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News & Press: Open Call

Call for 2018 AHRD Pre–Conferences

Tuesday, August 1, 2017  
Posted by: Jasper McCroskey

The Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) is currently soliciting proposals for pre-conference sessions to be offered prior to the convening of the 2018 AHRD International Research Conference in the Americas.

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General Information about Pre-Conferences
Pre-conference workshops provide a tremendous opportunity for deeper learning around a specific topic area and/or for professional development for scholars and/or scholar-practitioners. The review of the submissions will take into account the extent to which the proposals address topics directly related to the field of Human Resource Development. These sessions should be highly engaging and interactive sessions with clearly outlined objectives that can be achieved within the time frame of the session. And, they should deliver clear value for participants who attend. AHRD typically offers 2-4 Pre-Conferences each year. They take place during the two days prior to the convening of the conference, and are typically 4-8 hour sessions that can be offered on one day or segmented between the two days (specific days/times to be negotiated with the conference team).

Proposing a Pre-Conference
A proposal for a pre-conference should include:

  1. Title of the session (to be used for marketing, website, etc.) Please be clear and concise.
  2. Name(s) and contact information of the session sponsor(s)/designer(s) (please designate a primary contact for all communications related to this proposal).
  3. Names of additional facilitator(s)/presenter(s).
  4. Abstract/description of the session (250 words maximum) and keywords that describe the session (maximum of three) (to be used for marketing, website, etc.).
  5. Clearly identified target audience for the workshop, including minimum and maximum number of participants you are comfortable with having in the session.
  6. Substantiated need for this session for scholars and/or scholar-practitioners.
  7. 3-5 page overview of the session (clearly outlining what the participants will gain via the learning objectives; the session’s schedule, flow, and time usage; and the specific ways the session will actively engage participants).
  8. Relevant biographical information for session sponsor(s)/facilitator(s), especially highlighting expertise as related to the focus of the session (200 words maximum per person), and a head shot (high res JGEG or PDF) for marketing materials.
  9. Outline of expenses associated with the session (so that the Conference Team can work with you to assess an appropriate participant fee that will cover all related expenses).

Details Related to Pre–Conferences
AHRD commits to coordinating marketing, event registration, and other assistance as related to logistics prior to and at the session. As a part of this support, AHRD provides:

  • Meeting space at the hotel
  • Podium, LCD projector, screen, and wireless internet access in the meeting space (session organizer(s) will provide their own laptop to connect to the projector)
  • Refreshment break for participants during the session (one break for 4-6 hour sessions, two breaks for 7-8+ hour sessions)
  • Copies of participant materials (These must be delivered to the Conference Team three weeks prior to the session. Otherwise, session organizers must make and bring their own copies to the session as AHRD cannot make copies for all participants at the conference site). Copies will be printed in black and white and should be no longer than 10-15 pages per participant.
  • Space on the AHRD website for electronic sharing of participant materials (due one week prior to the session or can be posted on the website after the conference)
  • A modest honorarium for session designer(s)/facilitator(s), along with one room night lodging

A participant fee for each pre-conference is set by AHRD in order to ensure these costs associated with the session are covered. While AHRD works to keep the cost for PreConferences as low as possible, sessions that require a budget to cover more than those resources outlined above can certainly be considered; and the participant fee would be negotiated with the conference team. Note: Costs for any additional supplies or audio/visual equipment that are required (other than those outlined above) must be included in the proposal 4 (see point #9 in proposal requirements). Because participants pay an additional fee, sessions must be compelling enough to attract the intended audience.

Pre-conferences that do not have the minimum registration required to “break even” on costs associated with the pre-conference will be cancelled; and that decision is made 1 month prior to the scheduled pre-conference. If a pre–conference must be cancelled for this reason, AHRD cannot cover fees for changing travel plans, nor offer honorarium/cost of one night accommodation.

Criteria for Evaluating Pre–Conference Proposals
Proposals will be considered using the following criteria:

  • Potential for valuable learning for the intended audience
  • Relevance of the session (as related to the conference theme, the conference location, or key trends in HRD)
  • Session is designed to (a) effectively achieve purpose/aims of the session and (b) actively engage participants.
  • The probability that the event will meet requirements necessary to be implemented (financial viability, coordination resources of organizing team, etc.)

Submitting a Proposal for a Pre-Conference Proposals should be submitted directly to Julie Gedro ( by Monday, September 4, 2017 (11:59 p.m. PST). Proposers will receive decisions and feedback from the Conference Team in mid-September. Pre-Conferences will be marketed beginning when the conference registration is available. If you would like to explore your idea before submitting a full proposal, contact Julie Gedro (

Academy of Human Resource Development

1000 Westgate Drive, Suite 252, St. Paul, MN 55114 USA
Phone: 1+(651)290-7466 • Email:
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