Selection Criteria Summary
Annual conference locations are typically confirmed 4-5 years in advance. Traditionally, the geographic locations are based in North America with an east, west, and central rotation, including Canada. Below are the factors that we prioritize and weigh heavily in the decision and selection process:
- Preferred meeting dates (Mid to late March, into very early April)
- Meeting space– size, flow, flexibility, and accessibility
- Sleeping room rates
- Geographical rotation
- Restaurant proximity and diversity
- Solid regional support from local members or a nearby University with an Asian Studies program
- Attractiveness of city and facility packages (incentives, rebates, concessions).
- Location within the city
- Air access/service and local transportation services
Annual Conference Space Requirements:
The space requirements for the annual conference are extensive and far exceed the space used in a typical regional conference. When considering location each much include the following minimums:
- 45-50 meeting rooms
- 25,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space
- A ballroom that seats a minimum of 600 people
- Additional smaller ballrooms or space for evening receptions, including AAS reception (800ppl)
- A minimum of 1000 sleeping rooms (preferably in one hotel); additional hotels can be used in close proximity to reach the minimum peak numbers.
- Note: The above space requirements are not option.
Although this amount has changed over the years, we currently look for rates below $250 (not including taxes)
Future Location Suggestions
When suggesting future locations, please keep in mind all of the date, space, and rate criteria noted above, including the following:
All conferences are not created equal.
- The AAS conference has its own set of unique needs and cannot be easily compared to another event or conference, no matter the success of another event.
- One conference may offer cheaper hotel rates because of the geographic location or the time of year. Rates in Boston in March may not match rates in Boston in August or December.
- One event might have signed contracts years in advance, securing a lower rate than our event if we signed our contract years after their contract was signed. Each specific signing year and the market dictates future rates.
- Regional conferences are much smaller than the AAS Annual Conference. Unique locations may work for smaller meetings but most likely will not work for the AAS Annual Conference.
- The AAS Annual Conference has an obligation to try to meet the needs of all members. The conference should rotate to different geographic locations to better serve the membership. This will require:
- The central/midwest U.S. is regularly included in the rotation selection.
- A reasonable expectation is that some members will travel further than others, and direct flights may not be available. Direct flights are not always available for all members (even those based in the U.S.)
- University campuses are not a viable option for the annual conference due to the timing (March) and the need for extensive meeting rooms, exhibit space, and ballrooms
- Final decisions cannot and should not center around personal biases against a location or personal preference for one location.