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Criteria for Selecting Annual Meeting Sites
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In considering sites for its annual meeting, held for four days in the last half of October, the American Folklore Society looks for places that best meet the following criteria: 


1.  People

A group of 8-10 people from the proposed city or surrounding region that is willing to work with the AFS staff to organize the scholarly program and social activities for the meeting. The main tasks of this committee are:

  • To determine and articulate the theme for the meeting
  • To plan sessions based on the theme
  • To design ways for local artists and community scholars to participate in the program
  • To review proposals for the meeting program and assemble sessions from accepted individual presentations (sometimes this work is done by a separate committee in another location)
  • To design pre-meeting tours and a Saturday night social event
  • To produce a printed local culture guide 

The AFS staff assists with this work, and will handle all other aspects of planning and producing the meeting, including all negotiations and arrangements with the hotel, AV providers, etc.


2.  Hotel

An ADA-compliant hotel with at least 250 sleeping rooms (our total room block for the meeting is usually 930 room-nights); 14 meeting rooms of various sizes for sessions and publishers’ exhibits; and appropriate restaurants and on-site catering operations. 

We may house meeting participants in more than one official hotel, but we prefer to hold all meeting sessions under one roof. Occasionally, we hold our meeting in a convention center if sufficient meeting room space is not available in one hotel. When we do so, we prefer a convention center that is of a size that will allow us to be the primary (if not the only) tenant during the time of our meeting.


3.  Community

We seek safe and pedestrian-friendly hotel neighborhoods, with an active street life, especially during the evening hours; and a range of possible places for members’ interaction—restaurants, bars, clubs or other music venues, museums, parks, shops, interesting art and architecture—preferably within walking distance of the hotel or at least convenient via a good public transportation system.

We also seek proximity to sites of interest to folklorists, including universities with folklore departments, public folklore organizations, distinctive neighborhoods or cultural communities, markets, folk museums, or other places of special cultural or natural interest. These sites can serve as destinations for tours and other special events before or after the meeting, and so can be a short distance away if transportation can be arranged.


4.  Price

We are committed to keeping the total cost of attending our meeting (a combination of travel, accommodation, meal, and incidental costs) as low as possible, given the size of our meeting and the needs of our attendees. We are especially concerned about keeping our meeting within the price range of students.


5.  Local Agendas

We welcome opportunities to use the presence of our annual meeting in a given location as a way to advance the agendas (e.g., for visibility, advocacy, and the like) of academic and public folklore programs in that area. We are also interested in meetings whose themes and/or sites will advance the other goals and work of the Society. 


Proposing a Meeting Site

If you want to propose that the Society consider a site for its annual meeting, you should write a letter to the Society’s Associate Director describing how your site meets these criteria. Though a conveniently located, reasonably priced hotel is critical to our meeting, you need not research hotel availability and prices before sending in your letter. As a second step in the review process, staff from the Society's office, and outside consultants, will carry out this work.

The Society follows a regional rotation of sites to ensure that all parts of the country have the opportunity to host a Society meeting. And the Society, responding to special opportunities (such as the chance to hold a joint meeting with a related society), is itself active in seeking out possible meeting sites. The process of researching and deciding upon a site customarily takes at least 6 months from the time we receive your letter, and easily can take more than a year. The Society generally chooses its meeting sites 3-4 years in advance of the meeting itself.


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American Folklore SocietySister Society: SIEF
Classroom-Office Building, Indiana University, 800 East Third Street, Bloomington IN 47405 USA
812/856-2379; fax: 812/856-2483; www.afsnet.org


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