Your Experience

What is the dress code for PMDMC?

The PMDMC is a business-casual event; what’s most important is that you’re comfortable and able to focus on the great content we have planned for you. Hotel conference rooms can be chilly so we recommend that you pack layers to stay comfortable.

What food is included in my conference fee?
Tuesday, July 10 Lunch is provided for PBS Showcase attendees. Lunch is not provided for pre-conference workshops attendees. Light hors d’oeuvres are provided for general conference attendees at the opening reception.
Wednesday, July 11 Conference attendees will receive continental breakfast, plated lunch, and happy hour munchies. Dinner is not provided.
Thursday, July 12 Conference attendees will receive continental breakfast and happy hour munchies. Lunch and dinner are not provided.
Friday, July 13
(if staying for NPR event)
Coffee and breakfast are provided for NPR-event attendees.

How do I book my hotel room?

Once you complete your conference registration, you’ll receive a link to use to complete your hotel reservation.

When is the last day to book my hotel room at the discount rate?

The last day to book your room at the reserved block rate is June 18, 2018. But keep in mind that our room block often sells out close to the April 26 early bird deadline.

When/where should I fly in?

You can fly into either Chicago O’Hare Airport (ORD) or Midway International Airport (MDW). O’Hare is further in miles, thus a longer and more expensive taxi ride, if you choose that option. If you’re taking public transportation, both airports are connected to the “L” train system, but neither is connected directly to the Marriott (meaning, both require you to transfer trains).

Pre-conference workshops begin first thing on Tuesday, July 10. The PBS Showcase begins at noon on Tuesday, July 10.

If you’re not attending a pre-conference workshop or the PBS showcase, your first official conference event starts at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 10.

How much does the hotel cost?

Rooms that are part of our discounted room block at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile are $209/night + taxes and fees (about 17%).

Is wifi provided?

Wi-fi is free in the meeting spaces. If you’re booked in one of the conference-block rooms, you’ll receive wi-fi in your room for $1.00/day (discounted from $14.95/day).

When/where/how should I download the conference app?

We recommend that you download the PMDMC18 mobile app before you arrive in Chicago. The updated app will be available in June, 2018. Registrants will receive an email reminder with download instructions in the days before the conference.

Will I have access to a list of conference attendees and their contact information?

Networking with colleagues is a huge part of the value of the PMDMC. The PMDMC18 mobile app will include a list of all attendees, along with job title and organization. In order to respect people’s privacy, we give each attendee the option to opt in/out of sharing an email address and allowing direct messaging within the app. That said, go ahead and bring along some old fashioned business cards to the conference.

Can you accommodate dietary restrictions? How should I communicate my dietary needs?

The hotel will provide gluten-free, vegetarian/gluten-free, and vegan/gluten-free meals; you can let us know of your needs in the conference registration form. When you check-in at the conference, you’ll receive instructions on how to communicate your dietary restrictions to hotel staff.

Can you accommodate physical disabilities?

Absolutely. When you register, check the box that reads “I require accommodations for a disability.” We’ll get in touch with you a few weeks before the conference for information about the accommodation you require.

I am traveling with family. Can I bring a guest to any of the conference events?

Guest passes for PMDMC social events may be purchased during the event at the Information Desk on the 5th floor of the Marriott. Payment will be accepted by major credit card only. We do not offer guest passes for sessions or keynotes.

Tuesday, July 10

Solutions Center Happy Hour
5:00-6:30 pm – Chicago Ballroom
Assorted dry snacks, one drink ticket per person
Cost: $20

The PMDMC Opening Celebration! Sponsored by WBEZ
7:00-8:30 pm – Grand Ballroom
Hors d’oeuvres, vegetables/cheese display; complimentary beer and wine
Cost: $30

Wednesday, July 11

Solutions Center Happy Hour, sponsored by WBUR
5:00-6:30 pm – Chicago Ballroom
Cheese display; hummus bar; one drink ticket
Cost: $30

Thursday, July 12

Closing Happy Hour, sponsored by APM
5:15-6:15pm – Grand Ballroom
Passed light hors d’oeuvres, one drink ticket
Cost: $20

I am interested in exhibiting or sponsoring. How does that work?

Here you go.

Where is the hotel located? Should I be concerned about safety in the surrounding neighborhood?

The Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile is located at 540 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611. The surrounding Magnificent Mile neighborhood is downtown Chicago’s premier shopping, eating, and entertainment district. The hotel is less than a 10-minute walk from Millennium Park, the Art Institute of Chicago, Navy Pier, and the theater district. Within eight blocks of the hotel you’ll find 170 restaurants, 138 bars, and 460 shops. We recommend you use the common-sense precautions you’d exercise in any large city.

I’m the only person from my station attending, are there any ways to connect with other solo attendees?

Yes. Don’t miss the Morning Buzz event on Wednesday, July 11. This networking events designed especially for solo attendees and those new to the PMDMC.


What are the fees and deadlines for registration?

Here are the PMDMC18 fees and registration deadlines.

What’s your cancellation policy?
  • Cancellations received on or before May 18, 2018 will be fully refunded minus a $75 processing fee.
  • Cancellations received between May 18, 2018 and June 22, 2018 will receive a 50% refund.
  • Cancellations received after June 22, 2018 are not eligible for refunds.
  • If you have questions about your invoice or would like to request a cancellation, please contact Tanya Boch at 612-548-3372 or
  • Terms vary for exhibitors and sponsors. See your sponsor agreement or get in touch with Dan Jensen with questions.
How do I cancel?

Please contact Tanya Boch at 612-548-3372 or

The pre-conference workshops have a new line-up, why?

We’re trying something new this year. We’ve heard from members of all experience levels, formats and station types that you want new focused experiences that will help ignite your work in new ways, break down silos across the departments, and that can be attended by teams on cross-departmental topics. We’ve searched inside and outside public media to bring you three focused options that we think will help you gain new skills, spark creativity, and bring new revenue opportunities to your station.

How do I add a workshop to my existing registration?

Please contact Tanya Boch at 612-548-3372 or

Can I attend the conference for just one day at a reduced rate?

We do offer day passes on a case-by-case basis. Contact Leah Manners for pricing.


I am speaking at the PMDMC. Do I get a complimentary registration or free hotel rooms?

We’re grateful to the large number of speakers and presenters who make the PMDMC a singular event each year. Because we’re a smart, specialized bunch, there is a good deal of overlap between conference attendees and speakers. We do not provide complimentary registration or accommodations for conference presenters.
Speakers are responsible for booking their own hotel accommodations. Most speakers will receive a 10% discount on registration or the member rate if they’re not a Greater Public or PBS member organization; a discount code will be provided by your session producer or you’ll receive a refund within three weeks after the conference if you’ve already registered.

Do I need to register if I’m only speaking in one session?

As a general rule all speakers need to register for the conference. If you are an exception, your session producer will let you know.

What is the standard setup for the room I’ll be presenting in?
  • Wi-fi
  • Podium + stationary mic
  • Panelists table plus 2 corded mics
  • LCD projector and screen
  • Audio patch cord
  • *Breakout rooms do not include laptops*
  • *Bring your dongle if you’re a Mac user*

Conference Content

I’d like to present a session or be on a panel. How does that work?

Our session proposal submission period begins the December before the conference. Anyone can submit a session and our content committee selects ideas to develop based on the criteria outlined for that year’s conference. The deadline for this year’s submissions has passed. Subscribe to the PMDMC email list (in the footer of this page) to be notified about next year’s call for proposals.

I submitted a proposal for a session. When will I hear back?

Those who submitted proposals for PMDMC18 will be contacted no later than April 1, 2018.

When will the full schedule for the PMDMC be posted?

In the months before the conference, we publish sessions and keynotes as they are confirmed, although shifts and changes sometimes occur. We aim to have at least half of our sessions finalized by the end of February, and most of the schedule should be final by mid- to late-April 2018.

Can I still get a paper version of the conference schedule?

The conference schedule is available online and in the PMDMC mobile app. We no longer publish a paper schedule (or “grid”). When you arrive at PMDMC18, you will receive a printed at-a-glance version of the agenda.

Still have questions?

Get in touch.