Information for First Time Attendees to General Assembly

Practical Advice from General Assembly (GA) “Veterans”

Relax—you don't have to go to everything.
The GA schedule is packed full of things to do. While GA is primarily the business meeting of the association, it is also a wonderful opportunity to network, connect with old friends and meet new and interesting people. The hundreds of available workshops and activities present sometimes painful choices for GA attendees.

GA Programming goes from early morning to late evening but you don't have to. If you will be a delegate for your congregation, you should prioritize attending General Sessions. Select several events or activities that are especially important or attractive to you and do not feel obligated to attend a program in every available time slot.

Plan your schedule and incorporate meals and down time.
Allow adequate times for nourishment and rest. There will be concessions available at the convention center. However, buying simple groceries such as fruit and granola bars will give you more control over your time, wallet, and well-being.

Ask questions.
Shortly before GA, the 2024 program will be loaded on to the GA App. The GA Mobile App provides program listings, speaker profiles, exhibit guide, schedule and social media connections. Available for iPhone, Android, or as a mobile-optimized website. The app is an easy way to reach out to fellow attendees.

Bring comfortable walking shoes.
You might think that you'll be sitting in General Session or in workshops all day but the reality is that you'll be doing a lot of walking. In addition to commuting between your hotel, meals, and the convention center, you will be navigating 500,000 square feet of meeting space and exhibits.

The Accessibilities Services Committee coordinates the provision of assistive devices for GA attendees, including wheelchairs, walkers, and electric scooters. If you have mobility or other physical access concerns, we ask that you please fill out an Accessibilities Services Request Form as early as possible, so that arrangements can be made.

Wear your name badge (for in-person GAs)
When you arrive at GA, you will receive an official GA name badge. You MUST wear your name badge while attending or participating in any GA event, including evening entertainment. Name badges help to foster a sense of community and security; they identify us to one another and also to ushers and security personnel. It is essential that your name badge stays with you throughout the week and is displayed appropriately while you are in the convention center or our shared meeting spaces.

Write your name on your program, book bag, etc. (for in-person GAs)
It is easy to forget or misplace items when meandering the Exhibit Hall or going from meeting to meeting. Lost and Found will be in the GA Volunteer Office in the convention center.

Attend the GA Orientation on Wednesday
Come learn more about our host city and how to get the most out of this year's GA. All questions answered! Topics will include information about the GA schedule, General Sessions, and the Social Witness process. There will also be programming announcements of any changes or cancellations.

If you will be a delegate…
When you pick up your GA name badge, present the delegate credential email and you will be issued a delegate ribbon. All voting will take place via online balloting. Review the Agenda and the Rules of Procedure before GA.

Join the UUA Board of Trustees' webinar in May about What to Expect at General Assembly.

If you will not be a delegate…
If you are not a delegate, you are still encouraged to attend General Session. The only things you cannot do are sign petitions for Actions of Immediate Witness and vote in General Session or in elections.

Take time to care for yourself.
Bring a refillable water bottle. Eat small snacks frequently to re-energize. Bring a sweater; air conditioned rooms can be chilly. Allow yourself plenty of time for exploring the GA exhibit hall; there will be more than you can take in all at once and it's a great place to take a break or get a snack. See Eating at General Assembly.

You will have a richer experience if you make adequate time each day for rest and reflection. Care Teams (Accessibility, Chaplains, Covenant, Safety, Systemic Justice) will be available during posted hours.

An African American woman holds a microphone and addresses a GA workshop from the audience

A program on Faith Development at General Assembly 2019

A group of GA attendees laugh during an Exhibit Hall poster session. Colorful congregational banners form a vibrant backdrop.

An informal poster session in the exhibit hall during General Assembly 2018.

A white-haired GA attendee shakes hands with a worship leader, who is a person of color.

General Assembly brings many opportunities to make connections.

A group of four GA attendees turn in their chairs to form a small discussion in the general session hall.

Small group discussion at General Assembly 2018.

Members of the GA Planning Committee, identified by purple-blue chambray shirts, gather in the general session hall.

Members of the General Assembly Planning Committee, identified by their deep blue chambray shirts, hold daily feedback sessions in the exhibit hall.