Conference participants can expect an atmosphere of spirit-filled worship in the presence of God, Mass, inspiring and transforming keynote speakers, breakout sessions, Eucharistic adoration, a healing service, fellowship and many opportunities for prayer ministry and growth in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
We are excited that our conference will be able to minister to the entire family. There will be an Encounter Kids Track for ages 6-12 and an Encounter Teen Track for ages 13-18. More information on those can be found below. Become a Vendor at the Conference
***PREMIUM TICKETS ONLY***
Music led by Encounter Worship. Sessions with Fr. Mathias Thelen, Patrick Reis, and conference speakers. Session includes addresses from speakers and panel discussions on how leaders are implementing the power of the Holy Spirit into their Churches and ministries as well as time to share prophetic senses on what God is doing in the Church in this next season. This will close with a special time for prayer ministry and impartation.
Worship Team and Speaker TBD
Worship Team and Speaker TBD
Celebrant & Homilist: TBD
Worship Team and Speaker TBD
Yes, you can find that information here: https://encounterministries.us/conference-vendors/
A few reasons: First, last year’s conference sold out about a month before the event because we were at max capacity. The DeVos Place Convention Center has a much larger capacity. Second, the Park Inn Hotel in Toledo which was connected to Seagate is actually no longer in operation which would have required participants to walk or drive to and from the conference center every morning/evening. That is a safety concern for some of our attendees both due to potential poor winter weather as well as the late hour that our evening sessions end. In contrast, the hotel attached to DeVos Place, the Amway Grand Plaza, has three times as many rooms as Park Inn had, and still provides our participants with Skywalk access to the convention center completely unaffected by weather. Third, there are much more food and drink options all around DeVos which will greatly enhance our experience together.
Meals are NOT provided in the registration fee, nor are we offering any meal plans for purchase this year. However, our schedule does provide 2 hour breaks for both lunch and dinner for participants to buy food at the concession stands within the venue, or at the 15+ restaurants/coffee shops connected to the Convention Center by skywalk. So you should not have any trouble finding a great place to eat and be refreshed between sessions!
Currently, we are offering our alumni students the first opportunity to volunteer. Then, we will open up certain volunteer positions to the general public. Any such position would involve an average total of 5-6 hours of volunteer service in exchange for free admission with no meals included. Examples of volunteer roles are Kids Track small group leaders (also receive meals & audio downloads of main stage talks), registration table, information table, name badge checkers for entry to the Main Hall, and post-conference clean-up/tear-down. We are currently working to create a separate web page with additional details on volunteer opportunities as well as an application. So, if you intend to apply to be a volunteer, please DO NOT register yourself at this time. If your application to volunteer has already been accepted, but you have already registered in the regular registration portal, then please email email@example.com to be reimbursed.
As a student of our local or satellite Encounter School of Ministry this coming fall, the cost of our annual conference is included in your tuition. We do still need each of you who is attending to register for the conference with a registration portal which will open for you in October. Therefore, please DO NOT register at this time (or if you have already registered, email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know so that we can make the necessary adjustments). In October, you will be able to register free of charge directly on your student dashboard, or if you would like a Premium Reserved ticket you would just pay the $100 difference. But, rest assured that your spots for the conference are reserved, whether you choose the regular ticket OR the Premium Reserved ticket option.
At this time, we are not offering discounts for alumni students (will be alumni as of fall 2020), or for current/alumni students’ family members. Therefore, alumni who do NOT wish to serve as prayer ministers or other types of volunteers can register in the regular registration portal and pay full price. Alumni who will be serving as prayer ministers and/or other types of volunteers must register through a separate portal which has been added to your student dashboard. NOTE: Alumni who are serving only as prayer ministers do not receive a discount, HOWEVER alumni who take on an additional volunteer role with an approximately 5-6 hour total time commitment WILL have their admission fee waived. If you are alumnus who would like to volunteer beyond prayer ministry, please email email@example.com to obtain a coupon code prior to registering in the portal located on your student dashboard. Once alumni have had a chance to sign up to volunteer, then additional volunteers will be accepted which of course would be open to student/alumni adult family members as well. If you are an alumnus but have already registered in our regular portal, just let us know and we will transfer your ticket as needed.
Seminarians & Religious – Yes, we do offer a significant discount for seminarians as well as religious brothers and sisters living in community. To obtain a discount code, please reach out to Sean Breeden at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let him know the seminary you attend, or the name of your religious community. NOTE: For seminarians, if you would like to altar serve at the conference liturgies, please also mention that in your email as well (not all who volunteer may be needed)
Deacons – No, we are not offering a discount for deacons. However, we would love for you to assist at our conference liturgies. Simply email email@example.com to let him know you plan to do so.
Large Groups – No, we are not offering a discount for large group/bulk ticket sales. Instead, we have simply lowered our regular ticket price as much as possible to allow the most amount of people to attend.
Financial Assistance – No, we do not offer scholarships, housing, or any other form of financial assistance at this time. However, if you would like to volunteer in exchange for free admission, that may be possible (see volunteer FAQ for more details). If you need financial assistance but do not wish to volunteer, our recommendation is to ask for assistance from your local church community who can more efficiently help you to register. With our small staff and the large amount of emails we get leading up to the conference, unfortunately we would not be able to quickly facilitate pairing you up with a donor/sponsor.
Yes, you are free to attend whatever parts of the conference you are able. Your registration will get you access to the entire conference, however no discount will be extended for partial attendance.
Yes, if the conference is canceled because there is a law in place which will prohibits large gatherings at the time of the event, then you will receive a full refund of your registration cost. If the conference is still proceeding but you have voluntarily decided to withdraw your registration at least three days prior to the event, then you can still contact us to receive a coupon code which will allow you to credit your full registration cost toward any future Encounter event within the next 12 months.
If you have registered for our event but can no longer attend, we are not able to issue a monetary refund, nor are we able to transfer your ticket to someone else. BUT, by emailing Sean Breeden at firstname.lastname@example.org, we can issue you a coupon code to credit your full registration cost toward any future Encounter event within the next 12 months. If you wish for someone else to use this coupon code in your place (whether for this conference or another one), simply provide the code to that party, and they will enter it when they register themselves for the event.
The regular conference is suitable for all persons age 18 or older. While it is not a hard and fast requirement, we highly recommend that all children present who are ages 6-12 attend the Encounter Kids Track, and ages 13-18 (still in high school) attend the Encounter Teen Track. That way, both adults and children/teens receive content customized for them. Please see the links above for more information. Note: If children ages 6-18 do attend the regular conference with you, they must be registered with the appropriate Youth Track ticket and simply choose from the drop-down list under the ticket types that they will not need to be assigned to a small group.
Although no childcare services will be provided, parents are free to bring their small children under age 6 into the main sessions if they are able to quietly color or entertain themselves in their seats. The facility is very large and parents are free to use the back of the Main Hall, the lobby area, or the dedicated room we have reserved for parents with small children immediately across from the Main Hall. We will be livestreaming the Main Stage conference sessions into that room so you won’t have to miss a thing!
Also, two dedicated nursing mother rooms are available in DeVos Place Convention Center located on the Street Level and Overlook Level on the west side of the facility, just a short walk from the Main Hall.
Although not a hard and fast requirement, we highly recommend that all children present who are ages 6-12 attend the Encounter Kids Track, and ages 13-18 (still in high school) attend the Encounter Teen Track. That way, both adults and children/teens receive content customized for them. Please see the links above for more information. Note: If children ages 6-18 do attend the regular conference with you, they must be registered with the appropriate Youth Track ticket and simply choose from the drop-down list under the ticket types that they will not need to be assigned to a small group.
Yes, two dedicated nursing mother rooms are available in DeVos Place Convention Center located on the Street Level and Overlook Level on the west side of the facility, just a short walk from the Main Hall.
DeVos Place is fully compliant with the American with Disabilities Act, and provides a full range of accommodations for guests with disabilities to ensure their safety, comfort, and enjoyment of their facilities during our event. DeVos Place is equipped with automatic doors for easy access. Concession stands, counters, and drinking fountains are also at a convenient height for everyone. Guests needing special accommodations or services should make such a request at least two (2) weeks prior to the date of the event to the ADA Coordinator of DeVos Place Convention Center by calling 616-742-6600.
Accessible parking is available in the DeVos Place parking ramp located below DeVos Place with entrances on Michigan Street and Lyon Street. Parking lots and ramps surrounding DeVos Place also offer accessible parking. Please refer to the City of Grand Rapids Parking Guide for parking locations or contact The City of Grand Rapids Parking Services at 616-456-3290. To gain access to accessible parking, proper vehicle registration is required as well as a current disabled placard with a matching identification card.
Wheelchairs are kept in the First Aid office for emergency use only. Security will operate wheelchairs in the case of an emergency. DeVos Place will have a limited number of wheelchairs on site at all times for guests to use as needed, based on availability. The DeVos Place security office will handle the distribution of all wheelchairs in conjunction with the Event Services staff. All users will be required to sign a wheelchair release form at time of check out.
All Letters of Suitability/Good Standing for priests attending the conference who wish to concelebrate conference liturgies and/or hear confessions should be EMAILED directly to Gail Welsh from the office of Bishop Walkowiak of the Diocese of Grand Rapids by using the email address email@example.com. Please also copy Sean Breeden at firstname.lastname@example.org, so that we are aware that your letter has been submitted.
NOTE: Although the letters are EMAILED to Gail, they should be ADDRESSED TO:
Rev. Monsignor William H. Duncan, Vicar General
Diocese of Grand Rapids
360 Division Ave., S
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
If you have a question not addressed on our website or FAQ’s, feel free to contact our Director of Events, Sean Breeden, at email@example.com.
If you are NOT staying at the Amway Grand Plaza and need closer parking, DeVos Place has parking conveniently located under the convention center. Access to the parking lot is on Michigan Street and Lyon Street. Please note you can no longer access the underground parking garage if you are heading West on Michigan Street. No left hand turns are permitted due to a semi-permanent concrete berm installed for a new crosswalk.
Additional parking may be available in the City-County Building on Monroe Avenue (across from DeVos Place) or several other parking structures within walking distance. Vehicles that are too large to fit in a parking structure may be given a permit to park on Scribner Avenue during the dates of the event. Parking on Scribner is available on a first come, first served basis.
Parking for registered hotel guests at the Amway Grand Plaza is $10 per night for self-parking, or $15 per night for valet parking. BOTH allow 24-hour in-and-out access. [Note: Without our group rate, this would have normally been $32/$35 per day!]. Valet parking is located in the motor lobby off of the Pearl Street main entrance (if heading south on Monroe Avenue, make a right onto Pearl Street). Self-parking is available in the Amway Grand Parking Ramp. The Amway Grand Parking Ramp entrance is also located on the corner of Pearl Street and Monroe Avenue. Oversized vehicle parking is available. Please proceed to the motor lobby off of Pearl Street for directions to our oversized lot. There is no hotel shuttle, but cabs are available (speak to concierge or valet for more info). Or for downtown travel, the free DASH bus is also available (see separate tab for more info).
All sessions are conveniently located in the Main Hall, and just around the corner is the Kids Track in Ballroom C and the Teen Track in Ballroom A (which will double as rooms for our afternoon breakout sessions). The room reserved for parents with small children with a livestream of the conference will be located in one of the Grand Gallery Meeting Rooms A through F immediately across from the Main Hall. This FAQ will be updated when the exact room is finalized. Dedicated nursing mother rooms are also available located on the Street Level and Overlook Level on the west side of the facility.