference app and posting on social media. We do kindly ask that you respect fellow attendees and speakers by refraining from audio-recording, video-recording or livestreaming the sessions. Audio recordings of most of the sessions will be available for purchase at the Professional Programs table. You can choose to purchase the entire conference or individual sessions by filling out the order form, which you’ll find in your conference bag. If you pre-purchased the recordings at a discounted price through your registration, they will be sent to you after the conference.

Leave your furry friends at home
Don’t get us wrong: Obviously, we love animals and would love nothing more than to meet yours. But conference days are very long and full of lots of strangers, loud noises and environments that are potentially stressful for dogs and cats. For that reason, and because the hotel does not permit any animals except for service pets, we ask that you leave your four-legged friends at home.