Hosting a Conference


A conference site is selected by the HEDW Board no less than two years before the conference to permit the host to join the Board two years before the conference as incoming conference chair.

The Board solicits potential hosts and selects a site from among institutions that submit proposals based on the following criteria:

  • The campus has identified the person who will fulfill the responsibilities to serve as the conference chair.
  • The potential host has obtained institutional approval to host the conference and serve as conference chair.
  • The potential host has identified a conference facility or alternative facilities providing conference space and overnight accommodations for about 450 people for four days (pre-conference training, two and a half conference days) at a date acceptable to the HEDW Board, typically in April.
  • The potential host presents a reasonable preliminary budget, following the budget guidelines that are identified below.
  • The campus has convenient access to a major airport to facilitate and minimize participants’ travel costs and travel time.
  • Ideally, but not necessarily, the campus has an on-site conference center and hotel.
  • If the conference would be off-site, the potential host can offer some kind of on-campus component, such as a reception/dinner.


The following criteria define an acceptable preliminary budget.

  • The potential host has obtained cost estimates from one or more conference facilities with sufficient detail to permit completion of a preliminary budget following HEDW guidelines (available from the HEDW Board).
  • The preliminary budget indicates that the conference will come at least close to break even with a registration fee consistent with previous conferences.  An incremental fee increase is acceptable, but the increase may not be large.
  • The potential conference site offers accommodation at an acceptable price.


The hosting institution is responsible for making all local arrangements acceptable to the HEDW Board for the conference including

  • securing conference space and overnight accommodations for about 450 people for four days (pre-conference training, two and a half conference days)
  • planning meals
  • scheduling rooms to accommodate the conference agenda including a vendor showcase
  • preparing conference materials
  • managing registration

The hosting institution may engage an event manager. That cost may be a significant component of the conference budget.

The hosting institution is not expected to contribute funds to the conference.

The conference chair coordinates with the program chair and vendor chair but is not responsible for assembling the program or vendor arrangements in the year they are hosting the conference.

The hosting institution coordinates with the HEDW webmaster to arrange the conference information and registration website.  Normally the hosting institution provides the payment processing component of conference registration.

The hosting institution provides technical support for AV and insures that the conference runs smoothly.  This includes miscellaneous tasks such as arranging dinner groups and assisting with the coordination of airport transportation.

The hosting institution normally arranges a welcome speech from a university representative.

The hosting institution makes facility and hotel arrangements for the one-day board meeting in the fall prior to the conference. The meeting is normally held at the conference campus to review facilities.  The cost should be minimized by, for example, using on-campus facilities and/or obtaining price breaks from the conference site. Video conferencing should be available to permit the participation of board members who cannot travel.

The conference chair serves for two years on the HEDW Forum Board: the year prior to the conference he/she will host and the year before that. In the first year the incoming conference chair serves as the conference program chair.