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A Guide to SOCAP19: Tips on How to Prepare, Pack, and Navigate the Conference

SOCAP October 7, 2019

Welcome to the SOCAP community! Whether this is your first experience at our flagship conference, or at any SOCAP convening, we are happy you decided to join us in our big tent.
By coming to SOCAP, you have joined one of the largest, longest-standing, and most diverse communities in the impact sector. To help you make your first SOCAP as valuable as possible–we offer this guide filled with information, tips, and insider knowledge that will help you get the most out of your SOCAP experience.

Preparing for the Conference

Make Your Schedule

Once you’ve registered and created your profile in Pathable, the official SOCAP conference platform and app, you can:

  • Review the agenda for SOCAP19 including session descriptions and speakers.
  • Start making your own schedule for SOCAP19.
    • Pro-tip: As you are planning your schedule, you may wish to refer to the map of Fort Mason. The campus covers a wide expanse; you may need to consider the traveling distance between session locations when making your personal agenda.
  • Learn about featured SOCAP speakers, social entrepreneurs, and sponsors.
  • Start networking.

Get the Pathable App

Download the Pathable mobile app (for iPhone or Android) to keep quick track of your SOCAP19 schedule, connect with other attendees, and start conversations.

Book Your Hotel

If you haven’t made hotel arrangements yet, there are still discounted rooms available for SOCAP19 attendees through TripZero. When you book your hotel through TripZero, you get a great low rate and they offset the carbon generated by your travel at no cost to you.

Scheduling Arrival and Departure Times

Plan your travel schedule so that you arrive at Fort Mason in time for the conference kickoff on Tuesday. The first official session of SOCAP19 will begin at 12:30 p.m. Pacific on Tuesday, October 22nd and the Opening Plenary session is at 4:00 p.m. Tuesday.
If you are coming early, consider signing up for one of the pre-conference workshops (separate registration required) happening at Fort Mason on Tuesday.
Plan to stay through the end of the conference on Friday. Friday is often when conversation turns to action and planning of next steps. The final sessions of SOCAP19 will end at 12:30pm on Friday, October 25th.

Packing Tips

When packing clothes for SOCAP19, plan to dress for a wide range of temperatures. San Francisco weather in October ranges from an average low of 54°F (12°C) to an average high of 69°F (20°C). Fort Mason is right on the San Francisco Bay, and so temperatures can change from hot to cool between afternoon and evening. Wearing layers is strongly recommended.
Like the weather, the styles of attire you will see at SOCAP vary as well. From jeans to suits to more ambitious fashion statements, SOCAP attendees dress to impress and/or to be comfortable.
As for shoes, plan to wear (or at least bring) comfortable footwear. The Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture campus covers a wide expanse (13 acres). You will do a lot of walking and may need to travel across pavement for quite a distance to get from one session to the next. Pack your dancing shoes for the big Food Truck Party with live music on Thursday night!

Arranging Special Accommodations

We want everyone to have equal access and enjoyment at SOCAP19. If you need accessibility accommodations, contact us as soon as possible at [email protected].
The Fort Mason campus covers a large area. If you have any kind of mobility issue, or think you might need assistance getting across campus at any point, we recommend that you reach out to us to discuss possible accommodations.

Reserve private meeting rooms for important conversations.

We have meeting rooms available on campus for SOCAP attendees to reserve at an hourly rate. Hours and room sizes vary and are limited – please contact Jamie McGonnigal at [email protected] for additional details.

Conference Experience

Check-In

To check in and pick up your SOCAP19 badge, which is required to access all conference content, you will need to go to the registration desk located inside the entrance to Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason.
On Tuesday, the registration desk will open at 11AM Pacific. On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, Festival Pavilion and the registration desk will open at 7AM Pacific.

Meals at SOCAP19

Our catering partners Acre Gourmet and Town Kitchen will offer delicious breakfasts and lunches throughout SOCAP19. All meals include vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes. Allergens are clearly marked. If you have a question about ingredients ask one of the catering staff from Acre Gourmet staff to assist you. To help you plan your days, here are the times when meals will be served in Festival Pavilion:

Breakfast

Breakfast will be served from 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM in Festival Pavilion on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. On Wednesday and Thursday, plan to pick up breakfast in Festival and walk over to the Big Top Tent to join the Gender Lens Breakfast conversation, which is always amazing. Or join Marlon Hall for yoga overlooking the Bay near the Firehouse, Wednesday through Friday at 7:30 am.

Lunch

Lunch is not provided on Tuesday, but there are restaurant options on and nearby the Fort Mason campus.
On Wednesday and Thursday lunch will be served between 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM in Festival Pavilion.
On Friday, a boxed lunch will be offered between 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM

Networking

Looking for a great ice breaker or way to hone in on the people you most want to meet? Sign in to Braindate, begin suggesting topics for conversations you want to have at SOCAP and schedule a few lunch braindates for yourself.
Offered by our partner e180, Braindate is an online platform and in-person learning experience designed to help participants meet each other for topic-driven, knowledge-sharing discussions called braindates. It is a tool to empower participants to have better, targeted conversations with new people, and make connections that last. To take best advantage of this tool, we recommend that you be proactive, send invitations, and get out of your comfort zone.
Learn more about how Braindate will be transforming the knowledge sharing process at SOCAP19.

Parties

SOCAP is not your typical impact investing conference. We want all attendees to have fun while doing this important work. There are receptions, festive gatherings, and a big party planned for SOCAP19. Here are the basic details (more info will be provided in your SOCAP19 program book).

SOCAP19 Welcome Reception

Tuesday 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Great conversation and delicious, locally sourced hors d’oeuvres from Acre Gourmet.

Wine Down

Wednesday 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
A happy hour for the entire community in Festival Pavilion.

The Big Food Truck Party

Thursday, 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm
The Food Truck Party is SOCAP’s biggest bash of the week! Expect delicious food, music, and dancing.
Check Pathable discussions for info about other receptions and local meet-ups organized by other attendees. Better yet, organize your own meet-up via Pathable!

Meetings With Non-Attendees

Badges are required to access any space on the Fort Mason campus where SOCAP sessions take place. If you have meetings scheduled with non-attendees, or have friends or family members you want to connect with during the conference, you will need to choose a location outside of the badge controlled areas of the Fort Mason campus.

For Parents

For SOCAP19 attendees who have nursing children, a parent’s room will be available in Southside Theater, located in Building D. The parent’s room will be furnished with a refrigerator for milk storage. Please plan to pick up your milk every evening and before noon on Friday. Childcare is not available.

Location and Logistics Info

 
SOCAP19 will take place at the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture.

Address

2 Marina Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94123. (The main entrance is located off Marina Blvd at Buchanan Street).

Parking

A limited number of parking spaces are available at Fort Mason at a cost of $15 per day (for 4+ hours of parking). Information about visiting and parking at Fort Mason, including directions to the venue from around San Francisco, can be found here.

Public Transportation

Aside from Uber and Lyft, there a variety of public transport alternatives to driving to Fort Mason:

  • San Francisco MUNI: 
sfmta.com/muni (Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture is served by the following MUNI lines: 28, 30, 30X, 43, 47, and 49).
  • Bay Area Rapid Transit BART: bart.gov
  • North Bay Golden Gate Transit: 
goldengate.org
  • Peninsula/South Bay CalTrain: 
caltrain.com

Download a MuniMobile® app for iPhone or Android to purchase mobile tickets for all MUNI public transportation options, including bus, rail, and cable car. Or purchase a Clipper® Card, that allows you to pay fares in advance for easy access to all BART and Muni options in the Bay Area.
 
Have additional questions? Check our FAQs or email [email protected].

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