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Ask an Expert: Mak’s Top 5 Reasons to Attend NABITA’s Annual Conference with Makenzie Schiemann, M.S., Ph.D., President, NABITA

We asked Mak why she believes the NABITA conference is a valuable investment for threat assessment and behavioral intervention professionals at varying experience levels and educational settings. She gave us her top five reasons why you should attend.

As we continue to learn more about what makes an effective BIT, how to engage our students through case management, and how to conduct good violence risk assessments, the conference content reflects this new research and growth in the field. As an administrator running a BIT, I always found the NABITA conference the best opportunity to learn cutting-edge practices and gain the most practical tips. 

  1. As President of NABITA, I have seen NABITA grow leaps and bounds over the last few years. With over 7000 members, we now have a wide range of BIT experience and expertise represented in our membership – something we seek to elevate in this year’s conference sessions more than ever. We know that some folks come to our conference having just joined a BIT or maybe even still trying to start one, while others have served on a BIT for over a decade. NABITA continues to improve and evolve to ensure the forum remains relevant and valuable in a rapidly changing landscape. With so many new members this year, we are delivering content that responds to the range of experiences of conference attendees.
  2. We all know what it’s like to attend a conference where the content offered in the sessions doesn’t meet our expectations. That’s not going to happen to our NABITA conference attendees. Our featured sessions offer curated content by vetted experts in behavioral intervention and aim to increase the attendee’s ability to align their work with emerging best practices in the field. Additionally, our pre- and post-conference courses allow attendees to obtain certification in BIT standards and best practices, case management standards and best practices, and various risk assessment tools.
  3. Networking is a significant advantage of attending industry conferences, but it is next-level at the NABITA conference. Based on my experience, some of the best networking opportunities at the conference happen at the snack bar (maybe that says something about my love for snacks)! Even our snacks are engaging, like ice cream bars, candy bar snack tables, make-your-own trail mix, and more! The conversations as folks gather around the snacks are the best networking and learning opportunities as attendees learn how their peers navigate difficult BIT decisions.
  4. The memorable moments and groundbreaking discussions will stand out to you for years to come. I have felt inspired, educated, and moved by our keynote speakers over the last few years, and this year’s conference looks to do the same. Aaron Stark will share his moving experience of how he planned a school shooting before someone in his life intervened. He will share ideas about how educators and administrators like yourselves can embrace early- and person-centered interventions to make a difference in someone’s life.
  5. To first-time attendees, I say: engage and communicate. The speakers, NABITA consultants, and TNG Consulting staff are here to engage with you and help you learn. After a session, between breaks, or at the reception, don’t hesitate to approach people, start conversations, and ask questions. The more connection you seek in these few days with your industry peers, the more you ensure you make the most of your experience at the NABITA conference and fully maximize your investment.

To register for the 2023 NABITA Annual Conference and connect with behavioral intervention and safety and threat assessment experts nationwide, visit: