THAT Conference - Wisconsin Dells, WI

Camp Counselor Handbook

Hi, and welcome to the awesome that makes up THAT Conference! This Handbook should have the answers you need to successfully navigate the rapids leading up to and right on through the show in August. For some of you veterans of conference speaking, some of this may seem obvious, but please read through everything here. If for some reason, this guide does not answer your questions, please reach out to us at [email protected]. We will endeavor not only to respond, but to update this guide with the information for future reference.

Getting Your Counselor Ticket

As a Counselor, one of your benefits is that you get a full conference ticket, but you need to go out to the ticket registration link we sent you to get it. Yes, we know we said to do this when we sent you the welcome email, but it bears repeating. You'd be surprised how busy people are and how they forget even the most important things. Your family is also welcome to join you at THAT Conference, so register their information when you sign up to get their family tickets. We need to have an accurate headcount of you and your family arrangements, so we can plan for all shirt sizes and dietary restrictions.

Update Your Info

Every year we're shocked at the number of Counselors that don't take advantage of the simple stuff and potentially miss out on audience. Campers love to see recognizable faces. Make sure you upload your mugshot, so our campers know who you are when they see you in person. This image should be landscape - 458x306 works the best but our awesome servers somewhere in the cloud will try to resize appropriately. You can upload as many times as you wish; we just keep overwriting the last awesome mugshot you gave us.

Also, make sure you update your abstract. Campers make decisions based on abstracts if they don't know who you are, so make sure that you represent your session well. You’re allowed to make modifications, but please do not change the Title/Topic as it’s what our campers have come to expect.

The Campsite

For your travel planning needs, the address of the Kalahari is

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
1305 Kalahari Drive
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53965

The Kalahari Website

has driving directions from most of the major local starting points. The conference is held in the convention center which happens to be between the two major parts of the resort. You really can’t miss it, and we will have a few signs outside as well.

If you have not booked a room, please do so ASAP. This is one big waterpark in the height of the summer months, and you do not want to have to stay elsewhere. Jingle them up at ||HotelPhoneNumberReservations|| and reference "||RoomBlockCodeCampCounselors||" for our discount and make sure to let them know you are a Counselor (Speaker).

Travel Information

Planes, Trains and Automobiles. If you’re flying, we always suggest first class. There are three different airports you can choose from:

  • O'Hare in Chicago (ORD) is the farthest away at 2hr 45min from the Kalahari but it’s all interstate.
  • Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee (MKE) is 1hr 51min away.
  • Dane County Regional in Madison (MSN), is the closest airport at 50min away.

Should I fly to MKE and take a puddle-jumper over to MSN? We don't recommend it, as it might take you longer to deal with the layover rather than jumping in a car and driving up to the Kalahari. Is there a shuttle from the airports? Unfortunately, no, but you might try jumping on Slack to see if anyone is interested in ride sharing.

Your Setup

By the time you get to the Kalahari, you should have verified the time and location of your session. When you get in, please double check. There will always be small adjustments to the schedule because last minute changes happen. When you register, why not stop by the room you'll be speaking in to get familiar with it? Every room should have:

  • Podium
  • HDMI connector for video
  • 3.5 mm audio (for direct laptop connection)
  • Screen resolution will be 16 x 9 and 1080p
  • A lapel mic
  • A power strip
  • An Ethernet jack on a separate v-lan at each podium.

Sessions are 60 minutes long with 30 minutes between sessions. We expect your audience will be hungry for more. As you might know, a portion of our conference is dedicated to Open Spaces. Our Open Spaces is 10k square feet in the middle of the convention center. It’s moderated and all of the sessions make it onto the schedule. This is a great place to continue your conversation with everyone. Each year we add almost 100 additional sessions to the main schedule and they are generally quite well attended.

As for slide deck templates, we don't have a common one you need to use. Please be creative and unique. We are, however, asking that you include a few sponsor slides and use the THAT Conference logo (we've posted the slides at GitHub in PowerPoint and Keynote format):

  • A cover slide using this year’s logo.
  • One slide to thank our Pioneer and Explorer level sponsors. As you know, a community conference like ours wouldn’t be possible without their support. Please take a moment to thank them.
  • And last, a slide to include at the end of your presentation announcing next year’s date.


When you get into town stop down at the registration desk. It will be located in the main drag of the conference center space. Early registration and our Meet and Greet start at 6pm on Monday. This year we’ll see over 1000 campers of all ages show up at our campsite. We’re expecting that our queuing theory algorithms probably aren't completely optimized, so there might be a line. But guess what? We have a special line for you, Counselor Check-In, so just come on over and introduce yourself.

Please make sure to register when you get in so we can account for everyone. Also, if we can help you in any way, please give us a ring at 1-347-MSG-THAT (674-8428). This number will reach our entire staff.

That Counselor Room

The dedicated Counselor Room will be the Ebony room. Ebony is between the existing and new convention center space. Counselors can use this facility to power up devices, get ready for their sessions, chat with other Counselors, and so on. To preserve your peace, we are not publicizing the Counselor Room, nor is it listed on the map. This room also happens to adjoin the staff’s room just in case you have any questions.

After THAT

We don't yet have an official online gathering place for you to share content with THAT Conference campers, but we do want to encourage you to make your material available offline. Slideshare, GitHub repos, carved in stone at Starved Rock National Park, or wherever is convenient for you and accessible to the people you want to reach. Also make sure your attendees leave with your contact info. These are some lifelong camping contacts you've got right there, and you never know when in the future you'll need a patch for your raft.

Counselor Compensation

THAT Conference is a not-for-profit organization to keep attendance prices low for the community. While we are unable to offer compensation and travel expenses for our Counselors, we are happy to announce that we are able to comp two nights per accepted session (max of three nights per family) at the Kalahari (upgrades would be on the Counselor, of course). Make sure as soon as you register for your Counselor ticket that you also book your room (see the section "The Campsite" above for details), as the rooms always fill up for our dates. Thank you again for being our guest and speaking to THAT community!

Our Commitment

Our goal is to create the best technology events you’ve ever experienced. We are committed to diversity and will not stand for harrassment of any kind, but we cannot do this alone. We need your help and support in our mission. Everyone is expect to abide by our code of conduct, and if you witness something please tell one of our staff members, so we have an opportunity to address it.