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Here are the answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions about the Annual Conference. Can't find the answer to your question? Contact Cheryl Wallen.


For individuals that are employed by a zoo, aquarium, non-profit organization, educational institution, or government agency, membership is not required.  However, individual members of AZA save significantly on their registration fee! Learn more about AZA membership.

Commercial Membership is required for individuals employed by a commercial entity (a company that provides products or services to zoos and aquariums, including consultants). Consultants or individuals representing a commercial entity that is not a current Commercial Member, Conservation Partner, or Exhibitor, are NOT eligible to attend the conference.  Non-member registration is only open to individuals employed by a zoo, aquarium, non-profit organization, or government agency.

The following meals are provided with registration:

  • Sunday, September 8 - light appetizers at the Icebreaker
  • Monday, September 9 - light continental breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, light appetizers at Exhibit Hall Reception
  • Tuesday, September 10 - light continental breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, light appetizers at Poster Reception
  • Wednesday, September 11 - morning snack, lunch and dinner at Zoo Day

You will still register online, but on the payment screen, select the option to "Send Invoice".  You will be emailed an invoice that should be mailed in with your registration payment check within 30 days, or by Friday, August 17, whichever comes first.

Yes. There will be a list of registered attendees at the door of the Icebreaker.  If you are unable to check-in at registration before the Icebreaker, you can still attend by providing your name at the door.

AZA does not providing any funding assistance for Conferences and Meetings. But we do provide scholarships for Professional Development Courses.

Log into your registration using the Attendee Service Center (ASC).  There you can edit your contact information, purchase additional social event tickets, or buy a conference t-shirt.  Your login information for the ASC can be found in your registration confirmation email.

We're excited you'll be joining us in New Orleans! View helpful information for first time attendees.


There are three hotels offering AZA attendees a discount. All are located within walking distance of the Convention Center, where the Conference will take place.

The discounted AZA rate is only available for registered attendees and registered exhibitors of the Annual Conference. Once you have registered or purchased exhibit space, you will find your unique reservation link in your confirmation email. The hotel will not be accepting call-in reservations.  If this policy causes an issue, please contact Cheryl Wallen

We recommend sending a message to the Annual Conference Network group.

The AZA Network is AZA’s online private social networking community for professionals working in zoos and aquariums. It's the place to go to connect with colleagues of like interests, discover libraries of resources and tools, and share ideas and lessons-learned within targeted communities. Much like LinkedIn or Facebook, this resource is available online and from your mobile device. The AZA Network keeps you connected to the zoo and aquarium community 24/7.

Yes, luggage storage will be available if you are leaving from the Zoo.  Transportation will not be provided to the airport, but taxis, Uber, and Lyft will be available.


General Sessions

  • Also known as plenary sessions, large-format gatherings bring attendees together for general interest topics.
  • The Annual Conference has 3 General Sessions:
    • Opening General Session - Monday, September 9, 8:00 am - 9:30 am
    • General Session - Tuesday, September 10, 8:00 am - 9:45 am
    • Honors & Awards Lunch - Tuesday, September 10, 11:45 am - 1:45 am

Committee and Animal Program Meetings

Concurrent Sessions

  • Education programming arranged amongst primary areas of interest, or "tracks".  The concurrent program varies in format, size and learning levels. See below for a list of how the concurrent sessions are organized.
  • Concurrent Sessions take place Monday, September 9-Wednesday, September 11.  Each session is 90 minutes.

Evening Buzz    

  • Fun, new format for learning! Curated program of individual presentations that are short in time, but big on information.
  • The Evening Buzz will take place on Monday, September 9, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm.  Snacks and a cash bar will be available.

Poster Presentations

  • Posters are particularly well suited for presentations of complex and technical methods and/or results. Poster presentations allow the audience more time to digest complex information and promote discussion between presenters and their audience. Posters typically reach a wider audience than short talks because they are on display for several days of the Conference.
  • Posters will be on display during Exhibit Hall Hours in the rear of the Exhibit Hall.  Authors of each poster will be present for discussion during the Poster Reception, Tuesday, September 10, from 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm. Beer, wine, and light appetizers will be served.

Exhibit Hall Roundtables

  • Exhibit Hall Roundtables are informal, intimate discussions about a specific hot topic.  Roundtables typically involve around 10 individuals and allow for idea sharing and networking.

Concurrent Session Tracks
Animal Management, Health & Welfare
Aquarium Affairs
Business Operations
Development/Fundraising & Membership
Public Relations & Marketing
Volunteer & Intern Engagement
Trends & More

Yes, the Conference app will be available approximately 1 week before the start of the Conference.  If you've already downloaded the app, you will not need to download again.  When the new app is available, it will appear in the Meetings section of the app.  To download the app, search AZA Conference in the App or Google Play Store.

The app includes all the information available in the printed program guide.

There is no pre-registration for meetings or sessions.  All meetings and sessions are open to registered attendees, unless otherwise noted (ie. Executive Session, Invitation Only). You are encouraged to attend any of the meetings or sessions you find interesting, even if you're not a part of that particular committee, or don't work in that specific discipline. 


All meetings, sessions, Exhibit Hall events, and General Session events will take place at the Convention Center.

The Icebreaker will take place at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas on Sunday, September 8. The Aquarium is within walking distance of the hotels.

Zoo Day will take place at the Audubon Zoo on Wednesday, September 11. Transportation will be provided.

While there is no official dress code, we recommend dressing business casual, but comfortable. 

Convention Centers tend to be cold, so bring a sweater or light jacket with you.

Complimentary Wi-Fi will be available thorughout the meeting space at the Convention Center.

Wireless internet access is intended for website browsing and email checking, and is not to be used for video streaming, downloading, Skype, GoToMeetings, or other webinar services.

Yes. More information on exact location will be available at a later date.


AZA sells exhibit space based on a tenure system.  The booth sales schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, April 30, 11:00 am EST 40+ Year Exhibitor-Members
Thursday, May 2, 11:00 am EST   30+ Year Exhibitor-Members
Monday, May 6, 11:00 am EST   20+ Year Exhibitor-Members
Monday, May 13, 11:00 am EST 10+ Year Exhibitor-Members
Monday, May 20, 11:00 am EST 5+ Year Exhibitor-Members
Tuesday, May 28, 11:00 am EST   1+ Year Exhibitor-Members
Monday, June 3, 11:00 am EST   New Exhibitor-Members
Monday, June 10, 11:00 am EST Non Members

After the booth draw closes, available exhibit space can be purchased through the Booth Sales Form.

For more information, contact Gina Velosky.

Each 10x10 booth includes:

  • 2 complimentary full registrations
  • 8' high back drape and 3' high side drape
  • Booth identification sign
  • Trash can
  • One-time use attendee list provided approximately 2 weeks prior to the conference and 2 weeks after the conference.

10x10 Inline

Member: $2,175

Non-Profit/Government: $2,675

Non-Member: $3,175

Corner Premium - $100

We are anticipating more than 3000 attendees.  For detailed information on their demographics, check out the Conference Prospectus.

The Exhibit Hall schedule, subject to change, is as follows:

  • Sunday, September 8 - Exhibitor Move-in; 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Monday, September 9 - Exhibit Hall Open: 9:30 am - 6:30 pm,
  • Tuesday, September 10 - Exhibit Hall Open: 1:30 pm - 7:00 pm, Exhibitor Move-out 7:15 pm - 10:00 pm
  • Wednesday, September 11- Exhibitor Move-out 8:00 am - 10:00 am


All refund requests must be received in writing by Friday, August 22, 2019. Refund requests received after this date will be reviewed on a case by case basis.  No refund consideration will be given for requests received after Monday, September 16, 2019.  Approved refunds will be issued within 30 business days and a $75 processing fee will be deducted. Substitutions from the same institution or company will be accepted, in writing, without penalty.  Event tickets are nonrefundable. Please send cancellation or substitution requests to: AZA, ATTN: Cheryl Wallen, 8403 Colesville Road, Suite 710, Silver Spring, MD 20910, (e) cwallen@aza.org, (f) 301-562-0888.

Yes, registrations can be transferred to another individual at your organization at no charge.  However, if your registration was purchased at the member rate, the person receiving the registration must also be a member, or pay the fee difference.

Substitutions can be sent to Cheryl Wallen.

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