Palm Springs hosts 2019 Neighborhoods USA Conference
The 44th annual Neighborhoods USA (NUSA) Conference “Opening Doors to the Future,” was held May 15 – 18, 2019 at the Palm Springs Convention Center in Palm Springs, California. Hosted by the City of Palm Springs in partnership with the Palm Springs Convention Center, Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism, Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau and Organized Neighborhoods of Palm Springs (ONE-PS), the event attracted 619 attendees, including community leaders, municipal employees, business professionals – not to mention the assistance of more than 100 local volunteers who worked tirelessly to produce a well-received and successful conference.
Attendees represented 29 U.S. states and Washington DC, the Bahamas, Canada and Japan. There were close to 300 first-time NUSA Conference attendees. The largest delegation was from Birmingham (120+ attendees), followed by Washington state (58), NUSA President Monique Coleman’s home state of Texas (40) and Riverside, Calif. (39).
The Bahamas contingency numbered more than 20 attendees, led by the Hon. Marvin Dames, Minister of National Security, a Cabinet-level position in Prime Minister Hubert Minnis’ Government of the Bahamas. Among the attendees were members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, the Bahamas National Neighborhood Watch Council and the Grand Bahama Port Authority.
The four-day event featured 58 workshops – led by more than 120 presenters - that focused on Diversity, Youth and Aging, Fundraising: Grants and Government Programs, Technology, Neighborhood Leadership, Sustainable – Healthy Neighborhoods, Social Action Close to Home and Prepared Communities. New this year was the Coffee & Conversation roundtable discussions – an opportunity to exchange ideas and problem solve on a variety of specific interests, including Engaging Neighborhood Youth, Senior Services and The Idea Incubator. Each roundtable was staffed with a volunteer facilitator with experience/expertise in the discussion topic.
Four Pre-Conference Tours (283 attendees signed up) and 13 Neighborhood and Community Tours (428 attendees signed up) were offered, including trips to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, art and architecture museums, a tour of Palm Springs’ iconic Midcentury homes and public buildings, tours of the City’s historic inns, hotels, celebrity haunts and hangouts – including a tour inside Liberace’s home - and Sunnylands Center & Gardens in Rancho Mirage, where U.S. presidents and world leaders have met over the years to discuss issues of national and international importance.
Special events for attendees included an opening night Mix & Mingle – a catered outdoor event on the lawn of the convention center, featuring a five-piece combo band, a large step-and-repeat banner with a photo of the Palm Springs entry sign – attendees posed in groups and individually, often requesting the evening’s emcee, Bella da Ball, to pose with them in the picture.
The cooler-than-usual May temperatures in Palm Springs made for pleasant outdoor events, and the weather cooperated not only with the Mix & Mingle event, but also the Mayor & Tribal Chairman’s Reception as well. The reception was held under the esplanade of the Palm Springs Convention Center and attendees enjoyed another evening of entertainment and camaraderie.
A total of 1,239 room nights were booked from Saturday, May 11 through Sunday, May 19. Thank you to our host hotels, Renaissance Palm Springs, Hilton Palm Springs and Hotel Zoso. A number of conference attendees made plans to “Come Early, Stay Late” to enjoy a couple of extra days in our resort destination.
What is NUSA?
Neighborhoods, USA is a national non-profit organization committed to building and strengthening neighborhood organizations. Created in 1975 to share information and experiences used to build stronger communities, NUSA continues to encourage networking and information-sharing to facilitate the development of partnerships among neighborhood organizations, government and the private sector for the ultimate goal of strengthening every neighborhood.