Call for Proposals to Host the 2022 SHAFR Annual Conference

Friday, July 12, 2019 - 9:00am

Call for Proposals to host the 2022 SHAFR Annual Conference

Every other year, SHAFR holds its annual meeting in a location other than the Washington, D.C. area. The SHAFR Council would like to hear from members interested in hosting the conference in their home cities in late June 2022 and is especially interested in hearing proposals from cities beyond the continental United States.  Council is also interested in hearing from potential hosts for 2024 and 2026. 

In an effort to provide as much lead time as possible for negotiating with hotels and other facilities, the deadline for submission of applications will be 1 December 2019, which will allow Council to consider them at its January 2020 meeting. Please send proposals that address the items listed in the dedicated notice on the SHAFR website to SHAFR executive director Amy Sayward ([email protected]).

General Information about the Potential Host City

Please provide a general description of the local area in your proposal.  Why is it attractive as a potential site for a SHAFR conference?   Has it ever hosted a SHAFR conference in the past?  If so, when?  Is it home to long-time SHAFR members or important programs in the field?    Does it possess research facilities that might be appealing to SHAFR members?  Are there local attractions (historic and otherwise) that would appeal to our members?  Is it a family-friendly venue with attractions of particular interest to children? 

What sorts of off-site venues are available for the usual evening social event (normally held on Friday), either within the potential host city or nearby?  Are they accessible to persons with disabilities?  And what sort of local transportation companies are available for transportation to and from the social event site?  Is disability-accessible public transportation an option?  What about on-site parking for attendees who might wish to drive?

Specific Information about Local Host(s)

Please provide information about who specifically will be responsible for local arrangements in the host city.  Because hosting the annual conference is a significant responsibility, most recent non-Washington, D.C. conferences have relied on a coalition of local hosts from different institutions and organizations (colleges and universities, museums, university presses, other historically based organizations, etc.).  Potential hosts are encouraged to think broadly about local partners.

Please provide as well information about potential contributions (financial or otherwise) from partnering institutions/organizations.  While there is no standard for these sorts of contributions, in the past they have included funds to provide general support for the conference and subsidies to offset the cost of speakers, facility rental/AV costs, refreshment breaks, and the conference social event.  Council also welcomes information about potential in-kind support. 

Hotel Sleeping Rooms

SHAFR works with a professional broker to negotiate hotel contracts for its annual meetings.  Potential hosts are thus not expected to handle arrangements themselves, but Council does want them to provide information about the availability of suitable hotel facilities.  In keeping with the recent work of SHAFR’s Conference Committee, potential hotels and all other facilities for the conference must be fully accessible for persons with disabilities.  Recent non-Washington, D.C SHAFR hotel contracts have provided for a block of 150 rooms (half singles, half doubles, and a couple of suites) for Wednesday and Saturday nights and 180 rooms for Thursday and Friday nights.   Potential hosts should use those numbers as a guide when formulating their proposals.

Most recent conferences have been held at a hotel with on-site or adjacent conference facilities, and absent that sort of arrangement, potential hosts should also provide information about where conference sessions and events would occur (distance from hotel, availability of local transportation options or on-site parking, etc.).  See immediately below for specifics about the number and kinds of rooms needed for various conference events.

Conference Session Rooms

Although the format of each SHAFR conference is a little different, past conference schedules suggest that potential host sites should contain sufficient rooms to allow for at least 10 concurrent panels during any given time slot, with some conferences including up to 12 sessions at any given time.  Potential host sites should therefore have sufficient, suitable session rooms for the full run of the conference (usually Thursday mid-day through the end of the day on Saturday).  The increasing popularity of the annual conference suggests a move toward more, rather than fewer, sessions, so faciltities capable of handling 12 concurrent sessions are desirable.

Plenary Session Room/Reception Space

We need a room to accommodate a plenary session, which is sometimes held in the late afternoon (as was the case in 2017) but more often in the evening.  Past conferences have often utilized a hotel ballroom or similar space for this event. 

Space is also needed for the evening welcome reception, also normally held on Thursday.  If this event is to be held immediately following the plenary session, a separate space will be required.  If sufficient time is available for hotel staff to turn around the plenary session space for the reception, then it could be held in the same place.  If not, then a second location must be secured.

Business Meeting Rooms

The Society needs one room that can be used for the Council meeting Thursday morning and the Diplomatic History editorial board meeting Friday morning.   The room should be large enough to accommodate 15-18 people.  Another room is needed for the usual meeting of the SHAFR Teaching Committee (normally scheduled for Thursday morning).  That room should also be available for the Society to use at other times, since we often receive requests from members for space to hold informal committee meetings or small gatherings. 

Breakfast and Luncheon Rooms

Space is needed each morning for continental breakfast, and for catered luncheons on Friday and Saturday.  The SHAFR Presidential Address is delivered at one of the luncheons; the SHAFR president arranges for a keynote speaker for the other.

Job Search Workshop Room

We will need a large space for the annual SHAFR Job Search Workshop on Saturday morning.  In recent years, the Job Search Workshop has been held in the same large space utilized for the plenary session. 

Other Hotel Requirements

We need an easily accessible public space for afternoon breaks (often the same space used for continental breakfast) and the book exhibit.  The latter can be a dedicated room or more public exhibit space, such as a large foyer or hallway.

There should be a lobby area that can be used for conference registration.  If the space is not already a designated registration space with a walk up counter, it must be configured in such a way that we can easily set up tables for the distribution of registration materials.  An open space around the registration area where attendees can mingle is also desirable.


In an effort to make travel to the annual conference as convenient as possible, the SHAFR Council prefers host locations that are easily accessible via air.  Potential hosts should therefore provide information about airport facilities, including distance from potential conference hotels and event sites, number and specific airlines providing service (including international service), local transportion options between the airport and hotel/event sites (taxi, bus, metro/subway), etc.  If potential conference hotels provide complimentary shuttle service, please note that in the proposal as well.