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2020 Conference in the Americas Call for Pre-Conference Proposals

Call for Pre-Conference Proposals

2020 International Research Conference in the Americas

February 26 - 29, 2020 | Atlanta, Georgia

The Academy is celebrating its 27th annual conference in 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia from Wednesday, February 26 to Saturday, February 29.

Deadline for Proposals: October 11, 2019

Download the Call for Pre-Conferences Proposals (PDF)

Invitation & Information About Pre-Conferences

The Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) is currently inviting proposals for preconference sessions to be offered prior to the convening of the 2020 AHRD International Research Conference in the Americas.

Pre-conference workshops provide a tremendous opportunity for deeper learning around a specific topic area and/or for professional development1 for researchers, scholars, and/or scholar-practitioners. 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. A marketing plan and strategy which clearly states appropriate business, industry, and/or education entities outside of AHRD that will be targeted for registration, as well as information about how the presenters will facilitate these connections.
  7. Substantiated need for this session for scholars and/or scholar-practitioners.
  8. 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).
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. A statement indicating commitment to upholding the conference theme of “Inclusion and Activism in a Time of Intolerance” and creating a pre-conference experience that is conducive to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

AHRD will not accept proposals for sessions that include descriptions of commercial products that a presenter is marketing.

Details Related to Pre-Conferences

AHRD commits to assisting with coordinating marketing, event registration, and other items 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).
  • One refreshment break for participants during the session.
  • 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). Any printed materials are the responsibility of presenters.
  • One free, full-conference registration, which may be applied to the registration of one pre-conference organizer/presenter or split and applied evenly as a registration discount in situations with more than one pre-conference organizer/presenter

A participant fee for each pre-conference is set by the AHRD Conference Team in order to ensure these costs associated with the session are covered.

While AHRD works to keep the cost for pre-conferences as low as possible, sessions that require a budget to cover more than those resources outlined above may be considered if the number of participants who register ultimately supports the needs of the session. The AHRD Conference Team would determine a correspondingly higher fee. Note: Costs for any additional supplies or audio/visual equipment that are required (other than those outlined above) must be included in the proposal (see point #10 in proposal requirements), as these may also impact the registration fee.

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. This decision is made one month prior to the scheduled pre-conference.

Criteria for Evaluating Pre-Conference Proposals

Proposals will be considered using the following criteria:

  • Potential for valuable learning for the intended audience.
  • Robustness of plan and strategy for attracting participants outside of AHRD.
  • Relevance of the session to AHRD members and the broader community of scholars and scholar-practitioners.
  • Session is designed to (a) effectively achieve purpose/aims of the session, (b) actively engage participants, and (c) foster a climate of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • 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 Laura Bierema ( by Friday, October 11, 2019 (midnight PST).

Proposers will receive decisions and feedback in late-October. 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 Laura Bierema (

Conference Registration

Online Conference registration will be available in October!

About the Location: Atlanta, GA

Enjoy the Big Peach! Georgia's capital and largest city, Atlanta is a major Southern financial and cultural force and the focus of a metropolitan statistical area that covers more than 6,000 square miles and includes more than 110 municipalities. Open to diversity! People from all over the country, joined by immigrants from other lands, have flocked to Atlanta's mild climate, physical beauty, and job opportunities. Southern hospitality! Offering Old South graciousness blended with an ambitious zest for expansion and dominance, Atlanta has assumed an important position in national and international commerce.

    Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center
    3405 Lenox Road NE
    Atlanta, Georgia 30326, USA
    Phone: (404) 261-9250
    Toll Free: +1 888-855-7741

    Hotel Website

AHRD has secured a special room rate of $168/night plus state and local taxes until February 6, 2020 or until the room block is exhausted, whichever comes first.

Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center is located 25 minutes from Hartsfield- Jackson Atlanta Airport, in walking distance from Phipps Plaza, Lenox Square and the Lenox MARTA Station, and provides easy access to the heart of the city. Take advantage of our superb location, situated moments away from Georgia Aquarium Atlanta, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, World of Coca Cola, CNN Studio, and Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park.

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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