News about the 2021 NASPA Annual Conference

August 6, 2020 Michele Murray Dr. Angela Batista

We write to you today to share that the 2021 NASPA Annual Conference will be an entirely virtual event. As the NASPA Board Chair and NASPA Annual Conference Chair, we can attest that this was not an easy decision, but we are confident that this is the right way forward.

Earlier this year, we hoped that a swift and effective response to the COVID-19 global pandemic in the United States would allow us to hold next year’s conference as planned in Kansas City, Missouri. As the pandemic continues to unfold, however, it has become clear that a more significant change is necessary to protect the well-being of our community. The health and safety of NASPA Annual Conference attendees is our number one priority – and the best way to ensure that safety is to hold the conference in a virtual space.

We know that it is hard to imagine another year without an in-person gathering and we feel the same way. But, we are excited about planning and creating a best-in-class virtual learning and engagement experience. The volunteer leaders on the Conference Leadership Committee are already working hard on this first-of-its-kind NASPA event – an annual meeting that is not place-based, but virtual.

Our goals for the 2021 NASPA Virtual Conference are clear:

  • Create the best, most innovative, super engaging, fun, virtual learning event you have ever attended;
  • Set a pricing structure that makes it affordable for every single NASPA member; and
  • Create a virtual space for the LARGEST gathering of student affairs and higher education leaders in the world!

The Conference Leadership Committee will craft a high-quality virtual conference experience that includes the same opportunities for professional development, networking, and engagement that we all have come to expect from the NASPA Annual Conference. We see this as a chance to innovate, to explore new technologies, and to make the 2021 NASPA Virtual Conference accessible to an even wider audience. 

We know that you have questions about what the 2021 NASPA Virtual Conference will look like, and the Conference Leadership Committee asks for grace and space as they shift their planning and begin to work on this new format. The conference website will be updated throughout the coming months as new details are finalized, and we encourage you to check back frequently.

Additionally, The Placement Exchange is also planning its own transition to virtual, with additional information sent out to the entire TPE Community shortly.

We are excited to bring the 2021 NASPA Virtual Conference to you – in your office, on your couch, or at your kitchen table. We hope that you will join us from wherever you will be!

Angela Batista, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs and Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, Champlain College
NASPA Board Chair 2020 - 2021

Michele Murray, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, College of the Holy Cross
2021 NASPA Annual Conference Chair



While registration for the in-person event had already been open, we will close it effective today and reopen a brand new registration for our virtual event on Thursday, October 1. In recognition of the significant budgetary impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on institutions, we have lowered our pricing to make the event more accessible:

  • NASPA Member Early Rate: $59
  • Non-Member Early Rate: $179
  • NASPA Student Early Rate: $29

We are still working out the details for pre-conference workshops and other ancillary events and will share that with you shortly.

For those of you who have already registered for the in-person event or transferred your 2020 registration to the 2021 event, you will receive a separate email from the NASPA staff no later than Friday, August 14 with details about how to apply your registration to the virtual event and other NASPA items, including membership, publications, donations for registration scholarships, and/or registering a colleague. You also will have the option to receive a refund. 



The focus areas for the 2021 NASPA Annual Conference, which we selected well before the pandemic began, seem more relevant now than ever. And at a time when many of us feel overwhelmed and isolated, we hope that this virtual conference will provide a much-needed opportunity to connect with colleagues, share knowledge, and support each other in our work. 

To give you time to craft an exceptional virtual program proposal, we are extending the Call for Programs deadline to Thursday, October 1. For those of you who chose not to submit because you would have been unable to attend the in-person event, we hope you can use this additional time.