The Association for Temperate Agroforestry (AFTA) is seeking proposals from universities that would like to host the 16th North American Agroforestry Conference to be held in the year 2019 in the month of June. Proposals should be returned to me not later than Thursday, February 28, 2018. Proposals will be accepted from AFTA members at Land Grant Universities in any State/Province, but we are especially interested in proposals from the Northwestern or Southwestern Regions. AFTA members in two or more adjoining States/Provinces may co-host this event, but there will be only one host State (the State in which the conference occurs) recognized by AFTA.
We recognize that serving as a Host institution for AFTA Conference is a major undertaking, but it is also an opportunity to showcase the quality of your staff and the special agroforestry features of your State/Province.
PLANNING COMMITTEE ROLE
The AFTA Board of Directors will appoint a Conference Planning Committee consisting of AFTA members and partners after the Host Institution has been chosen. The Planning Committee will include representatives from the Host State/Province, members of the AFTA board of directors, a representative from a past Conference Planning Committee, and others as needed to ensure appropriate diversity in disciplines, geography, etc. The Conference Planning Committee makes all major decisions regarding the conference, and will determine:
- the overall program format and schedule
- the conference budget and registration fee
- the conference early registration deadline
- which abstracts will be accepted
- how best to advertise the conference
- the form of the published proceedings
HOST INSTITUTION ROLE
At least two members from the Host Institution are expected to serve on the Conference Planning Committee. Additional members will be added as needed to conduct this conference. The Host Institution will be responsible for carrying out all plans made by the Conference Planning Committee, including:
- Soliciting bids from potential conference sites and associated lodging.
- Producing and distributing advertising materials, including the preliminary announcement/call for abstracts; final announcement and registration instructions.
- Recruiting speakers, as directed by the Conference Planning Committee.
- Publishing the final conference program.
- Registering participants.
- Recruiting volunteers as needed to conduct the conference (e.g., moderators, audiovisual equipment operators, tour guides, poster set-up managers, registration assistants, State gift swap, auction, photographers, etc.).
- Arranging study tours, including all logistics needed (bus rental, estimated costs, food, etc.).
- Producing a proceedings or other summary of the conference
- Purchasing or providing all needed supplies (with reimbursement from the conference account).
- Processing all conference income and expenses from a conference account established by the Host State/Province.
- Summarizing the evaluation forms and providing a summary to the Board of Directors.
Certain duties of the Host Institution as described above may be delegated to other members of the Planning Committee, but the Host Institution maintains responsibility for ensuring completion.
It is AFTA policy that we cover costs of the biennial conference plus produce revenue that can help supplement AFTA’s budget to fund conference scholarships or other priorities. Agreement on the disbursement of profits will be made between the AFTA Board of Directors and the Host Institution during the planning phase. In the event that the Host Institution functions as the financial manager and handles all details related to registration and finances, profits will be split 50:50 between the Host Institution and AFTA. For those conferences in which AFTA assumes responsibility for financial management, profits will be split as follows: 25% to the Host Institution and 75% to AFTA. Grants and donations received by AFTA in support of the conference will not be included in revenue to be shared; however, revenue from commercial sponsors may be shared. The President and Board of Directors will make the best deal possible in negotiating a contract with the Host Institution and will set the registration fees for the conference in keeping with this policy.
Your proposal must include the following:
- Description of one or more potential conference sites. If possible, we prefer a site that practices sustainability and that is surrounded by or located near a setting with agroforestry interest. Your proposal should include the following features:
- distance to the nearest national airport (2 hours maximum travel time)
- nearest city
- meeting and lodging facilities (see criteria below)
- guest amenities
- a description of three or four half-day agroforestry tour opportunities in the local vicinity
- a description of sustainable practices employed by the conference center.
- Names of one or two agroforestry faculty from your university that you recommend to serve on the Conference Planning Committee. Include a brief description of their past experience in planning a national conference or other major event.
- At least one letter from an appropriate administrator verifying that your university has the faculty resources and financial backing to conduct this conference.
- Cost estimates for lodging, food, and meeting room space from each potential conference site. Plan for a conference length of 3 days. Traditionally, the conference has been held towards the end of June. Choose approximate dates that you feel will attract the most participants based on cost, amenities, and competing events. Assume there will be 180 to 250 participants.
- Anything else you think the Board of Directors should know about when considering your proposal.
To assist you in understanding the work that is involved and the expenses that you may incur,
we encourage you to contact one of the past Chairs of AFTA Board of Directors.
- John Munsell - 2017 Conference, Virginia Tech. University, U.S.
- Jesse Randall - 2015 Conference, Iowa State University, U.S.
- John Kort - 2013 Conference, Prince Edward Island, Canada
The AFTA Board of Directors will select the Host Institution based on:
- Prior experience on the part of the Host Institution’s faculty in conducting a major
educational event; evidence of support from Host Institution Dean
- Convention facilities and hotels that have:
- Ability to host 180 – 250 people
- Sufficient meeting space for general sessions for all conference attendees
- Breakout rooms for concurrent sessions and workshops of approximately 50 people each
- Banquet facilities for the entire group as well as for special events
- Exhibit space for approximately 80 – 100 posters and 10 - 15 vendors
- Location within two hours of a major airport
- Estimated costs for lodging, meals, and meeting space
- Amenities offered by the potential conference sites
- Sustainable practices employed by the conference site/center/hotels
- A broad variety of agroforestry tour opportunities
- Cost sharing and revenue sharing
- Host Institute in Northwestern or Southwestern Region (preferred, but all proposals are welcome)
Following Board of Directors’ consideration, you will be notified of the outcome of your bid by the AFTA President. We anticipate making a decision in March 2018.
Badege Bishaw, AFTA President