Attendee and Sponsor Policies

Conference Code of Conduct

MSSA strives to providing a meaningful experience for all in attendance, including attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, volunteers, and staff. We are dedicated to hosting a conference that is safe, inclusive, and welcoming of all people. This Code of Conduct outlines our expectations for all who attend our conference. We ask that each of you contribute to creating a safe and positive experience for all in attendance. 
As health and human services professionals, our collective actions are essential to counteract the many forms of inequity and oppression that exist in our society, and which adversely affect those that we work with and those we serve. We expect conference attendees to abide by the following agreements: 

  • Be thoughtful, respectful, and constructive in your speech and chats with attendees, presenters, exhibitors, and others.
  • Assume good intentions from others.
  • Be accountable for and acknowledge the impact of your actions.
  • Honor requests for particular seating to ensure all abilities, needs, and learning styles have the opportunity for equal engagement and participation.
  • Make open seating available for all.
  • Do not have side conversations during presentations (in person or online), regardless of your proximity to the presenter.
  • Do not wear or use scented products during the conference.
  • Keep devices silent during presentations.
  • Do not make or distribute recordings, photos, or screen shots of presenters, exhibitors, attendees, presentation/poster/exhibit materials, or chat activity without explicit permission from the source.
  • Practice MSSA's values of social responsibility, equity, and inclusion throughout your activities and interactions.

Attendee Policies

Disability Access Requests: The Hilton Minneapolis hotel is wheelchair accessible. Sign language interpreters accompanying conference attendee(s) may attend the conference at no charge. MSSA will provide closed captioning or a transcript for live webinars and on-demand sessions. To request other conference accommodations, please contact Shereen Reda at [email protected]. Providing at least 4-6 weeks advance notice will help to ensure availability.

By registering for this conference, you agree to be bound by the following terms:

Cancellation/Refund/Returned Check Policy: Cancellation requests must be received in writing to [email protected] no later than March 8 and are subject to a $25 processing fee. Refunds will be processed by May 1. Refunds will not be granted after March 8, nor will they be given for no-shows. Returned check fee is $30. Please write registrant's name on check when submitting check payment. 

Event Delays: If the MSSA 2023 Conference is delayed in whole or in part due to events over which MSSA has no control, then MSSA shall reschedule any delayed or interrupted portions of the conference and provide comparable registration benefits as determined by MSSA.

Registrant Substitution/Share Policy: If a registrant is unable to attend the conference, a substitute may attend in their place. Only one substitute is allowed per original registrant; registrations cannot be split among employees. Each person attending the live conference (in-person or webinars) or viewing on-demand content must complete a separate online registration. This includes all individuals registering under Member Agency registration discounts. Please email substitutions to [email protected] as soon as possible.

Breakout Room Seating Policy: Conference registration guarantees access to a choice of breakout sessions throughout the in-person conference schedule. However, conference registration does not guarantee a seat in any of the individual breakout sessions. The safety of attendees is always our first concern and may include closing a room if room capacity is met. We encourage early arrival to sessions to help ensure that a seat is available. Fire codes and attendee safety procedures prohibit attendees from sitting on the floor in a session. You may be asked to find another session if there are no seats available.

Consent to Use of Photographic Images: All attendees acknowledge that they may be photographed during the conference, and that those photos may be used for promotional purposes in MSSA’s media, including but not limited to printed publications, websites, and social media. Any session recording (audio, video, chat logs, screen captures, etc.) intended for personal use, distribution, publication, or copyright without the express written consent of MSSA and the individual authors is strictly prohibited.

Liability Waiver/Release: Conference attendees are responsible for their own health and safety at all times. By attending this event, you knowingly and freely assume all risks and responsibility related to illness and communicable disease exposure, and agree to voluntarily assume all risk and responsibility related to communicable disease exposure and agree to not hold MSSA, or those acting on their behalf, liable for any expense, loss, damage, personal injury, theft, or actions of any kind that you incur.

COVID-19: By registering for the 2023 in-person conference, you agree to adhere to and abide by any safety precautions MSSA may implement to protect against the spread of COVID-19. MSSA will consider CDC and MDH guidelines in developing policies that prioritize the health and safety of attendees, their clients, and communities. If any measures must be taken, policies will be communicated to registrants no later than 30 days before the start of the conference and may include some or all the following: self-monitoring for symptoms, masking, proof of vaccination and/or a negative test.

Questions? Contact MSSA at [email protected] or 651-644-0556 for assistance.

Important Dates for Attendees

  • Early Bird pricing ends: February 15
  • Conference app access opens: TBD
  • Attendee refund/cancellation/registration change deadline: March 8
  • Full Access registration closes: March 8
  • In-person conference: March 15-17
  • Virtual Only registration closes: March 31
  • Conference app access closes: March 31
  • On-demand access opens: April 1
  • Live webinars: April 6, 13, 20, and 27
  • On-demand access closes: May 12

Important Dates for Sponsors

  • Last day for cancellations/refunds: February 1
  • Deadline to receive full benefits and be included in printed program book: February 6
  • Conference app access opens: TBD
  • In-person conference and Exhibitor Expo: March 15-17
  • Conference app access closes: March 31

Important Dates for Exhibitors

  • Move-in: Tuesday, March 14, 3:30 - 6:30 p.m. & Wednesday, March 15, 7-10 a.m.
  • Expo hours
    • Wednesday, March 15, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    • Thursday, March 16, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    • Friday, March 17, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • Move-out: Friday, March 17, 12:00 -2:00 p.m.

Sponsor and Exhibitor Policies

The Minnesota Social Service Association (MSSA) has established the following sponsor policies to protect the integrity of the attendee experience during the MSSA 130th Annual Training Conference and Expo. These rules form an integral part of your application and contract for sponsorship:

Application and eligibility: Application for sponsorships must be made online through MSSA’s website. The purpose of the sponsorship is to display and demonstrate products and services that are beneficial to individuals working in the health and human services field. MSSA shall determine the appropriateness of any company, product, or service requesting to sponsor.

Payment and refunds: Payments are required at the time of application. No sponsor opportunities or exhibit table locations will be reserved, or benefits received until payment is made in full. Cancellations submitted in writing by end of day February 1 will be refunded in full minus a $50 processing fee; no refunds will be given for cancellations after February 1. If sponsor benefits have been received, then MSSA will deduct the value of benefits received from any refund.

Force Majeure: In the event that the conference is delayed in whole or in part, due to fire, explosion, strike, freight embargo, act of God, act of public enemy, act of war, war, act of terrorism, civil disturbance, act of any government, de jure or de facto, or other government declaration or regulation, epidemic, major internet or technology outage or other event over which the MSSA has no control, then the sponsor contract may be immediately amended by MSSA, and the sponsor hereby waives any and all claims against MSSA for damages, reimbursement, refund, or compensation. MSSA shall immediately reschedule any delayed or interrupted portions of the conference and provide comparable sponsor benefits as determined by MSSA.

COVID-19: By registering for a sponsorship package that includes an exhibit at the in-person conference, you agree to adhere to and abide by any safety precautions MSSA implements to protect against the spread of COVID-19. MSSA will consider CDC and MDH guidelines in developing policies that prioritize the health and safety of onsite attendees, their clients, and communities. Final policies will be communicated no later than 30 days before the in-person conference begins and may include some or all of the following: self-monitoring for symptoms, masking, proof of vaccination or a negative test.

Education Session Attendance: Sponsors must be registered for the conference to attend sessions. All sponsor levels include at least 1 complimentary conference registration. Additional registrations can be purchased at prevailing rates for all levels. If sponsors attend sessions without registering, their organization will be invoiced for the prevailing registration fee per person.

Shipping: Sponsors must arrange their own shipping to the hotel with storage and shipping fees the responsibility of the sponsor. Located within the hotel, the UPS Store Business Center handles all incoming/outgoing packages and freight. Its business hours are Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and phone number is 612-335-6295. Read UPS/Hotel shipping instructions.

Exhibitor Booth Placement: MSSA will assign booth space based on the sponsor-specified top three location choices on a first-come, first-served basis. MSSA reserves the right to make the final decision on all space assignments in the best interest of the conference and its attendees. Exhibit-sharing, piggybacking or any other form of subletting space is prohibited. MSSA will make every effort to avoid conflicting space assignments with competitors where known conflicts exist.

Marketing: Sponsors grant permission to MSSA to use their name and logo in marketing promoting the conference and expo (as appropriate for sponsorship type purchased). Application, payment, and materials must be received by February 6, 2023 to be included in the program book and receive full benefits. Sponsors will be listed in alphabetical order by sponsor level in the sponsor directory. MSSA shall not be liable for any errors in any listing or for omitting any sponsor from any directory or listing pertaining to the conference and expo based on errors in submission or materials, or non-receipt of payment or materials by posted deadlines

Move-in and Move-out: Exhibit materials must be set-up by Wednesday, March 15 at 10:00 a.m. when the expo hall opens. If not set-up by this time, MSSA reserves the right to use, resell, or reassign the space. All exhibitors are expected to exhibit during all open exhibit hours. No exhibits will be allowed to dismantle and move out before 12:00 p.m. Friday, March 17 without special prior permission from MSSA staff. All exhibits must be removed no later than 2:00 p.m. on Friday, March 17.

Arrangement of Exhibits: Exhibits must be contained within the assigned exhibit space in such a way that they do not interfere with other exhibitors’ displays or violate fire lanes as approved by the Fire Marshall. Display materials cannot exceed a maximum height of 8 feet from the floor. All displays, signs, flyers, distribution of literature/materials and all other activities must take place inside the contracted exhibit space only. No signs, banners or displays may be displayed in any other part of the hotel. MSSA reserves the right to reject or require on-site modifications of any display that, under MSSA’s sole discretion, is not in keeping with the character of the MSSA exhibition. MSSA also reserves the right to remove promotional materials from the show floor that are deemed objectionable. Exhibitors should not leave valuable items unattended in the exhibit area at any time.

Sale of Goods or Services: The sponsor shall be solely responsible for any local, state, or federal tax liability resulting from this contract or other tax implications arising from activities while an exhibitor is at the meeting. Exhibitors shall be responsible for obtaining any licenses, permits, or approvals required under local, city, state, or national law applicable to Exhibitor’s activity at the meeting. Exhibitors shall be responsible for obtaining any tax identification numbers and paying all taxes, license fees, or other charges that may become due to any government authority concerning Exhibitor’s activities at the meeting. 

Music Licensing: Sponsors agree to comply with existing regulations on music licensing and agree to indemnify and hold harmless MSSA against any claims or expenses arising from noncompliance with these regulations.

Video and Photography: Sponsors are prohibited from video or audio recording, video streaming, or photographing other exhibitors’ tables, events, or activities during the event, without the express written permission of MSSA. Sponsors may record, stream, and/or photograph their own exhibitor table and table staff for their own promotional purposes, including through the conference app. By registering to sponsor, the sponsor gives consent to MSSA to use images of both your person(s) and your table display. MSSA understands that some tables are staffed by volunteers where anonymity needs to be maintained; exceptions will be made by written request. Sponsors are encouraged to share video and photos from their own exhibits and activities during the event on their own digital media platforms using the hashtag #MSSAconference.

Internet and Electricity: A basic wireless internet connection is available to exhibitors. Additional internet capacity can be purchased through Encore at the Hilton Minneapolis. Electricity is included with a Premium Exhibit at the Leader and Partner Sponsor levels. Electricity is available for purchase in advance for Oversized and Basic exhibitors through MSSA for $260. Additional fees may apply to day-of service orders for electrical or internet.

Contact Information: MSSA offices in the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) building. We share our current sponsor organization and email list with AMC only for the sole purpose of inviting sponsors to exhibit at their annual conference. MSSA does not provide or sell sponsor or conference attendee contact information to any other parties.

Responsibility Clause for Exhibits: Sponsors assume responsibility and agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Hilton Minneapolis, Hilton Worldwide, Inc., and the Hotel’s Owner, and their respective owners, managers, subsidiaries, affiliates, employees and agents (collectively, “Hotel Parties”), and MSSA from and against any claims or expenses arising out of the use of the exhibition premises. Sponsor agrees to obtain and maintain during the use of the exhibition premises, Comprehensive General Liability Insurance, including contractual liability covering the Exhibitor’s indemnity in this Responsibility Clause. Such insurance shall be in the amount of not less than $1,000,000 combined single limit for personal injury and property damage. The Exhibitor understands that neither MSSA nor the Hotel Parties maintain insurance covering the exhibitor’s property and it is the sole responsibility of the Exhibitor to obtain such insurance.

Questions? For more information or to discuss sponsorship or exhibitor opportunities, contact Katy Jo Turner, Director of Membership & Marketing at [email protected]