Networking Events

Listed below are the various networking events available to Women Leaders Convention attendees. All events are included in your general registration, unless otherwise noted with a * below:

Convention Crew

Opt in to join a "Convention Crew" when completing your Convention registration, and we will randomly connect you with two to three other Convention attendees before you arrive in Phoenix. We'll introduce you to your crew via email before the event allowing you the opportunity to connect in advance and have immediate connections when you get to Convention. No formal programming will be done with this group—this is simply another opportunity to easily meet and connect with new people! 

Welcome Reception

Sunday, October 13, 5:30-7 p.m.
Sheraton Grand Phoenix - Third Street Foyer 

Kick off Convention, connect with your colleagues, and enjoy the contemporary Sheraton Grand Phoenix. Following the reception, attendees are encouraged to continue their conversations and go out to dinner with friends and colleagues at one of the many nearby dining establishments in downtown Phoenix. Don't have a group to dine with? Check out our list of downtown dinner locations through our new Convention app. 

Leaders Lounge

Sunday, October 13, 9-11 p.m.
Monday, October 14, 10-11:00 p.m.

Gather in Third Street Foyer the with fellow attendees for more networking. Offered on both Sunday and Monday nights after Convention programming has concluded.

Get Fit to Lead

Monday, October 14, 6:15-7:15 a.m.
Tuesday, October 15, 6:30-7:30 a.m.

Kick-start your day and bond with fellow Convention attendees with a great workout to kick-start your day! Stay tuned for more details on the specific type of workouts offered.

Party for a Purpose

Sponsored by adidas
Monday, October 14, 8-10 p.m.

Enjoy our tailgate themes party and get! Get ready to challenge your friends at Pop-a-Shot, cornhole, ladder toss, and more fun games—while also bidding on silent auction items to benefit the Women Leaders Foundation Fund. There will be no live program or seated dinner—this is time to connect with your colleagues, while helping to raise funds for fellow member scholarships to all Women Leaders' educational programs, including Institutes, National Convention, and other professional development opportunities for women in intercollegiate athletics. The first 300 people at the door will receive an awesome door prize and be sure to stick around to win awesome raffle prizes!

President/Search Firm Roundtable

Tuesday, October 15, 3-6:15 p.m.
Sheraton Grand Phoenix

As a follow-up to the 2017 NCAA Presidential Pledge and Commitment to Promoting Diversity and Gender Equity in Intercollegiate Athletics, we are excited to be partnering with the NCAA Office of Inclusion to once again host the President/Search Firm Roundtable during the Women Leaders National Convention on Tuesday, October 15 from 3-5:15 p.m., followed by a reception from 5:15-6:15 p.m.

The event will have two main parts:

  1. A panel of presidents discussing hiring trends and qualities they look for when hiring athletic directors. 
  2. Round-table discussions with a president, search firm representative, and YOU—female candidates looking to advance!

Eligible attendees are those on the Executive Candidate List who are currently ready and willing to advance into athletic director or commissioner positions. If you are interested and not already on the Executive Candidate List, please learn more and sign-up here. The President/Search Firm Roundtable has no additional cost, although you must be registered  for the National Convention. Space is LIMITED; we will send a sign-up form to the Executive Candidate List for the President/Search Firm Roundtable in August. The first 60 people to sign up will be able to attend.

Desert Botanical Garden Tour

Tuesday, October 15, 4:15 - 6:15 p.m.

Enjoy an opportunity to engage with your fellow Women Leaders in College Sports members while experiencing the wonderful Desert Botanical Garden. It is home to thousands of species of cactus, trees and flowers from all around the world spread across 55 acres in Phoenix, Arizona. Explore an exhibit or simply roam to enjoy the Garden’s beauty. Transportation will be provided. *Additional registration ($30) is required and is available to add-on to your regular Women Leaders National Convention registration.* 

Quartz Ridge Trail Tour

Tuesday, October 15, 4:15 - 6:15 p.m.

Team up with Women Leaders in College Sports members for a serene 1.7 mile hike through Quartz Ridge Trail, which is a breathtaking out and back trail that crosses rocky Quartz Ridge and ends at the intersection of the L.V. Yates Trail. This trail starts with an easy hike between two small hills but quickly climbs to top of Quartz Ridge. The trail then descends through the beautiful Sonoran Desert to meet with the L.V. Yates Trail. The trail offers great views of downtown Phoenix and nearby Camelback Mountain. NO restrooms or drinking fountains at the trailhead. Transportation will be provided. *Additional registration ($15) is required and is available to add-on to your regular Women Leaders National Convention registration.*