National WIC Association

2018 Annual Education and Training Conference & Exhibits

April 22-April 25, 2018

Important Dates & Notices
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About the Conference

NWA 2018 Annual Education and Training Conference & Exhibits will be held at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile in Chicago, IL, April 22 - 25, 2018. The 2018 conference theme is: Lifting WIC Voices to Engage & Inspire.

This Conference will offer an excellent opportunity to acquire new skills and to network with an estimated 1,000 of your peers, and colleagues along with exhibitors who provide WIC related products and services for your participants. The conference will also offer an opportunity for attendees to hear from USDA officials and to dialogue on relevant updates and challenges that the program faces.

For the rest of the conference, you will have the opportunity to choose from 27 general and concurrent sessions that is sure to expand your professional skills and knowledgebase to equip you to face coming WIC challenges and to take advantage of current and future WIC opportunities.

Letter of Support from USDA FNS:

Sarah Widor, the Director of Supplemental Food Programs Division, sent a letter to all state agency WIC directors supporting the 2018 Annual Education and Training Conference & Exhibits. This letter confirmed that WIC Program funds may be used to fund travel expenses and registration fees for this conference.




*Image of Chicago is from Pedro Szekely, license can be found here.The original photo can be found here


View the agenda-at-a-glance.

View the agenda in depth.


Letter of Support from USDA FNS:

Sarah Widor, the Director of Supplemental Food Programs Division, sent a letter to all state agency WIC directors supporting the 2018 Annual Education and Training Conference & Exhibits. This letter confirmed that WIC Program funds may be used to fund travel expenses and registration fees for this conference.

Ask Your Supervisor

We have created a "justification letter," designed to help explain the benefits of your attendance to your supervisor as you seek funding. Please customize the below template as appropriate.


Dear __________,

National WIC Association’s 2018 Annual Education and Training Conference & Exhibits is an important event for WIC professionals and is the premier event for our community.  I believe by sending me to NWA’s Annual Conference, I will further my professional development and bring back new ideas to the company and team.

This year’s agenda focuses on “Lifting WIC Voices to Engage & Inspire.” The schedule includes innovative and new strategies for engagement with WIC participants, which is very relevant to my job challenges currently.

The conference features the best from the community as guest speakers, motivational speakers, workshops and networking. (go into detail about at least one session or workshop from the agenda, here). This session will help me with my efforts in making our company more successful and efficient.

Networking is important, especially in the WIC community. The best of the best come to the conference with insights from their experiences and new ideas. I will have the opportunity to meet speakers, colleagues, and the leaders in the industry. I can address them with problems we face and get advice, as well as collaborate and share ideas with one another.

Please check out the conference website <>.

Expenses include registration, travel, hotel and any meals that is outside of the Annual Conference.

The total cost for the conference is <fill in the blank>. The detailed cost breakdown is listed in the paragraph below. Here is my estimated breakdown of conference costs:



Transportation to and from Hotel:



Total :

The 2018 Annual Education and Training Conference & Exhibits is a terrific value. Registration fees are considerably lower than those for most meetings of this size and caliber.

I am happy to chat further about this with you, and answer any questions you may have. I am confident that by attending this event, I will provide added value to our organization. I look forward to bringing key takeaways back to implement and share with our organization to strengthen our work.



Registration Fees


Fees between now and March 11, 2018
Regular Member Rate: $385
Regular Non-member Rate: $485

Fees after March 11, 2018
Late Member Rate: $410
Late Non-member Rate: $535

Member Rate: $185
Non-Member Rate: $245

All payments are due before or on the first day of the Conference. Payments must be received to gain access to and participate in Conference activities and sessions. No PO will be accepted on-site.

Cancellation & Refund Policy

It is the policy of NWA's to access a processing fee for all cancelled registrations. To cancel your registration, a written request MUST be received by NWA via e-mail to or fax to 1-202-387-5281 no later than close of business on Tuesday, March 13, 2018.

Cancellations received before or on March 13, 2018 will be refunded, less a $75 processing fee. No refund will be granted for cancellations received after March 13, 2018. NWA regrets that refunds will not be granted for "No-shows."

Online Registration

Online registrations are processed via our web-based system. Each registrants must have or create a profile (account) in order to register online.

Registrants using a Purchase Order (PO) or check, must select the "Bill Me" option from the online registration system when registering. Credit card paments will be processed via our secured Stripe site. The system will automatically e-mail a registration confirmation to the e-mail provided. If you do not received a confirmation, please call our office.

Registration via Mail, Fax or Email

To register by mail, fax or e-mail, download the Conference Registration form, complete, and submit it via e-mail to or fax it to 202-387-5281. Registration forms may also be mailed to:

National WIC Association
2001 S Street, NW Ste. 580
Washington, DC 20009

To obtain our Federal Identification Number, please call our office at 202-232-5492.

Hotel & Transportation

The Conference Host Hotel

Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile
540 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

Main #: (312) 836-0100

Reservation Link:

Hotel Room Rate

NWA has negotiated a special room rate of $222 per night plus a nightly room tax currently set at 17.4%. Note that this tax rate is subject to change without notice. 

The cut-off date for these rates is Friday, April 6, 2018. After this date, reservations will be subject to the hotel’s prevailing rates.

We encourage you to make your room reservations early to ensure that you will be in the host hotel at the guaranteed room rate. Upon checking in, each guest will be asked to provide a valid government issued ID along with proof to which the room reservation was made.

Method of Room Guarantee

The hotel requires a major credit card to guarantee your room reservation, and first night's deposit (including taxes) payable at the time the reservation is being made. Room cancellations must be received at leaset 72 hours prior to your arrival date to avoid being charged the first night's room rate and applicable taxes.

Hotel Check-In/Out Policy

Hotel check-in is 4:00pm and check-out is 12:00pm. The hotel can arrange to have your bags stored depending on room availability. Late check-out may be requested upon arrival.

Guest Parking

The hotel offers on-site valet parking for all registered guests at a daily rate of $61. Off-site parking is also available for $48. Note, rate may change without notice.

Airport/Hotel Transportation

The Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile is accessible via Chicago O'Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway International Airport, and is about 15 miles and 12 miles, respectively from the each airport.

Shuttle and taxi cab services are available at the airport. The current estimated taxi/cab fare is $40 (one way). Please Note that the hotel does nor provide shuttle service.

Alternate transportation:

  • Subway service, fee: $2.25-$5 USD (one way)

Exhibitor Prospectus

We invite you to participate as an exhibitor and/or sponsor at our 2018 Annual Education and Networking Conference and Exhibits.



Get a discount on your booth by becoming a Sustaining Member of the National WIC Association! Sustaining members receive deeply discounted exhibitor rates for all NWA conferences. There are six membership tiers to choose from, and all of your employees can take advantage of the benefits. Sustaining Membership benefits can be found in detail here. To receive the NWA Sustaining Member exhibit rate, you must be a sustaining member at the time of submitting the exhibit contract/application and at the time of the conference itself. To become a sustaining member or to renew, contact Emily Gilcher,, 202-232-5492, with questions. 

Why Exhibit?

If you are seeking to introduce your products and services or an alternative promotional strategy to a new or existing audience, this conference offers several affordable options to meet your marketing needs.

By exhibiting and/or sponsoring at this conference, you will:

  • Create new customer and client relationships with WIC decision makers from across the nation;
  • Strengthen and build upon existing customer and client relationships;
  • Increase visibility for your company/organization in a targeted market;
  • Promote and market your products and services;
  • Reach prime target market segments for your products and services; and
  • Demonstrate your commitment to promoting quality public health nutrition for women, infants and children.

Platinum, Gold, Silver & Bronze Sponsors have first choice to all available exhibitor spaces.

Exhibit Dates/Hours:

Sunday, April 22, 2017
8:00 am - 4:00 pm --- Exhibitor Move-in and Set-up
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm --- Exhibit Show Opens

Monday, April 23, 2017
7:30 am - 8:30 am --- Breakfast / Networking & Exhibits
10:30 am - 11:30 am --- AM Break / Networking & Exhibits
12:30 pm - 12:00 pm ----- Lunch on your own
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm --- PM Break / Networking & Exhibits

Tuesday, April 24, 2017
7:30 am - 9:00 am --- Breakfast / Networking & Exhibits
10:30 am - 11:30 am --- AM Break / Networking & Exhibits
11:30 pm - 5:00 pm --- Exhibitor Teardown & Move Out

For questions or to exhibit at this conference, please contact Dale Greenberg, the Association's Conference Manager, at 410-491-2654 or at

New This Year: NWA Talks

In this year’s exhibit hall, there will be an Education Lounge where exhibitors will have the opportunity to lead a 15-minute educational presentation (think TED Talk) for conference attendees. These talks will be held in conjunction with concurrent sessions and during breakfast & breaks. You will be allotted 15 minutes for your presentation and Q&A. The area will have a microphone and a TV monitor to provide the option for visual presentations. Please complete the below application for consideration and return to Shameka Jennings at Applications due Friday, December 15, 2017. There are a limited number of spaces. Those selected will be notified in the early January 2018. This opportunity is complimentary for sustaining members and for purchase for non-members. If you sponsor breakfast or a break, you will be guaranteed this opportunity.

NWA Talk Application

"Road to the Annual Conference" Webinar Series

Can’t wait until April? Beginning February 9, join us Fridays at 2:00 pm ET for top-notch educational webinars similar to the education that can be found on-site at the Annual Conference. Please find below the webinar schedule:

  • The Problem with Continuing Resolutions webinar on March 23rd at 3:00 pm ET. The federal government is currently operating under our fourth Continuing Resolution (CR) of the current fiscal year, and we are expecting that Congress will pass a fifth CR this week. What are Continuing Resolutions, why does Congress use them so often, and what do CRs mean for programs like WIC? In this webinar, panelists will answer these questions and any others you may have about the federal funding process.
  • Understanding the Benefits of the National Recruitment and Retention Campaign webinar on March 30th, 2:00pm ET. In this webinar, attendees will leave with a better understanding about the impact and benefits of the National WIC Recruitment and Retention Campaign.
  • WIC, SNAP, and Farmers' Markets: Better Together webinar on April 6th, 2:00pm ET. Denise Gee, PHFE WIC, will discuss how the relationship between PHFE WIC and their local county Department of Public Social Services increased SNAP applications, FMNP participation, and more.
  • Annual Conference- Know Before You Go webinar on April 13th, at 2:00 pm ET. Spend 30 minutes hearing the highlights of the 2018 NWA Annual Education and Training Conference & Exhibits. Learn the insider tips on what’s happening in Chicago and how you can make the most of your conference experience.

Archived Webinars

  • Perspectives on WIC Participation Rates webinar. WIC participation rates have dropped for most states in the past several years. WIC participation generally follows birth-rate and economic trends. Since the percent of potentially WIC eligible participants being served has also dropped, tools for evaluating participation data are needed. Joni Geppert from Minnesota Department of Health spoke about how they have put participation in perspective.
  • Using Health Indicators to Evaluate WIC webinar. WIC is one of the few sources for maternal child health data for lower income groups that can be provided by race/ethnicity and geographic location. However, developing methods for reporting salient summary data by local WIC agency or local public health entity is challenging. Minnesota WIC provides data online for key health indicators such as anemia, breastfeeding, birth outcomes, smoking, and weight status across time in an easy to navigate data wheel.
  • Improving Performance: How to Be a Data Savvy WIC webinar discusses how they have helped WIC programs improve their Local Agency, State Office, and contractor performance. In this webinar, the Ripple Group shared case studies of how to use data to develop partnerships in performance, shared tips and tools to get started, along with some tips on how to get others engaged in the process.
  • Developing Your WIC Employees for Performance and Retention webinar provided participants with very specific skills based on Situational Leadership to help any leader or manager become more effective at developing people in multiple situations relevant to their work.

Social Media Badges

You're Attending - Now You Can Let Your Social Media Network Know!

If you have registered for the conference we encourage you to join us in networking before, during and after the event. Spread the word and let everyone know that you'll be at the 2018 NWA Annual Conference!

Places you can use the graphic: 

  • Add to your company website (Exposure for you and them)

  • Add to your email signature line

  • Post on social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram)

  • Your organization newsletters

  • Your print or advertising marketing pieces

  • Any other electronic communications you have prior to the Conference.

How to Use:

  • Right click the graphic in the window that opens in the links below > Save As

  • Post and use as many times as you like between now and the conference.

  • When using the graphic “badges” be sure to link the image to the URL by right hand clicking on the image and selecting the hyperlink option.  Place the in the address field and select ok

I'm Attending!

I'm Speaking!

I'm Exhibiting!


Sign Up to Volunteer On-Site!

Volunteers are needed each year to help make the  2018 NWA Annual Education and Training Conference & Exhibits a success. NWA is using to manage the volunteer shifts and assignments for the annual conference. We are looking for individuals to serve as: bag stuffers; room monitors; moderators; and registration assistants.

Here's how it works in 3 easy steps:

1) Click this link to see our SignUp on
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It's Easy - you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on


Volunteering is a great way to give back and network while getting a behind-the-scenes look at the conference.