Practical Tips

General Comments

If this is your first trip to the United States, it is recommended that you purchase a Travel Guide or research travel information on the Internet to prepare yourself for your trip. This page will highlight helpful information/tips about your trip, but your own personal research is encouraged.

You will receive a conference bag at registration that can be used to carry your belongings during the conference.

Climate and Clothing

Asheville has four spectacular seasons. Weather will be warm in Asheville, with the possibility of rain showers. Temperatures range from lows of 18°C/65°F to highs of 29°C/85°F in July, and the average high in July 2014 was 22°C/71°F. Since the conference includes an excursion to The Biltmore Estate, bring comfortable clothing, an umbrella/rain poncho, and walking shoes.

Asheville was named by the Weather Channel in 2012 as one of “America’s Safest Weather Cities”, and the city offers year-round activities for all ages - see more info here.

Business casual attire is suggested for the conference. We recommend bringing a sweater or a jacket to the conference each day, as the meeting rooms are kept at a cool temperature. Getting to session rooms may require short walks. Comfortable shoes and clothing will make your time at the conference more enjoyable. Note that it is fine to wear casual clothing at the conference.

Food and Drink

There are many restaurants near the conference site. You can read about many options for dining sorted by Asheville locations here and check out a guide to the top breweries in Asheville here.

Lunches on July 12-15 and the banquet on July 15 are included in the registration fees. You will receive tickets for each of these meals with your registration materials.

The Renaissance Asheville Hotel features an on-site restaurant called Writer's Bistro.

What to See and Do in Asheville

There are many options in the Asheville area for recreation, shopping, tours, music, food, and arts. Check out more information about what to see and do in the area here.

Internet and News

The Renaissance Asheville Hotel offers complimentary Wi-Fi to guests.

You may want to consider subscribing to the international plan provided by your mobile phone (cell phone) company. Alternatively, you can purchase a SIM card for approximately $30 to obtain 3G with a small data plan for Internet usage.

Safety and Security

The United States is generally a safe country. However, hang on tight to your wallet in crowded tourist sites and avoid people pestering tourists.

See here for more safety tips.

Health and Exercise

As for all international travel, travel insurance (including health insurance) is highly recommended.

If you have any health or security concerns during the conference, please go to the registration desk at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel and speak to the registration staff.

The Renaissance Asheville Hotel has a new fitness center that is open 24 hours a day.  There is an indoor swimming pool and jacuzzi in the Hotel. Don’t forget your swimsuit!

If you need a prescription filled, two of the closest pharmacies to the Renaissance Asheville Hotel are:

Asheville Discount Pharmacy

76 Patton Avenue
Asheville, NC, 28801
Phone: +1-828-258-8511
Hours: Monday through Friday 9:30AM - 5:30PM; Saturday 9:00AM - 1:00PM; Sunday closed

Ingles Pharmacy

29 Tunnel Road
Asheville, NC, 28805
Phone: +1-828-255-4612
Hours: Monday through Friday 9:00AM - 9:00PM; Saturday 9:00AM - 6:00PM; Sunday 12:00PM - 6:00PM