About ONA19

It’s our 20th anniversary at the Online News Association, and we are planning one of our biggest and best events ever. To celebrate our milestone, we’re bringing our annual conference to New Orleans, home to some of the richest history, food and music and in the United States.

ONA19 will bring together some of the most innovative minds in digital media, including journalists, media executives, product teams, entrepreneurs and educators.

You’ll have the chance to learn and network with our diverse and creative community, which ranges from experienced veterans at international news outlets to representatives from major tech companies to those just getting started in their media careers.

We’ll be at the Sheraton New Orleans, within walking distance to the city’s famous French Quarter, as well as a beautiful riverfront walkway, shops, restaurants, attractions and more.

In short, we offer three packed days of learning, as well as opportunities to connect with journalism’s best and brightest, in a fun and energetic environment. Need more information about the value of attending the conference? Check out more reasons why ONA19 is worth the investment.

For up-to-date information on hotel booking information, registration and opportunities to volunteer or speak at ONA19, please check out our opportunities page and sign up for our newsletter.

Accessibility Information

We consider many things when considering venues for our programming and opening night events. A major consideration is accessibility. We’ve compiled a detailed explanation of what to expect in terms of accessibility on site.



How much does it cost to attend ONA19?

Registration happens in three stages: Early Bird, Getting Closer and Almost There. The Early Bird registration period is typically open April through early June and offers the lowest rates to attend our annual conference:

  • $459 for ONA members
  • $809 for non-members
  • $150 for student members
  • $175 for student non-members

Registration costs support venue rental fees, audio/visual production, wireless infrastructure and staffing to ensure participants have a safe and productive experience. We also seek sponsor support which covers about half of the costs of the conference. As a nonprofit organization, we invest any funds remaining from the conferences back into the programs we run throughout the year, most of which are free of charge.

Does my registration include an Online Journalism Awards Banquet and Ceremony ticket?

No. Attending the OJA banquet, held Saturday, Sept. 14, requires a separate ticket. You can purchase a ticket at the same time as registration, or at any time until we sell out.

Can I update my registration information?

Of course! You can update your own registration information in eshow, our registration platform, through your confirmation email. Make your changes by Sept. 7 for a correct badge to be printed. (After that date, we can assist you on site.)

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

It helps to have a printed confirmation, but we can also assist you in finding your reservation when you arrive at ONA19 at the registration desk.

Are there opportunities for me to get free registration to the annual conference?

Yes! We make every effort to minimize the costs to attend the conference and offer opportunities to attend for free. Each year, more than 150 volunteers receive complimentary registration in exchange for contributing general support or using their social media, audio or video skills to provide coverage of the conference. Volunteer applications typically open in March.

A number of ONA programs and fellowships also provide free registration, including the Student Newsroom and Innovation LabHBCU Digital Media FellowshipMJ Bear FellowshipWomen’s Leadership Accelerator, and the ONA/Google News Initiative Local Community Leader Scholarship. If your organization is interested in partnering with ONA to launch a new fellowship or scholarship program for the conference, please contact Jessica Strelitz: jessica@journalists.org.

Does ONA give complimentary registration to media covering the event?

Since ONA is an event for journalists, we do not offer press passes. We do have many opportunities to get involved with our conference, offering more than 100 complimentary badges.

General Questions

What should I wear at ONA19?

Beyond common sense attire for a hotel setting, there’s no set dress code. Most attendees dress business casual, including jeans in many cases. Comfortable shoes are a must for walking through the large hotel space, as well as getting around in (a very walkable!) New Orleans.

People do tend to dress up more for the Online Journalism Awards Banquet and Ceremony, so if you’re attending that, you may want to consider this when packing. We’ve noticed guests tend to change into attire we’d call “business sharp” in honor of the prestigious evening, though this is not a requirement from ONA. It is NOT black tie or otherwise formal.

What wifi is available in the conference areas?

Wifi access is included with your conference registration. You will receive a password when you check in at the ONA19 registration desk. We’re investing in the infrastructure, including bringing in additional access points and planning for a variety of devices. That said, attendees are often trying to connect with multiple devices, so like any conference, we do experience latency / outages from time to time that we work quickly to resolve.

What wifi is available in my hotel room?

The Sheraton New Orleans offers complimentary wifi to guests staying at ONA’s discounted rate. If you book at our special rate before sellout, you’ll have wifi included in your room free of charge. This wifi is run separately from the conference wifi (i.e., you’ll likely be switching between Sheraton wifi in your room and ONA19 wifi in conference areas).

Why didn’t ONA change the conference dates because of the Democratic presidential primary debates or other external events?

ONA does its best to take into account holidays and the schedules of our sister journalism organizations when setting our conference dates.

That said, contracts for conferences of this magnitude are signed years in advance, well before most televised debate schedules, sporting events, Congressional hearings or similar proceedings are finalized. Any change unrelated to a disaster incurs severe financial penalties with our hotel partners and vendors. Non-emergency events, including television schedules, are not considered an adequate reason to release ONA from its obligations.

Even if ONA were able to negotiate out of its contracts, we would likely not be able to find an alternate time for the conference, as venues would have signed agreements with other parties years in advance also. In other words, venues sell space as quickly as possible and don’t leave conference facilities uncommitted “just in case.”

Should a hurricane or other disaster occur in the host city, ONA may, in extreme circumstances, receive partial insurance reimbursement for canceling an event. We will communicate as quickly and efficiently as possible with attendees on the status of the conference should such an extreme event occur.

Other questions?

Contact registration@journalists.org.

If you are a member, and don’t see the member rates displayed, log into the members’ site to get your discounted registration.

If you are not a member, see what you could be saving with an ONA membership and consider joining today.

Code of Conduct

Staff, supporters, volunteers, attendees and speakers are expected to adhere to ONA’s Code of Conduct.

Group Registration

Groups of 10 or more registering together receive a $50 per ticket discount. Contact registration@journalists.org for more information.

Refund Policy

Unable to attend the conference? To learn the requirements and instructions for refunds, visit the Return/Refund Policy page.

Transfer Policy

Your registration is transferable. To learn the requirements and instructions for transfers, visit the Return/Refund Policy page.

Sponsor Policy

Payment for sponsor/exhibitor/supporter/Midway packages must be made by Sept. 10, 2019, or ONA will not issue related conference credentials of any kind for ONA19.

Exhibitor/Attendee Housing Scam Notice

Please note: At past events, we’ve been notified that several exhibitors and conference attendees have received calls and/or emails from companies claiming to be an agent of, or associated with, ONA and offering discounted room rates. We do not have a relationship with any of these companies. All bookings should be made directly with our host hotel using the details above. You can read the full details about this issue here.