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Tips For Rally First-Timers

Is this your first time at Rally? Are you overwhelmed by all the events and activities? Are you looking to network but don’t know where to start?  Read on to discover the answers to all your questions and make the most out of your first Rally experience. If you have any additional questions, do not hesitate to contact us at

What is Rally?

Also known as the National Land Conservation Conference, Rally is the largest land conservation conference in the country attended by more than 1,800 land trust staff, volunteers, seasoned professionals, agencies, and others from all 50 states, Canada, South America and beyond.  This annual conference offers a dynamic opportunity to meet with your colleagues in conservation, advance your skills and work to solve some of your greatest challenges. Rally consists of exciting field trips planned by local conservation groups,high-quality educational sessions presented by prominent, experienced course leaders, inspirational keynote speakers, special events that are sprinkled throughout the program, exhibits and numerous networking opportunities.

How did Rally begin?

The early 1980’s were heady times for the land trust community.  The newly formed affiliation of land trusts, Land Trust Exchange, (later re-named Land Trust Alliance) was incorporated in February 1982.  Hoping to gather information from local and regional practitioners of the 400 land trusts across the country and reach out to Washington policy makers, the board of directors convened a “National Consultation”.  Jean Hocker who was a board member at the time (and president of the Land Trust Alliance from 1987-2002) suggested a more exciting name – “something like a rally!” she suggested.  Held November 7-9, 1985 in Washington, DC, the first National Rally ‘85 drew 255 attendees. This mighty group of land practitioners planted the seeds for future Rallies.  “In 1985, there was no way to foresee the tremendous growth that would come to land trusts and certainly none of us could have imagined the scope and scale of today’s Rallies,” Hocker remembers. “The unique culture of sharing, of learning and teaching, of striving for excellence, and of educating decision-makers about the benefits of land trusts’ efforts were all present in 1985.”

I’m a first timer.  Will there be many others attending Rally for the first time?

This will be the first Rally for nearly half of the people attending.  Amazingly, we have nine people who have attended each and every Rally since 1985!  We call them the 100 Percenters.  As a Rally First Timer, you will be given a special ribbon that will identify you as a First Timer, so don’t hesitate to ask for assistance onsite at the registration desk or with anyone from the conservation community who will warmly welcome you.  Prior to Rally, feel free to email us at with any questions.

What should I bring to Rally?

The dress code is casual.  It is helpful to wear layered clothing as meeting room temperatures vary.  Wear comfortable clothing and footwear -- the days are long. Also bring: 1) backpack or tote bag, 2) travel mug or water bottle, 3) business cards for networking, 4) notebook and pen for note-taking, 5) hat, sunglasses and sunscreen, and 6) meals for restricted diets other than vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free.

Can my child attend Rally sessions?

Because alcohol will be served at functions and because Rally is an educational/networking conference for adults, we kindly ask that you do not bring children to Rally. We do not provide babysitting services.

My land trust has a job opening.  Will there be a place to announce it?

Located near the registration desk will be a bulletin board to post job listings and messages.

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