Companion Program

SMiRT 25 team has prepared an active program for family and friends accompanying the conference participants.

Companion Registration:

The Registration for companions is open!

Companions can create their own account and register themselves by using "Sign-Up" option on the registration page. Alternatively, the conference attendee can use "Sign-In" option to login and register their companion. 

We would request all accompanying family and friends to register so that we can plan appropriately.

Registration Fee:

There is no cost for basic registration. However, companions can purchase tickets for specific events listed below:

  • Banquet Dinner $50 (a $120 in value)
  • Biltmore Estate $75 (Includes admission to Biltmore Estate and Wine Tasting)
  • Chimney Rock State Park $50 (Includes admission to Park, Boat Cruise, and Lunch)




Additional details on Companion Program mentioned below.


Schedule of Companion Program:

Monday August 5th, 2019 – Walking tour of Uptown Charlotte & Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

  • Join the Opening Ceremony in the morning
  • Companion Introductions, Coffee, and Intial Briefing (10 am – 11 am): Room - Morehead
  • Lunch and Visit to Bechtler Museum of Modern Art  (11 am – 2:30 pm)
    • Lunch and Tickets to museum to be purchased individually. 


Tuesday August 6th, 2019 – Scenic trip to Chimney Rock State Park and Lake Lure

  • Full day tour
  • Bus Departs – 8 am and targets a return by 5 pm.



Some of North Carolina’s dramatic mountain scenery is found at Chimney Rock State Park, with the signature 315-foot spire overlooking Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure. For more than 100 years, tourists have journeyed to see this 500-million-year-old towering monolith. It is known for dramatic scenery, exhilarating hiking trails, rare plants, native wildlife and one of North Carolina's highest waterfalls.

Reward yourself with a view from the bottom of the 404-foot waterfall, one of the tallest of its kind east of Mississippi River. It was featured in the epic film, “The Last of the Mohicans”.

Cruise around Lake Lure. This beautiful lake is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. It is surrounded by lush mountain tops and sheer granite cliffs. The famous movie “Dirty Dancing” was filmed at Lake Lure.

Plan to wear comfortable walking shoes for 1.4 miles round trip (about 45 mins to 1 hour of round trip) to HICKORY NUT FALLS TRAIL. You may choose to opt out of trail and wait at the Picnic area.

Details on Chimney Rock State Park can be found at

Details on Lake Lure can be found at

Cost of the tour: $50 / person

The discounted cost includes transportation, admission to Chimney Rock Park, a guided Boat Cruise on Lake Lure, and a boxed lunch meal on the Cruise.

**Water bottles and snacks will be provided on the bus.


Wednesday August 7th, 2019 – Visit to Biltmore Estate (Ashville, NC)

  • Full day tour
  • Bus Departs – 8 am and targets a return by 5 pm.



The luxurious family home of George and Edith Vanderbilt is a marvel of elegance and charm, as magnificent today as it was more than a century ago. Get a close look at original art by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and John Singer Sargent.Marvel at magnificent 16th century tapestries, a Library with 10,000 volumes, a Banquet Hall with a 70-foot ceiling, 65 fireplaces, an indoor pool, and a bowling alley. Almost all of the priceless objects that you see throughout the house are from George and Edith Vanderbilt’s original collection. During your visit, be sure to allow enough time to stop by the historic winery on Biltmore's 8,000 acre nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. Complimentary wine tastings, an indoor/outdoor wine bar, speciality wine experiences, and more are part of your distinctive experience at America's most -visited winery, located in the heart of Antler Hill Village. 

Details on Biltmore Estate can be found at

Cost of the tour: $75 / person

The discounted cost includes transportation, admission to the Biltmore Estate, and wine tasting at Biltmore Antler Hill Village. Participants will need to purchase lunch at The Estate. Many options are available.

**Water bottles and snacks will be provided on the bus.

Thursday August 8th, 2019 – Mint Museum

  • Coffee (10:30 am – 11 am): Room - Morehead
  • Lunch and Visit to Mint Museum (11 am – 2 pm)
    Lunch and Tickets to museum to be purchased individually. 
  • Banquet Dinner, Thursday 6:30 pm
    Discounted Banquet Tickets can be purchased for $50 at the time of Registration ($120 value)