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EAST Conference 2023

MARCH 14-16, 2023

One problem. An infinite number of solutions. This is our reality. Join us as we embark into the EASTverse.

Interested in becoming an EAST Conference sponsor or exhibitor? Click the button below for more information.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • When and where is EAST Conference 2023?

    EAST Conference 2023 will be held from March 14-16 at the Hot Springs Convention Center. In-person Conference attendance is REQUIRED for all active EAST programs involved at the full level of support!

  • Where can I find a more detailed schedule of events for EAST Programs?

    EAST has created the EAST Program Detailed Schedule. Additional information will be added as we get closer to the event.

  • Are there any resources that my EAST Program can use to help us get started with the planning process?

    Yes! Here is the EAST Conference Planning Checklist - make a copy and update it for your program. Don’t forget to check out the Conference folder in the Facilitator Toolkit for additional resources, including budget templates, examples of Conference Team applications, and more!

  • What is the dress code for attendees?

    Click here to view this year’s EAST Conference Dress Code.

  • Why are the competition finalists announced so late?

    Competitions are designed to recognize the individual elements of your team's overall project. For this reason, we (somewhat) intentionally delay the competition announcements because we don't want EAST programs to build their projects around the competitions.

  • When will the competition winners be announced?

    Competitions winners will be announced during Closing Session.

  • Is this event ADA accessible?

    EAST welcomes all attendees and complies fully with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Please notify at least 14 calendar days prior to the event, if you need accommodations related to audio, visual, or mobility needs.

    We advise attendees with mobility assistance needs to allow plenty of time to get from one location to another as the convention center is very large.

  • Are there any special service animal guidelines?

    Service animals must wear identifying apparel to enter the Hot Springs Convention Center.

  • What can we do to ensure that our belongings are secure during Conference?

    Security guards will be onsite to monitor the Exhibit Hall and other areas in the Convention Center. However, EAST is not responsible for the loss of, or damage to, any valuables or other items during Conference. Click here for more information.

  • How can I help make this a safe (and fun) experience for my program?

    Here are some event security tips from EAST staff:

    • Name tags must be worn by everyone at all times (IDs required for some).
    • Practice the buddy system when traveling from location to location.
    • Have a “rally point” to reconnect with your team if you get lost.
    • Separated from your group? Head to the Registration Booth.
  • Speaking of security, are there bag size guidelines for Opening and Closing Ceremony?

    Bags larger than 14” x 14” x 6” are not permitted at the EAST Conference Opening or Closing Sessions. Bags may not be left unattended. No weapons are allowed!

  • Are there any items that we should NOT bring to Conference?

    Yes! There see the list of items that are specific to your booth on the School Booth Guidelines page.

  • Can I exchange my EAST Conference t-shirt or purchase an extra one?

    Yes! Participants will have a chance to exchange their official EAST Conference t-shirts by returning to the registration area on Wednesday after 10:30 AM to receive a voucher that can be exchanged at the Gear Store for a new shirt. Extra t-shirts will also be available for purchase in the Gear store.

  • Is there a policy related to alcohol, tobacco or drug use while at EAST Conference?

    Yes; EAST Conference is an alcohol-free, tobacco-free, vape-free, drug-free event. The use of any of these substances is strictly prohibited.

  • Can we bring coolers?

    Typically, the convention center does not allow coolers or outside food/drink to be brought into the building. However, they do make exceptions for our group to make EAST Conference a more affordable experience for schools. So yes, you can bring in a cooler for lunch, but we encourage you to store it in the booth (maybe under a table). Note that coolers must be removed from the Exhibit Hall while your team is eating, as food is typically not allowed in that space.

  • Can we bring additional students or parents?

    Guests are welcome to attend EAST Conference! In fact, there are a couple of ticketing options available:

    • School Group Passes (FREE): If your program would like to bring additional, unregistered students to see the Exhibit Hall ONLY (where all school booths are located), this is your best option. There is no advanced registration required; simply head to the registration counter on Wednesday or Thursday with a government-issued ID (if applicable) and provide a full list of additional attendees.
    • Additional Full Access Pass: Register your guest or chaperone in advance for $50/person, which will provide access to all aspects of EAST Conference. After February 28, the cost of Additional Full Access Passes will be $75/person.
    • Public Access Pass: For $10/person, attendees receive access to the Exhibit Hall, as well as the Opening and Closing Sessions.

    * Attendees may not share passes

  • Is there anywhere to store luggage after we check out of our hotel on Thursday morning?

    Luggage storage will be available for free in a monitored area near registration. The exact location will be indicated on the map on the back of your event name badge.

  • Internet options (for schools & exhibitors)

    Public WiFi is available to all attendees, but if you require dedicated hardwired LAN lines must be purchased from the Hot Springs Convention Center. Please note - external jet packs, mifis, hotspots, bluetooth headsets, etc. significantly impact the internet capacity, so we ask that you please turn off those devices when you’re at the convention center.

    • Advanced Order - $200 per computer
    • On-Site Order - $400 per computer

    To make an advance order (prior to the Conference), complete the Electrical Form or contact Pauline Howard at (501) 620-5011, by 3 p.m., CST, March 6, 2022.

  • If I have further questions, who can I contact?

    Please contact


  • Conference Drop Policy

    By registering for EAST Conference 2023, you are confirming that your school intends to participate at this event. To receive credit for EAST Conference, schools must attend the two (2) General Sessions (Opening and Closing Session) and participate in the Conference Showcase. If, due to extenuating circumstances, your school is unable to participate in any capacity, your school administrator must submit a letter to EAST, detailing your conflict.

  • Media Release Statement

    By participating in this event, you agree and consent that EAST or its employees or agents may film, tape, record, and photograph you during and in connection with your appearance at or involvement with this event, and EAST shall be the exclusive owner of all of the proceeds and results of such filming, taping, recording, and photographing and any related derivative works with the right for EAST or its agents or assignees to use in any reasonable manner, throughout the world, in any format or medium now known or later developed, for an unlimited number of times in perpetuity, royalty-free, all or any portion of your name, appearance, voice and image. By participating in this event or activity, you understand that your name, appearance, voice, and image or any derivative works may be available for viewing by the general public, and may appear on EAST’s website, in print, or in other formats and mediums.

  • Care of Premise

    Damage to the exhibit space, Convention Center, related premises, booth equipment or furnishings (collectively the 'Premises') caused by any exhibitor is the full responsibility of the exhibitor. The exhibitor will be billed for any damage repair costs. In addition, no signs, exhibit parts or other materials may be pasted, nailed, hot glued or otherwise affixed to walls, doors or other surfaces in a way that could mar or deface the Premises. Any damage from failure to observe this requirement is payable by the exhibitor as well.