Buddy Program

Find your home at the NTC, and in the NTEN community.

With over 2,000 attendees, the NTC is a big conference. We understand it can be particularly overwhelming for those who are new to the community, returning after a long time away, or are introverted or shy.

We want everyone to find a home at the NTC and as well as in the NTEN community year-round. Our new, informal buddy program pairs newer community members with those who have been involved a little longer. We hope these extra one-on-one connections and small group interactions will create a more personal, welcoming, inclusive, and collaborative experience for all. Pairings are just for 18NTC; however we hope participants develop friendships that last beyond the conference.

Fill out the form below to participate. Contact community@nten.org with questions.


  • The deadline to volunteer or to request a buddy is March 20.
  • NTEN’s Community Manager will connect pairs via email by March 30.
  • Buddies will follow up with their connections by April 6.
  • Pairs will meet up on-site, preferably sometime before the April 11 keynote.

Request a Buddy

Who: Anyone can request a buddy—all are welcome! If there’s a shortage of buddies, priority will be given to those attending their first NTC.

Tips: Use the form to let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll do our best to match you appropriately. Make it easy for your buddy to support you by prepping questions and requests in advance.

Volunteer as a Buddy

Who: Buddies need to have attended at least one NTC. There are no other requirements to participate. All are welcome!

Role: Buddies will create opportunities for one-on-one connections and small group interactions. We require buddies to reach out to their connections via email or phone by April 6 and meet in-person on or before the first day of the conference (April 11). We highly encourage buddies to plan an additional meeting during the conference.

Here are a few ideas for meeting up with and supporting your connection:

  • Ask what they hope to get out of the conference then follow up with session and event suggestions or offer to make introductions.
  • Make a plan to pick up your conference badge together, then go out for coffee.
  • Meet up at the convention center for breakfast, then sit together during the keynote.
  • Find each other before lunch, then go through the line together and sit at the same Birds of a Feather table.
  • Reserve a seat at the same Dine Around NOLA event and travel over together.
  • Meet before the official NTC party and travel over together.
  • Plan to meet and go through the exhibit hall together.
  • Invite your connection into your circle if you see them standing or sitting alone.
  • Smile and wave when passing in the hallway; it’s small but can go a long way.