• Nailah Brianna Spencer

Top 5 Tips for 2019 NABJ Convention



We're just one day away from the National Association of Black Journalists Annual Convention and Career Fair... and this year will be one for the books! This year's conference will be held in Miami from August 7th to the 11th. The NABJ Convention is always a great place for professional development, networking and finding job opportunities.


This will be my third year attending the conference, and my first time since I've graduated from college. As a third-timer, I have come up with a list of helpful tips for people that plan on attending this year. I hope these are helpful.


1. Make sure you pack at least two outfits for every night that you'll be there. I know it sounds excessive, but it's better to overpack, then not have enough. During the day you'll be attending different sessions and events, so you should dress business casual and comfortable. FYI, ladies, you'll be on your feet ALL DAY, so you might want to pack some flats. The second outfit is for after convention hours. Depending on your plans after the convention, you may want to pack something more casual or something dressy to go out in. You never know where the day or night may lead you, so keep this in mind when packing.


2. This second tip will be crucial to you getting entry to most sessions and events. Make sure you have your convention badge with you at all times. Due to the racial climate and recent mass shootings, NABJ will be stricter with their badge policies.


3. This convention is a great way to network and possibly find new job and internship opportunities. This means that you should have personal business cards readily available, as well as multiple copies of your resume. I'd even keep a hard drive with your resume, reel, and portfolio with you. You never know who you'll meet, so you want to always be prepared.


4. The convention is an all-day affair, and you need to make sure you with you plan out your day ahead of time. I recommend downloading the convention app so you can plan your days out wisely. There a lot of interesting sessions and events during the day, in addition to the career fair. It's impossible to do everything, but you can make it easier on yourself by making a schedule. You may also want to plan time to eat because it's very easy to forget to eat or stay hydrated during all of the excitement.

5. Although this conference is intended for networking and professional development, there will also be after-hours mixers and opportunities to explore the city and its nightlife. This means that there MAY be alcohol. Please make sure that you're drinking responsibly and that you're behaving in a way that won't have folks looking at you sideways during the convention. It's great to have fun but remember what you're there for. Pace yourself, keep it cute and don't be the person who misses out on all of the events and sessions because you had too much to drink or were out too late.


These are just a few things that I learned from my own experiences and others around me. The NABJ Convention is a great place for Black journalists to network and learn more about the industry. I hope that these tips help you better prepare for the NABJ Convention.


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