"Frequently Asked" FAQs about RECongress

Religious Education Congress
March 15, 2018 (Youth Day)
March 16-18, 2018

 

How much does it cost to attend the Religious Education Congress?
The price for Congress 2017 was $70 ($80 after the early bird deadline). There is a separate registration and pricing to attend Youth Day. .

How do I register for the Religious Education Congress?

You may register online or by mail. If you register online, you may pay utilizing a credit card or check (ACH processing). If you register by mail, you may do so ONLY until March 3, 2018 utilizing a check or money order along with the form found in the Registration Guidebook. (You may order the Guidebook here, or download the form.) Be sure to provide an email address to receive your registration confirmation. Registration and ticket printing will also be available onsite at the Anaheim Convention Center.

I didn't attend Congress last year, but how do I get a Registration Guidebook each year?
Only Congress attendees "automatically" are mailed a copy of the Registration Guidebook for the next Congress event. The complete Guidebook is available online under the "Guidebook" link. If you missed attending last year's event or moved since our last Congress and you want a paper copy, you can order one to be mailed here, or order a Guidebook from the "Order Guidebook" link on the home page.

How will I receive my Congress tickets?
All Congress tickets will be mailed beginning in January. If you do not receive your tickets in the mail, please come to the Registration Area located in the Prefunction Lobby of the Anaheim Convention Center and we will assist you. For those registering online or by mail, be sure to provide an email address that that you will receive an email confirmation of your registration. After February 29, 2018 tickets will no longer be mailed. You may use the barcode appearing in your confirmation email to print tickets at Congress. Please bring that email with you to the Registration Area (or have it available on your phone) to scan and print out your tickets. If you register and do not receive an emailed barcode confirmation, please call the Congress Registration Desk at (213) 637-7348.

The Registration Area and Program Pick-up is located in the Prefunction Lobby and the hours during the Congress weekend are:
   Thursday, March 15: 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm
   Friday, March 16: 7:00 am to 3:00 pm
   Saturday, March 17: 7:30 am to 2:30 pm
   Sunday, March 18: 8:00 am to 11:00 am

Additional General Questions  

May I register over the phone?
No.

Is there a preferred means of registering?
Yes, we encourage you to register online. Online registration provides two benefits: 1) You can get tickets for the workshops you want to attend since sold out sessions are shown in real time; and 2) You receive an email confirmation immediately. 

When is the last day to register by mail?
March 3, 2018 is the last day to mail in a registration form for Congress 2018. After this date, you may register online (by credit card) or on site (by cash, check, or credit card).

What is the last day to register for the Religious Education Congress?
You may register online until 9:00 a.m. PST Sunday, March 18.

Why do I have to provide my email address when I register?
By providing an email, you will receive confirmation of all your workshop selections and other important information. This email confirmation also provides a link for you to make changes to your workshop selections if you change your mind or have made a mistake when registering. We do not share or sell your email address to anyone.

I want to change my workshop selections. What can I do?
If you provided a valid email address with registration, you received an email confirmation summary. That email also contains a unique hyperlink that allows you to return to your registration page. Click that link to make any changes to your workshop selections or to correct any mistakes in your registration. However, you may only do so until your name badge/tickets are printed. Once tickets are printed, you are no longer able to make changes.

I am disabled. May I attend with a helper?
If you need an attendant at Congress, we ask that only one Personal Care Attendant (PCA) accompany you to workshops and other Congress events. If an attendant is to accompany you, it is important to mail your registration and payment – along with your attendant’s registration (no payment necessary) – in the same envelope with a brief note explaining the circumstance. It is essential to register by the fee increase date (January 13, 2018).

Distances between the Convention Center and surrounding hotels are quite lengthy. Though the Convention Center has a free shuttle service to Convention Center buildings, you may wish to be scheduled for Arena-only or Hall B-only workshops. You may select the Arena (or Hall B) sessions online, or please include a note with your mailed in registration card.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your ability to attend or enjoy RECongress due to handicap access or mobility concerns, please feel free to contact Rob Williams at
RECmobility@la-archdiocese.org. RECongress' Mobility Team will be available to help with wheelchair transport, special seating and any access issues within Congress. At Congress you can find the Mobility Team located just outside Congress Headquarters (AR-1), in the Arena Lobby area.

NOTE: The Convention Center does not provide wheelchairs. You may contact Alpha Drugs Pharmacy at either of their two locations in Anaheim: 1240 S. Magnolia, (714) 220-0373; or 515 S. Beach Blvd., (714) 821-8959.

I want to attend the Congress for only one day. How much will it cost?
The Religious Education Congress has a flat-rate fee, whether you attend for only one session or stay for all three days. Our ability to bring in world-class speakers under one roof is something you cannot find anywhere else. Even if you attend only one session, Congress is an incredible value. Your registration fee also allows you entrance to the Keynote and Sunday Morning Addresses, Exhibit Hall, Liturgies, Sacred Space, entertainment and more!

Can my two boys attend with me for just one speaker?
Congress is an adult/young adult-ONLY religious education event. If you must bring your child(ren), they MUST be registered and they must accompany you at all times. We ask that they be your sole responsibility so they do not disturb the other delegates. Children need to pay the full amount even if they are attending only one workshop. There are no discounts.

Do workshops get cancelled?
We try not to cancel any Congress workshops. If a workshop speaker cannot attend Congress, we will try to fill the session with a speaker offering the same or similar topic. There are no new sessions added at Congress.

Can I stand-by for workshops that I did not get?
Yes. A line will form outside each workshop room location for people that have tickets to attend a different workshop. A few minutes before the workshop begins, attendees in the stand-by line will be permitted to enter IF there are seats available in the room. (There are fire code regulations that prohibit people from standing in the back without having a seat.) Sometimes you will get in, but oftentimes you will not. We cannot guarantee that you will get into your preferred workshop if you were not originally assigned to it.

Why do so many good topics run concurrently?
With over 300 workshops scheduled over 8 periods, averaging 35 sessions per period, all packed into three days – it's no wonder workshop topics run in conflict. We do plan out topics to try to spread them out evenly. Also, check which workshops are recorded – attend the ones that are not recorded and you can then pick up audio CDs (or download MP3s) for the sessions that have time conflicts.

I don't have a hotel reservation and the list on the website indicates many hotels as "Sold Out." What am I supposed to do?
You must ask for the "Religious Education Congress" rate at the hotels. However, many of the hotels contracted by Congress sell out of these room blocks. Though there are only a certain number of rooms contracted at the "Congress rate" and the hotels may sell out of these rooms, you can check to see if there are still rooms available at regular rates.

Why don't you book more hotels?
We book the maximum allowed number of rooms at each hotel. A "Congress" room rate is agreed to at the time we sign the contract. Congress guarantees that the room block at each hotel will be met or faces penalties.

Youth Day Questions  

How much does it cost to attend Youth Day?
Youth Day has a separate registration and fee from the adult Congress days. The registration fee for Youth Day 2017 was $30 ($35 after the early bird deadline).

May I exchange Youth Day name badges?
No, once name badges have been printed, they cannot be reprinted. You may, however, substitute people. For example, if a youth or chaperone is unavailable at the last minute, you may replace them with a youth or adult respectively by using the same name badge and just updating the name with pen, marker or label.

When will I get my Youth Day name badges?
Youth Day packets (name badges and information brochure) will be mailed beginning in January. All Youth Day name badges will be printed and mailed by March 6, 2018. If you do not receive your mailed packet, check your email for a confirmation of your registration. Print out the email and bring it with you to the Congress Registration Area. 

Why does the fee increase after a certain date?
Processing late registrations is more expensive for us and requires us to allocate additional resources to dealing with registration issues. The increased fee helps us cover these additional costs. Also, workshops sell out to the great disappointment of many of our attendees. We find that raising the price encourages many people to sign up early, which results in people receiving their first-choice workshops.

What is required now of Youth Day Chaperones?
All adults attending Youth Day as group Chaperones MUST be compliant with Safe Environment policies and procedures (fingerprinting/background checks, etc.) including compliance with required Safe Environment Adult Training. The Contact Person must be able to produce records indicating completion of these awareness sessions should he/she be asked. This year, the registration process requires that each adult be compliant. If mailing in, please check the “Compliant” box under Chaperone. The "Adult" and "Compliant" boxes must be checked or the registration and check will be returned. If registering online, please check the "Compliant" boxes for both Chaperones and adults. (This would not apply to parents bringing their own children.)

Online Questions  

Can I register via the internet?
Yes. In fact, we encourage you to do so. Go to
www.recongress.org and select the Register button. Online registrations have two benefits: 1) You avoid postal delays or lost mail and can receive a confirmation immediately; and 2) You can see which workshops are sold out and select the alternative workshop that you wish to attend.

What are the Arena and Hall B workshops?
The Arena is the largest venue at the Anaheim Convention Center. We try to place our most popular speakers and those workshops which we anticipate will draw the largest crowds in the Arena since it is large enough to accommodate everyone who wishes to attend. There is an Arena workshop in each period. Online, if you select the "Arena Only" button, you are choosing to attend all the events that take place in the Arena. Hall B is another very large venue for our Spanish-language workshops.

I do not see where to select my workshops.
The third page of the online registration process is the Workshop Selection page. Here you can choose the workshops you wish to attend. If you select the Arena or Hall B buttons, you are choosing to attend the specific workshops that are being held in those respective venues. If you wish to attend anything other than the preselected workshops in the Arena or Hall B, you must SCROLL DOWN on the page and there you will see where you can select your workshops for each period.

I’m on the Workshop Selection page, but I only see two buttons that say Arena and Hall B. Where can I select my workshops?
The two buttons labeled Arena and Hall B offer you a quick way to select all the workshops that will take place in those respective venues. These are preselected workshops and you should review these to make certain these are the workshops you wish to attend. Most people do NOT wish to attend only Arena or Hall B workshops and want to customize their selections. If you wish to select individual workshops other than those in the Arena or Hall B, you must SCROLL DOWN on the page and there you will see where you can select your workshops for each period.

I misunderstood the Arena Only option. Can I fix it?
Yes, you can return to your registration at any point before tickets are printed and make changes to your choices, as long as space is still available for the session you desire. Please log in again and edit your changes. Any changes to your registration (email address, mailing address, workshop sessions, etc.) will not affect your payment.

I’m trying to register online, but the system won’t let me past the Workshop Selection page. What’s going on?
You are either trying to select a workshop that is sold out, or you have left a workshop selection blank. You MUST select something for each workshop. If you do NOT wish to attend a workshop during a given session, please select “I do not wish to attend a workshop in Period x” for that time period. Also, the workshops that are SOLD OUT are listed underneath the drop-down menu for each session. Review the list and make certain that you ARE NOT choosing one of the sold out workshops.

I’m on the Workshop Selection page and it says all the workshops are SOLD OUT.
No they are not. The closer you register to the actual event date, the more workshops will be sold out. At first glance it may appear that ALL the workshops are sold out. But they are not all sold out. First of all, we will never sell out of seats for Arena or Hall B workshops. Second, if you review the list carefully, you will notice that it lists the workshops that are sold out. You must then click on the down-arrow in the selection box to pull up a list of ALL the workshops. Now you must select a workshop that does NOT appear in the list of sold out workshops below.

It is advisable to review the workshops that are sold out prior to beginning the registration process. You can go to www.RECongress.org, then select Updates from the left-side navigation menu, then select Closed Workshops. Doing so will allow you to give careful thought to other workshops you may wish to attend if your first choice is sold out.

I completed my online registration, but now I got an email that states, “Your online registration is incomplete.” What does this mean?
If you started to register online, but had to stop for whatever reason or had computer problems and had to start over, the registration system thinks you are another person making a completely separate registration. As long as you have a confirmation email saying that your registration is complete and your payment was processed, you may ignore any emails that say your registration is incomplete. If this is not the case, please go online to secure your registration.

Where are the second- and third-choice options online?
We no longer need second and third choices for online registration. A benefit of our online registration system is that you are able to view all the available workshops, and for any session you choose, you will instantly receive a ticket. Mail-in registration cards still require second and third choices in case a workshop is filled.

Can I be sure I got into the workshops I chose?
Our online registration system is "live"! You can only select available workshops. Generally speaking, the first 5,000 registrants receive their "first choices."

Payment Questions  

What forms of payment do you accept?
If you mail your registration, you can send a check or money order made out to Religious Education Congress. If you register online, you can pay by check, credit card or debit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.

Can I pay by check if I register online?
Yes! We are now able to accept check payments with online registrations. Register online as you normally would and choose the "ACH payment" option when it comes time to pay. You will be asked to provide the bank routing number and account number found on the bottom of the check.

My check was cashed, but I received a notice that I owe $10 more. Why is this?
The cost to attend Religious Education Congress was $70 by January 13, 2017. Any mailed registrations POSTMARKED after that date will be processed at $80. Simply including a check or money order that is dated prior will not suffice.

Why does the fee increase after a certain date?
Processing late registrations is more expensive for us and requires us to allocate additional resources to dealing with registration issues. The increased fee helps us cover these additional costs. Also, workshops sell out to the great disappointment of many of our attendees. We find that raising the price encourages many people to sign up early, which results in people receiving their first-choice workshops.

Ticket Questions  

Will I get tickets for the Religious Education Congress in the mail?
Maybe. If you registered online prior to the date we print our tickets, you will receive tickets in the mail. If you register after that date, you will need to take your email confirmation (that includes your bar code to print tickets) to the Bar Code Scan line at the Religious Education Congress.

When will I get tickets for the Religious Education Congress in the mail?
We will begin mailing tickets in January. HOWEVER, we utilize an outside company that prints our tickets in batches, so not everyone will get their tickets at the same time. Even a husband and wife that registered together may not get their tickets at the same time. Please be patient. If you registered online, you can return to your registration and it will inform you when your tickets are printed and mailed. Allow up to two weeks for the Post Office to deliver your tickets.

It is past the date when you were supposed to start mailing tickets and I have not received mine. What should I do?
Again, we start mailing tickets in January, but our contractor does not mail them all at the same time. You may check your online registration for the latest information on when and where your tickets were mailed.

OK. I’ve been patient. It’s now two weeks before Congress and my tickets have still not arrived. What now?
If your tickets have still not arrived a couple of weeks before the start of the Religious Education Congress, please email our office to see if perhaps your tickets were returned by the Post Office. Sometimes we do not have your correct address and the Post Office is unable to deliver your tickets. If they have been returned to our office, we can mail them back to you.

However, if the tickets were lost in the mail, you will have to bring your email confirmation and a form of ID to the Existing Ticket Holders line in the registration area at Congress and we will reprint your tickets for you.

Will I be charged the $30 reprint fee if I did not receive my tickets in the mail?
No.

I have tickets, but now I'm not able to attend. Can I get a refund?
Refunds are available (minus a $30 processing fee) only until January 6, 2018. After that date, there are no refunds. However, you may pass along your tickets to someone else who might like to attend Congress. (Note: Until tickets have been printed, you can pull up your account online and change the name appearing on the badge.)

My name is misspelled. Can it be fixed?
Unfortunately we cannot correct errors on name badges once they have been printed. However, you may make the correction using a permanent marker or label.

Additional Questions

Is Continuing Education credit available for attending Congress?
Yes, Continuing Education Units (CEU) are available for attending Congress workshops and keynotes through Loyola Marymount University. Fees, information and a form appears in the Registration Guidebook. You can also contact Loyola Marymount's Continuing Education Division at (310) 338-1971.

How do I get updated information prior to Congress?
Keep checking our website. Our Updates page includes up-to-date information. Also, be sure to Sign Up for our monthly Congress Emailing (
archived here), which provides information and updates.

How can I purchase a video of Congress Arena events?
You can find most every Congress Arena workshop and liturgy -- along with highlights and interviews -- on our RECongress Channel on YouTube at www.youtube.com/RECongress. And it's all available for free. Also, check the information about
RECongress/LIVE!

Do you still need volunteers?
Congress literally could not function without the hundreds of volunteers who give of their time. If you have attended Congress in the past and would like to find out more about becoming a volunteer, check our
Volunteers Page. We have need for English-speaking, Spanish-speaking and bilingual volunteers. Volunteer positions include "MC" (introducing the speaker), Chairperson (coordinator) and Assistants (ticket takers) as well as opportunities in the Congress Choir and as an Extraordinary Minister of the Cup in the Arena.

If we arrive earlier in the week or stay later, what is there to do?
The Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau (located on-site at the Anaheim Convention Center) produces the Anaheim/Orange County Official Visitor Guide -- order online at
www.anaheimoc.org, write them at 800 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim, CA 92802-3415, dial (714) 765-8888, or fax (714) 991-8963. Their website also offers additional visitor information.

Are there any discounts available to local theme parks?
Check our Congress Updates page for a limited time offer on advance purchase of specially priced one-day, multi-day and convention rate tickets for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure themes parks. This offer is only available online before Congress and not at Congress.

Is there available Wi-Fi at the Anaheim Convention Center?
The Anaheim Convention Center offers free Wi-Fi (256K download / 128K upload) throughout the center. To access the free Wi-Fi service inside the Anaheim Convention Center: 1) Go to the location on your smart phone or computer where you connect to Wi-Fi services; 2) Click on "Anaheim Free Wi-Fi" in the list of connection choices; 3) Click on the "Continue to Free Internet" button.
 
You can find access information here, and addition higher band options through Smart City at (714) 765-8600 or
www.smartcity.com.

Need more information?
Email is the best way to contact us. You may email the Religious Education Congress office at
congress@la-archdiocese.org. Please provide as much information as you can so that we may help you quickly and efficiently. You may also call the Congress Office at (213) 637-7346 or (213) 637-7301.

 


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