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Heartland Conference 2018: Here’s What You Need to Know Before Packing Your Bags

Posted on in Education and Events

Heartland Conference 2018 kicks off in 12 days, and we can’t wait to see your smiling faces.

Whether it’s your first Heartland or your seventeenth (Roger Lichty and Louis Feuer), we have some updates and news you can use in preparation for joining us in our hometown of Waterloo, Iowa, June 19-21. Here’s what you need to know.

Electronic Evaluations

Education session evaluations will be completed electronically this year. They will be available in the app and on the Heartland website. The move to electronic evaluations will allow us to email transcripts to attendees shortly after Heartland instead of the 8-12 weeks after as in years past. Registered Heartland attendees will receive an email with information on how to download the app. 

Recorded Sessions

You’ve asked. We’ve delivered. For the first time, all sessions held in the convention center will be recorded and available for viewing following the conference. Shortly after the conference, Heartland attendees will receive an email providing instructions to access the recorded sessions through the VGM Education online learning system. The recordings will be accessible for only 60 days, to Heartland attendees only, and CEUs cannot be earned by watching the recordings. Thank you to Philips Respironics for sponsoring this new addition to Heartland Conference.  

Free Transportation

Guess how many miles were logged transporting Heartland guests in 2017 – 5,188! And, we love to do it! Conference transportation will be provided to and from all attendee hotels and all events. Bus schedules are available at each attendee hotel (click here for list), online, and on the app. You can also request transportation through the Heartland app and website.

Rockets’ Red Glare

Start your Heartland experience off right at this outdoor, Iowa-style event. Grab a cold beer or a soda from the trough and taste some of Iowa's finest pork and chicken, cooked on-site. Enjoy live music and a private fireworks display over the scenic Cedar River. Last year’s show featured 5,923 shells! You know us. We’ll have at least 5,924 this year! Also, prior to the band and fireworks, VGM, U.S. Rehab, Rifton, and Variety – the Children’s Charity of Iowa will surprise six area kids with some special gifts. Special thanks to our fireworks sponsor, Merits.

Community Dinners

Tuesday evening, June 19, you will have the opportunity to network with people who "do what you do." The Heartland Community Dinners give you time to eat, drink, and socialize with people who perform similar job duties as you. Soon, you will receive an email with information regarding your dinner, and your dinner info will be printed on your name tag. Community dinners will take place at various local eateries.

Exhibit Hall Grand Opening Reception

Spend some quality time checking out the hottest products and guaranteed best prices in the industry offered by VGM's participating vendors. Enjoy delicious appetizers while you peruse the show floor. Rub elbows with other VGM members, and be sure to introduce yourself to the more than 70 VGM participating vendors who are exhibiting. The reception is Tuesday, June 19, from 4:45 to 6 p.m. Click here to see exhibit hall hours. Thanks to our outstanding sponsors!

Building Homes – Rebuilding Lives

Each year, Heartland Conference is an event for our communities to get together and make a difference by supporting a charity doing great things. This year, our fundraising efforts will benefit Building Homes For Heroes – a non-profit organization that gifts mortgage-free homes that meet the needs of the men and women who were injured while selflessly serving our country during wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. You can help by purchasing a Building Homes for Heroes t-shirt at the Heartland Store. Cost is $20/shirt, and proceeds will be presented to the charity during the Giddy Up Gala.

Giddy Up Gala

Speaking of Gala. Put on your boots and your bling and join us for the Giddy Up Gala at the Heartland Saloon. The fun-filled evening includes food, music, dancing, and refreshments. Wear your best cowboy or cowgirl gear for a chance to be named best dressed. The gala will take place outdoors at the Waterloo Expo Plaza on Wednesday, June 20, from 6-11 p.m.

That’s all for now. We wish you safe travels and look forward to seeing you in less than two weeks.

Not registered yet?

Click here to view the entire line up of education sessions and social events, and to register for Heartland Conference 2018.