General Conference Information
As always, there is general conference information of which our conference attendees need to be made aware beforehand. This information is intended to help your conference experience go more smoothly. If you have attended one of our conferences in the past, you will be familiar with much of it. However, we've added quite a bit of new and updated information. Please read through all of the information below. You may also click the appropriate link to go directly to a particular topic.
- Children and Infants: The primary purpose of the MÂCHÉ conference is to equip and encourage parents as they disciple their children and help them grow in wisdom and “in the nurture and admonition of the LORD” through home education. Conference weekend is a parent education opportunity. Many home educating parents use this weekend as an annual getaway as a couple. However, we understand that some parents desire to bring their children and we want to give them that option, as long as the children are orderly and stay with their parents at all times. Please note that there are no supervised activities for children under 13 years of age. There is a $30 fee for each child attending. (The onsite registration fee for children is $40.) There is no charge for nursing infants under 18 months.
- Grandparents: Grandparents can be a great asset to a home educating family in the vast amount of support and encouragement that they can give! We invite them to participate in the MÂCHÉ conference and to learn as much as they can about home education. Grandparents who are not home educating their own children may attend the conference at no charge with their registered children. Please register grandparents through your own MÂCHÉ registration account. Their name tags will be in the same envelope as yours.
- Missionaries: Homeschooling missionaries who are on deputation and would like to attend the MÂCHÉ conference may attend as MÂCHÉ’s guests at no charge. They should send their prayer card and a letter of request postmarked by March 16, 2013, to Missionary Conference Registration, PO Box 32308, Fridley, MN 55432. They should contact MÂCHÉ as soon as possible.Each missionary will receive a phone and email confirmation after his information has been reviewed. Do NOT pay for your conference registration prior to being confirmed as a missionary and receiving your Missionary Coupon Code. Missionaries who register without the Missionary Coupon Code and later request a refund will be subject to MÂCHÉ's stated refund policy which provides a 50% refund of the conference registration fee.
- Pastors: To help pastors understand more about home education, conference attendees are encouraged to bring their pastor and his wife (who are not home educating their own children) to the conference at no charge. On official church letterhead, your pastor should write a request to attend the MÂCHÉ conference as your guest. Postmark the letter by March 16, 2013, to Pastor Conference Registration, PO Box 32308, Fridley, MN 55432. Your pastor will be contacted by MÂCHÉ after his information has been reviewed.
- Preconference Tracks: The preconference tracks and the MÂCHÉ conference enhance each other, but they are two separate events. By registering for a preconference track, you are not automatically registered for the main conference; likewise, by registering for the MÂCHÉ Conference, you are not automatically registered for the preconference tracks. If you plan to attend either or both, you will need to register for each of them separately online at www.mache.org
- Selling Used Curriculum: If you would like to sell your used homeschool curriculum, reserve your table when you preregister. All table reservations must be received by March 16, 2013. Table fees are not refundable.
- Work Scholarships: MÂCHÉ is able to provide a limited number of work scholarships to adults and students who are 16 years of age or older at the time of the conference and who are willing to serve a minimum of five hours during the conference. Students should be able to work independently as student volunteers. In return for your service, you will receive a complimentary conference registration. The only prerequisites are that you must be a current MÂCHÉ member and you must have attended at least one MÂCHÉ annual conference in the past. MÂCHÉ reserves the right to assign workers where they are needed most. If you are interested in receiving a work scholarship to the 2013 conference, please contact MÂCHÉ at firstname.lastname@example.org or 763-717-9070 (Toll free: 866-717-9070). Do NOT pay for your conference registration prior to being confirmed as a volunteer and receiving your Volunteer Coupon Code from your coordinator. Volunteers who register without the Volunteer Coupon Code and later request a refund will be subject to MÂCHÉ's stated refund policy which provides a 50% refund of the conference registration fee.
- Handouts: You will find the handouts for the 2013 MÂCHÉ workshops (excluding exhibitor workshops) linked from the conference page on the MÂCHÉ website (www.mache.org) from April 1 through May 31. You should download and print the handouts of the workshops you plan to attend and bring them with you to the conference. Workshop handouts will not be available in the workshop sessions.
- Special Assistance: If you need special assistance in order to attend the MÂCHÉ conference, such as a deaf interpreter or a wheelchair, please inform MÂCHÉ of the specific need when you preregister online by March 16, 2013, to allow us enough time to make the necessary arrangements.
- Updates: Unexpected changes and updates will be posted on our website and in the NonPaper MÂCHÉ (NPM) e-newsletter. Please check the MÂCHÉ website and NPM regularly to know what updates might affect you.
- Venue Information: The address for the Mayo Civic Center is 30 Civic Center Drive SE, Rochester, MN 55904. Visit http://www.rochestercvb.org/mapexplorer/ for an interactive map of downtown Rochester, including driving directions, hotels, and parking. The MÂCHÉ emergency phone number during the conference is 612-250-3391. This is to be used for true emergencies only.
- Advertisers: Program advertising helps defray the cost of the convention by keeping our publication costs low. Please make a special effort to patronize the businesses that place ads in our program and thank them for supporting home education in Minnesota. Please be aware that many advertisers offer special deals to conference attendees during the conference weekend.
- Audio Recordings: The preconference tracks, keynote sessions and MÂCHÉ workshops will be professionally recorded and available for purchase as individual CDs or MP3 sets in either disk form or as downloads. You may purchase these either on site or online. MP3 sets will be mailed to you following the conference; shipping costs will apply. MÂCHÉ members receive a 10% discount with their online orders. No personal recording devices will be allowed.
- Carts, Strollers and Roller Luggage: Carts, strollers, and roller luggage are not allowed in the conference areas due to safety and liability issues. Roller items must be ‘checked’ at the Coat-Book Check as you arrive, and you may return to place items in them at any time when Coat-Book Check is open.
- Coat-Book Check: There is a nominal fee of $3 per day to store your coats and purchases in a safe place while you attend the conference. When possible, boxes and plastic bags are available in which you may store your belongings. Carts, strollers, or roller luggage should be stored here and may also be used to hold your belongings while you attend workshops or do more shopping. Open Friday and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
- Exhibit Hall Protocol: Many of the homeschool exhibitors in our exhibit hall are experts in their field and are very willing to take extra time to explain their various products for you in great depth. We encourage you to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to gain knowledge and information. When an exhibitor takes the time and effort to explain a product or give you some sage advice and you decide to buy the product, we strongly encourage you to buy your product from that person instead of making your purchase elsewhere to save a little money. Not only does this help preserve an atmosphere of trust and sharing, it also encourages the return of knowledgeable, well-established exhibitors to our annual conference. NOTE: There are no exhibit-hall-only passes. Only registered attendees wearing their own name tags may enter the exhibit hall. Open Friday and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
- Exhibitor Drawing: When you arrive at the conference, you will be given a "postcard" that will allow you to participate in the exhibitor drawing. Visit the designated exhibitors’ booths in our exhibit hall, look at their items, and visit with them a bit. Then have them punch your card in the designated spot. When you have completed the punches on your card, deposit it in a special basket at the exhibitor services booth in the exhibit hall. Two winners will be selected from the basket during the Saturday morning keynote session. Each will receive a MÂCHÉ book bag filled with homeschool goodies, including a $300 gift card to use to purchase books and supplies from the exhibitors in our hall. This is a great way to support our exhibitors and a pleasant experience for our attendees.
- Meals: As with all our venues, the Mayo Civic Center does not allow "outside" food or drink to be brought into the facility. Food may be purchased at the Mayo Civic Center for lunch on both days and dinner on Friday. NOTE: If you have health issues that require that you bring your own food into the Mayo Civic Center, please obtain a statement from your doctor or a medical card indicating your need for a special diet. Keep this with you in the event that you are asked about it. There is no special prior protocol required to obtain permission from the venue.
- Name Tags and Program Booklets: You will pick up your name tags when you arrive at the conference. Your name tag is your admittance ticket to the conference and must be worn at all times. If lost or forgotten, replacement name tags are $5. The 2013 conference program booklet will include information about workshops, schedules, speakers, and advertisements. Plan to arrive early enough to allow time to peruse the program booklet and become familiar with the activities for the conference weekend. The program will also be posted online a week before the conference, if you would like to plan your conference weekend ahead of time.
- Nursing Mothers: MÂCHÉ has provided a quiet, comfortable Nursing Mothers’ room for mothers with nursing infants up to age 18 months. Husbands and other children are not allowed in this room. There is no nursery or play area available. During workshop sessions, please be aware that even an infant’s happy sounds make it difficult for those nearby to listen to the speaker and for us to produce a clear audio recording; therefore please sit near the back of the room for ease of exiting when necessary.
- Used Curriculum Sale: You must be registered for the conference before you can sell or shop in the used curriculum area. Open Friday and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
- Virtual “Gift Basket”: Don’t forget to check inside your conference program booklet for a special MÂCHÉ advertisement. This ad will give you access to a virtual gift basket with items donated by many of our exhibitors which you can download to your computer and use for free. The items in the gift basket have a total value of over $200 and may include chapters in books, teaching tips, discount coupons, lesson plans, organizational materials, homeschool crafts and more. This virtual gift basket is available for each family that attends the conference.