General Conference Information:

What is the name of the 109th Annual Conference & Expo and when and where will the conference take place?

The 109th AAFCS Annual Conference & Expo,  Cultivating Social and Emotional Competence for Healthy Relationships, will take place from June 24 to June 27, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Proposal Submissions:

What is a Concurrent Session?

Concurrent Sessions include those sessions that were formerly known as Concurrent Sessions and Sessions of Special Interest. They must fit into one of five strands as well as one of three session learning formats. They offer value to the conference by means of education, information, or professional development to attendees.

What are strands?

Strands are similar to the educational tracks featured in previous years! To help define them, sample sessions are provided below each strand title.  You can learn more about strands here--please make sure to expand the Strands section!

How do you define “learning formats”?

All Concurrent Sessions must fall into one of three learning formats: lecture, panel, or experiential learning. Expand the "Learning Formats" heading on this page to learn more. 
Read the FAQ and the Call for Concurrent Session Proposals. Please do not go online and begin working on a proposal if you believe you may abandon it, because even incomplete proposals are a financial burden for the Association. If you are sure that you want to submit after reading the FAQ and the Call for Concurrent Session Proposals, click here to submit!

All proposals* must be submitted through our online system. Please read the FAQ and the Calls for Proposals before you submit. When you're ready to submit, click on the button below! 

*Individuals who wish to submit proposals to present at the Community of Colleges, Universities, and Research (CUR) Research Poster Session; the Community of Colleges, Universities, and Research (CUR) Oral Research Presentation Session; the Assembly of Higher Education (AHE) Undergraduate Research Poster Session; the Council for Accreditation Faculty/Student Poster Presentations; the Community of Apparel, Textiles, and Design Juried Design Showcase and Exhibition; or the Community of Elementary, Secondary, and Adult Education Curriculum Showcase should NOT submit them through this system. Information on submitting individual proposals for these functions will be posted on the "Call for Other Event Guidelines"page.

The categories of proposals to be submitted online are Concurrent Sessions, Meal Functions, and Board and Business Meetings. Communities that sponsor showcases will be contacted by staff for setup information. i3: Inspiration—Innovation—Impact will have a separate online submission system that will open in December.

Who decides what is in the conference program?

All sessions are evaluated based on merit by qualified reviewers, and Concurrent Sessions are blind-reviewed. Proposal submitters were informed of their proposal's status in mid-January 2018. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Sara Tantillo at annualconf@aafcs.org

If your committee is interested in having a business meeting, choose the board or business meeting category. AAFCS will NOT schedule any community or committee meetings if they are not submitted.  Workshops that are being proposed by AAFCS Communities or Committees should be submitted as Concurrent Sessions within the relevant strand.  If your Community would like to hold a ticketed meal function, please submit in the meal function category. Remember, every ticketed meal must have an educational component and fall within one of the strands.

The proposal submission system is open now and will close on October 16th.  Proposal submitters will be informed of their proposal’s status by January 2018.

In general, you should be prepared to answer questions about two areas— the presenters involved and the session itself. Before you begin submitting your proposal(s) online, click here for Concurrent Sessions, here for Board or Business Meetings, and here for Meal Functions to learn what information you will need!  

Do I hold an AAFCS credential?

You hold a credential if you took an AAFCS competency exam, passed the exam, paid a fee, and continue to pay a maintenance fee and report the required number of Professional Development Units (PDUs). AAFCS offers one broad field credential and four concentration credentials in family and consumer sciences:

  • CFCS - Certified in Family and Consumer Sciences
  • CFCS-HDFS - Certified in Human Development and Family Studies
  • CFCS-HNFS - Certified in Hospitality, Nutrition, and Food Science
  • CPFFE - Certified Personal and Family Finance Educator
  • CNWE - Certified Nutrition and Wellness Educator

Those who would like to obtain one of these credentials should sign up to take a competency exam, pass the exam, and pay a fee.

*Effective September 1, 2005, a credential category called CFCS, Retired, is available to those who are already certified. Individuals who meet the AAFCS eligibility requirements to be classified as “retired” may opt for the “retired” category of CFCS professionals. To be eligible, a retiree must be 60 or more years of age, have met retirement guidelines at their place of employment, and must no longer be gainfully employed. It is the responsibility of the CFCS professional to request retired status for their CFCS credential. The “CFCS, Retired” certification category allows maintenance of the professional credential with no further requirement for reporting ongoing professional development. Retirees who will continue to both complete and report professional development units would continue their active “CFCS” status.

For more information on obtaining and maintaining AAFCS credentials, contact the FCS Credentialing Center at 703-706-4600, 800-424-8080, or certification@aafcs.org.

What is the “order of presenters”?

Typically, the proposal submitter will list the names in an order that reflects each person’s contribution to the presentation; i.e., the first name listed is the name of the person who has contributed most to the presentation. The order of presenters will not affect the acceptance of the proposal for presentation—the reviewers will not be seeing the names of the presenters. The information is requested only because it will be used in the program book.

What furniture will be in each presentation room?

The theater set-up is theater style with a skirted head table for the number of listed presenters and a materials table at the rear of the room. If you would prefer, you may choose rounds for 8-10 people, a skirted head table for the number of listed presenters, and a materials table at the rear of the room; or you may choose a conference set-up, which is one table surrounded by chairs. You may also choose a special set-up and describe it. Sessions that require multiple rooms, room set changes, or extra furniture may incur labor and/or furniture rental charges. We anticipate that the assessment of fees will occur rarely, if at all. The final determination about these fees will be made in May 2018, and proposal submitters will be notified if fees are to be charged. AAFCS cannot guarantee that the selected room setup will be provided, but we will take your request into consideration.

What AV will be in each presentation room?

The standard set of AV equipment is an electrical cart and screen and podium or table microphone if a microphone is deemed necessary. AAFCS will be providing LCD projectors to most if not all sessions—the determination will be made in January 2018.  Equipment such as laser pointers, laptops, overhead projectors, speakers, flipcharts, and TV/VCRs are NOT part of the standard set. If any of this non-standard equipment is needed, you may bring your own equipment into the hotel or rent equipment from the AV company contracting with the Association for the conference. The AV rental form will be available here.  
Yes, spaces count toward the character count.
Concurrent Sessions will be no longer than one hour. If you would like to submit a pre-conference workshop or a session that needs to be longer than one hour, please submit as a Concurrent Session and note that in the comments section. Luncheons will be no longer than one-and-one-quarter hours; breakfasts will be no longer than one hour; dinners will be no longer than two hours. Board and business meetings are generally set at one hour, but may be extended upon request based on availability.

I am only available to present one day of the conference. Who do I talk to about this?

In order to present, you must be available to present on any day of the conference (June 25th, 26th, or 27th) because the conference schedule is subject to change. The Program-at-a-Glance is available here,  and please continue to check the schedule up through June as it will continue to be adjusted. Please contact staff at annualconf@aafcs.org with any questions or requests.
Spelling and grammatical errors will result in a lower score, and there are no grammar check functions available in the online system. Proposal submitters may prefer to develop the proposal in a word processing program, where grammar and spelling can be checked more easily before the proposal is copied and pasted into the online system.

The online system allows you to begin a proposal, save it, and come back to it as often as needed. When you are finished with your proposal, submit it by clicking on the "Finalize" button. Make sure that you do not see an error message listing required fields that are still empty. Otherwise, your proposal will be listed as incomplete when the deadline for proposal submission has passed. Although you do not need to complete your proposal when you first create it, please keep in mind that even incomplete proposals are an unnecessary expense for the Association.

When you begin working on your proposal once the system opens, you will first see a screen of submission instructions. Please read these thoroughly. Next you will be asked questions about the proposal itself. After you answer these questions, you will be asked for a little information about yourself (the submitter). Then, you may or may not answer questions about presenters, depending on the type of proposal you are submitting:

  • Concurrent Session: You should continue to the Presenter tab and enter all presenter information, including yours, if you are a presenter.
  • Board or Business Meeting: You will not be asked questions about presenters, as presenters are not listed in the annual conference program book or app for meetings. 
  • Meal Function: You should continue to the Presenter tab and enter all presenter information for the educational component of your meal function.
Share your user name and password with your co-presenters. If they log in as you, they will have access to the proposal until October 16th at 11:59 pm Eastern Time. For your online security, remember to use a password that you do NOT use on other accounts.
If you are having a technical problem and wish to contact technical support while working on your proposal, click on a link (in the upper, right-hand corner of your proposal) called "Support." A pop-up window will appear. Complete the form that is in the pop-up window and click on the submit button. Technical support is open from 9am to 5pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. You may also contact Sara Tantillo at 703-706-4612 or annualconf@aafcs.org with questions.
Proposals can be saved in the online system and edited until October 16th at 11:59:59pm Eastern Time. To save your work at any time, click on "Save." Once you have completed your proposal, click on "Save" and make sure you do not see an error message that indicates there are required fields that have been left blank. If there are not any errors, click "Review" to look over your proposal, and if there is nothing to edit, click "Finalize." Please note that even submitted proposals can be edited until October 16th at 11:59:59pm Eastern Time. Proposals that have not been submitted by then and marked "Finalized" are considered incomplete.
It is not too late. You can make changes even to your submitted proposals by logging onto the online system. You can do this as often as needed between the opening and closing dates.

What is my Reference ID number?

The Reference ID number is found near the top left-hand corner of your proposal. It is a unique number assigned only to your proposal, and helps us locate your proposal if you have questions about it. Be careful not to confuse the Reference ID number with other identifying numbers, such as your AAFCS member ID.

What if I need to change the email address I used when completing my proposal?

In the contact information section of your proposal, you were asked for an email address that is checked regularly. The email that you provided will be used to contact you, and, if you present at the 109th Annual Conference, may be printed in a presenter directory. Please ensure that this is an email address that will be checked on a regular basis, including during extended school breaks. If your email address is changed, or you feel you entered an inappropriate one, please contact us at annualconf@aafcs.org to update. 

When will I be notified of the outcome of the selection process and will everybody listed as a presenter be notified?

A message was sent ONLY to the proposal submitter in mid-January 2018. The proposal submitter is considered the main contact person and is responsible for notifying all other participants of acceptance, rejection, scheduling, and any other information provided by AAFCS. If you did not receive notification, please email us at annualconf@aafcs.org.

Will I be able to continue accessing the online proposal system after the deadline has passed so that I know what information I provided?

No. After the online proposal system closes on October 16th at 11:59pm ET, you will not be able to access the system. Please make sure to print a copy of your submission once it has been finalized! The system is open for edits between February 9th and 23rd. If you did not receive the information about editing, please email us at annualconf@aafcs.org.

Is there anything I can submit an application for that does not go through the proposal system that has closed?

Yes! Submissions are open for several other events, all of which can be found here.


Must presenters register for the conference?

All presenters whose sessions are accepted must register for the conference at the full or one-day rate. Presenters and speakers do NOT qualify for the family/guest registration or expo-only registration options. Presenters for meal functions who will not be attending the rest of conference do not have to register, but must purchase a meal ticket.

What does a Family/Guest Registration include?

Family/Guest registrations include the Tuesday Continental Breakfast. Tickets must be purchased for guests for the Sunday Welcome Reception and Wednesday Capstone Luncheon. People with a Family/Guest registration may attend the Opening General Session, the Expo, and any sessions the primary registrant is presenting. They may also attend one or two additional sessions to learn more about FCS. We ask that if attendees plan to attend all sessions that they purchase a Full or One-Day registration.

Who is eligible for a Student Registration?

Undergraduate and Graduate students are eligible for the Student Registration rate. As well, students who will be graduating in 2018 are eligible, even if graduation is prior to Annual Conference. 

If 6 or more students are attending from your university (undergrad or graduate), you are eligible for the Student Group Discount! Once all students have registered, one representative should contact us at annualconf@aafcs.org, and $20 will be removed from each student's registration rate

What are the registration rates and who are the conference speakers?

We are as excited as you about the 109th Annual Conference & Expo. Information about registration rates is available here, and information about keynote speakers is here. Please also check out the “Connect and Learn” drop-down menu for more information about speakers and sessions, being added all the time! 

Registration is OPEN! Click here to register today! 

What is included in my conference registration?

All full and student registrations will include a ticket to the "Relax, Refresh, & Relate" Welcome Reception on Sunday, the Tuesday Continental Breakfast, held in the Expo Hall, and the Wednesday Capstone Luncheon. Please note, this is a change from previous years. 

Monday-Only Registrations include a ticket to the Sunday Welcome Reception. 
Tuesday-Only Registrations include a ticket to the Tuesday Continental Breakfast. 
Wednesday-Only Registrations include a ticket to the Wednesday Capstone Luncheon. 

NEW: Expo-Only and Family/Guest registrations include a ticket to the Tuesday Continental Breakfast. 

How do I cancel my registration?

Registrations must be cancelled in writing, by email to annualconf@aafcs.org or by mail to AAFCS, Attn: Annual Conference, 400 N. Columbus St., Suite 202, Alexandria, VA 22314. The conference cancellation and refund policy is located here, and applies to all registration purchases including those that have not yet been paid for. When you registered, you selected an answer indicating that you agreed to this policy.

Planning Your Trip:

In what time zone is Atlanta, Georgia located?

Atlanta is located in the Eastern Time Zone.