The HEAV convention is one of the largest in the country, and questions from first-time attendees abound, so we’d like to offer a little bit of guidance and some tried-and-true tips to help you get the most from your time with us!
The schedule on Thursday is a bit different from Friday and Saturday, as there is a lot packed into the convention. Thursday is designated our “bring-a-friend” day, because they can enjoy the How-to-Begin-Homeschooling series (and subsequent tour of the vendor hall) without cost!
How-to-Begin-Homeschooling workshops by Yvonne Bunn
This two-session series for the beginning homeschooler is free to anyone, and does not require preregistration. Simply sign in upon arrival at the main Registration Lobby. Afterward, you may experience the Exhibit Hall, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Just show your name badge at the door.
High-Impact High School with Janice Campbell and Woody Robertson
Homeschooling through high school presents its own special challenges and rewards, and these workshops address this unique part of the homeschool journey.
The Art of Marriage
For the first time, FamilyLife (A Weekend to Remember) is presenting their one-day seminar. Invest in your marriage–and experience it as God intended it to be! This one is an extended event, running from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and it runs concurrently with Walk Thru the New Testament and other schedule children and teens programs. Scheduled breaks are timed to allow parents to meet with their children between sessions.
Walk Thru the New Testament
Geared for children ages 10 and up, this fun and interactive program is an extension of the very popular “Walk Thru the Old Testament” presented last year.
Besides Walk Thru the New Testament, there are several add-on programs for children and teens like the writing clinic and the dissection lab, as well a music competition. Most of these programs require preregistration, so sign up early!
Thursday – 10:45 to 8 p.m. (Exhibit Hall opens at 5 p.m.)
Friday – 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Exhibit Hall opens at 9:30 a.m.)
Saturday – 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Exhibit Hall opens at 9:30 a.m.)
COMING IN THE DOOR
The convention center takes up two full city blocks, so a little advance planning can help save your time—and feet! It consists of two buildings—the Exhibit Hall Building and the Ballroom Building—that are joined by a skywalk over Marshall Street.
When noting workshop location, remember that rooms beginning with E are in the Exhibit Hall Building. Rooms beginning with B are in the Ballroom Building.
If you enter at the main doors at the corner of 5th and Marshall, you will be in the Main Lobby, where you will either register or check in (if you have pre-registered).
IF YOU HAVE PRE-REGISTERED
Go first to the Preregistration Desk, where you will pick up your name badges and holders, convention program, and welcome bag.
IF YOU REGISTER ON-SITE
If you did not preregister, you may register on-site. Start by going to the tables in the center of the lobby to fill out an on-site registration form. Proceed to one of the lines at the On-Site Registration Desk with your registration form and payment. One of our volunteers will process your registration payment, and give you your name badges, convention program, and welcome bag.
Registration hours are as follows:
Thursday – noon to 8 p.m. (Exhibit Hall is open 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.)
Friday – 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Exhibit Hall opens at 9:30 a.m.)
Saturday – 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Exhibit Hall opens at 9:30 a.m.)
Parking is most scarce on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. The convention parking garage at the corner of Marshall and 3rd Streets fills up VERY quickly. If you want to park close to the convention center, plan to arrive EARLY.
Check out the interactive map for nearby garages and prices.
Many hotels also run shuttle service to the convention, though availability may be limited.
FREE SHUTTLE BUS
If you are commuting into the city, you may eliminate a lot of stress by parking at a designated area and riding a free HEAV shuttle bus to the convention. The shuttle bus locations, as well as the schedule, will be posted soon.
SO YOU’RE IN THE DOOR–WHAT NEXT?
This is where the advance planning is very helpful!
If you have determined which workshops you wish to attend, you can simply proceed to the workshop room. Alternatively, you may want to browse the Exhibit Hall first.
There are maps and a Schedule-at-a-Glance in your convention program. (Follow the links now to see them online.) Rooms beginning with E are in the Exhibit Hall Building. Rooms beginning with B are in the Ballroom Building.
HEAV offers three keynote programs and they take place when no other workshops are scheduled. The 2018keynote speakers are as follows:
- Friday | 8:30 a.m.: “Four Cultural Shifts Parents Need to Understand” ~ John Stonestreet, the Colsen Center and Breakpoint Radio
- Friday | 4:30 p.m.: “Teach from Love” – Sam Sorbo (God’s Not Dead, Let There Be Light)
- Saturday | 8:30 a.m. “Teaching Your Children with Your Grandchildren in Mind” ~ Voddie Baucham
It is not necessary to sign up for individual workshops you wish to attend. All workshops are open on a first-come, first-served basis. If a room is truly full, you will be offered a free MP3 download for that workshop.
There are three main sessions on Friday and Saturday, with approximately 15 workshop choices each session. If you are interested in a particular topic, you may want to review the Workshops by Track page, which lists workshops by topic, from getting off to a good start, to talking with your kids about sex, to getting teens ready to launch–and everything in between.
Exhibitors at the HEAV convention have the opportunity to present a workshop, and they pay a fee to reserve one of the exhibitor workshop time slots. They are often a wealth of information, and we encourage you to attend these exhibitor workshops, which are noted on the Schedule-at-a-Glance with this symbol:
The HEAV Exhibit Hall is one of the largest of its kind and is a veritable homeschool marketplace that provides a unique shopping experience. More than 175 exhibitors are represented, selling materials of all kinds, and many are also homeschooling parents who generously share their wealth of knowledge about classes, resources, books, and more. They come to the convention at great expense to themselves in order to connect with and support homeschooling families like yours. Please support them by purchasing from them in the Exhibit Hall when you can.
EXHIBITOR DISCOUNTS AND DEALS
Many exhibitors offer special discounts and promotions available only to HEAV convention attendees. You can find the list of those discounts and deals on the website. A PDF of those deals will be available for download about a week before the convention so you may take it with you as you browse the Exhibit Hall.
BUY IT HERE
Bring your receipt to one of the five Buy-It-Here receipt redemption stations in the convention center to be validated, and for every $25 receipt you’ll get a ticket for a prize drawing!
This year’s prizes:
- A Weekend to Remember gift certificate – Family Life (Thursday, Friday & Saturday)
- $100 cash (Thursday, Friday & Saturday)
- $100 certificate to My Father’s World – two each day (Thursday, Friday & Saturday)
- Gift basket from The Adventures of Rush Revere (Saturday)
Look for this symbol on the website and in the convention program (and on the web page!):
This symbol shows that the exhibitor is offering a hands-on activity at his or her booth. It may be a science demonstration, an animal exhibit, soldering lessons, robot pilot lessons, or other demos!
10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.: Ballroom Lobby
Noon. – 12:45 p.m.: At His Booth #101
12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.: HEAV Table #729
2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Ballroom Lobby
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.: Ballroom Lobby
11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.: HEAV Table #729
11:00 a.m. – 11:45: At His Booth #822
4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.: Ballroom Lobby
10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.: Ballroom Lobby
11:30 a.m. – noon: Ballroom Lobby
No outside food or beverages may be brought into the Greater Richmond Convention Center. There are concession stands in the Exhibit Hall, in the Main Lobby, and on the second floor of the Exhibit Hall Building that offer a variety of foods, including a few items priced to be family friendly.
The restaurant page in the program lists a number of popular eating establishments, and a more extensive listing may be found at the Information Desk in the Main Lobby.
Water stations and small cups are available throughout the convention center.
Thanks to the generous contributions of our sponsors, the convention prices have remained as low as possible for you and your family. These sponsors have invested in you, in HEAV, and in homeschooling. They are committed to homeschooling families, and we encourage you thank them for their sponsorship and visit them in the Exhibit Hall. Sponsors have a “Sponsor” ribbon affixed to their name badges.
USED CURRICULUM SALE
The Used Curriculum Sale is a MEGA opportunity to get homeschool resources at a bargain—and to sell those items you don’t need!
Preregistered attendees are assigned a UCS time and will receive their UCS tickets in their welcome bags. The earlier you register, the earlier you can shop! The UCS opens for all registered convention attendees at 3 p.m. on Friday. Items that are not sold and are designated for donation are available—free of charge—on a first-come, first-served basis after 4:30 pm on Saturday.
Selling at the UCS is easy with our online barcoding system. Enter your items, label and pack them, drop them off at the UCS, and receive your check 6-8 weeks after the sale!
Book gleaning begins at 4:30 on Saturday afternoon. Items that are not sold and are designated for donation are available—free of charge—on a first-come, first-served basis. Individuals who volunteer beginning at 2 p.m. to help prepare for gleaning will be the first to have access to these unsold items.
Want to get in BEFORE ANYONE ELSE? Volunteer at least two hours over the course of the convention, and earn a “golden ticket,” giving you early entry to the UCS!
The UCS shopping hours are as follows:
9 a.m. – 10 a.m. Volunteer shopping
10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Preregistered and exhibitor shopping
3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Open shopping for all registered convention attendees
8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Open shopping for all registered convention attendees
4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Book pick-up & gleaning
Read Vicki Bentley’s great post, Navigating the Used Curriculum Route.
$69 On-Site Special
Consider purchasing convention recordings of general session workshops—either individual copies or the full set MP3. The Resounding Voice booth is in the Lobby, and it offers an excellent deal—just $69 for the full set of recordings if purchased on-site during the convention.
Knowing you can get the session on MP3 helps eliminate the stress of trying to make it to every workshop on your list! Even when you attend a workshop in person, it can be beneficial to listen to the recording again later. It’s amazing how many nuggets are packed into each hour-long workshop and we can often glean more the second and third times we hear a particular talk.
Note: Exhibitor workshops, the dissection lab, the Art of Marriage Live, and Walk-Thru-the-Bible’s “NT Live” are not recorded.
CONVENTIONING WITH CHILDREN
The convention is a family event, containing much of value for every family member! Children of all ages are welcome to attend workshops with you, but if they have trouble sitting still or get bored easily, they may be happier in the Children’s Program for all or part of the day.
Kyndra Steinmann, one of our convention bloggers, has written several posts about bringing children to the homeschool convention.
ENHANCE YOUR EXPERIENCE
Bring a friend! Even if they don’t want to commit to the entire weekend, invite them to come with you to the three, free How-to-Begin Homeschooling workshops and Exhibit Hall Premier on Thursday.
Volunteer! Time and again, people tell us (and we know from our own experience) that volunteering not only blesses others…it blesses US as well. It enables you to meet people and get connected–and makes you feel a part of the convention in a special way. Plus, volunteers who serve two or more hours get to shop in the UCS at 9 p.m.–before it opens to the general public. Sign up to volunteer and choose your area of service!
RELAX AND ENJOY
The HEAV convention weekend is jam-packed with workshops to attend and exhibitor booths to browse. There is a lot to see and do, and we want you to enjoy the weekend and get the most out of your time with us.
- Take breaks.
- Spend time sitting, reading through the convention program, and chatting with your spouse, friends, and fellow attendees.
- Plan ahead for meals and take time for lunch. Eat snacks for energy throughout the day.
- Wear comfortable shoes. (The convention center is a BIG place!)
- Bring a jacket or sweater as the convention center air conditioning can be quite chilly at times.
- Bring labels with your name, e-mail, phone number, and address. This makes it super easy to sign up for information and promotions as you visit the Exhibit Hall.
- Plan downtime, especially if you have the children with you. Give them time and space to just play.
- Notice the community of like-minded families surrounding you!
- Soak it all up.
It is our desire that each person who attends the HEAV Virginia Homeschool Convention will return home feeling refreshed, energized, inspired, encouraged, and equipped for the homeschool journey.