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NAD CEO Howard A. Rosenblum shares the process of how the NAD Board chooses the site for a Biennial NAD Conference. The AHA Series is also available at www.nad.org/AHA.
VIDEO DESCRIPTION AND TRANSCRIPT: Video begins with a teal background and a black and white photo of Howard A. Rosenblum slowly increases size as text appears: white text “AHA!”, orange text “Ask Howard Anything”, white text “with”, white text “Howard A. Rosenblum NAD Chief Executive Officer” . The NAD logo appears as a light watermark in the bottom right corner and “#AskHoward” on the bottom left corner. NAD CEO Howard A. Rosenblum is sitting at his desk.
HOWARD: Hi! For this month’s Ask Howard Anything (AHA), some of you wonder how a biennial conference site is chosen. Historically, it used to be decided by conference attendees during the biennial conference. Attendees would review and discuss bids submitted by competing State Associations, and after the bids are submitted the attendees would vote on where the next conference would take place. That kind of process happened for many years at NAD conferencees. However, as time went on, that process was not the best way to determine which place best fits the NAD’s conference needs. The NAD has to consider the number of people attending, the rooms available, hotel availability, the space within the hotel, , and other factors. For this reason, the NAD Board decided to change the process many years ago. Now, each conference rotates between our four regions — Region I is in the East, so for example in 2010 the Biennial NAD Conference was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2012, it was in Region II, the Midwest area, and the Biennial NAD Conference was in Louisville, Kentucky. In 2014, it was in Region III which is the Southeast area, and the Biennial NAD Conference was in Atlanta, Georgia. Then in 2016, it was Region IV’s turn, which is in the West and the 53rd Biennial NAD Conference took place in Phoenix, Arizona. We’ve had 53 conferences in 136 years! Next, the rotation goes back to Region I in the East, and our next Biennial NAD Conference in 2018 will take place in Hartford, Connecticut. Now, how does the NAD decide which site should host the Biennial NAD Conference? We use the services of Angela Ellman, works with the NAD as the conference planner. Angela scouts different locations in the year’s specific region gathering all sorts of information including input from state associations as well as other local community members to identify the best cities with the appropriate level of hotels and conference centers that can host a Biennial NAD Conference. Our conferences usually has 2,000 or more people attending. We look at whether or not a city has the necessary hotel space that can hold that number of people and if there are enough hotel beds at that hotel and other surrounding hotels to accommodate. Other factors that we look at also include whether the surrounding area has places to eat and entertainment venues, whether it is easy to fly/drive into the area, and whether there are enough volunteers and State Association support, and many more factors. Angela gathers all such information four years in advance of each conference. For instance, it is now 2016 and we have been reviewing the conference site for 2020. For 2020, Angela scouted various locations in the Midwest area in Region II to identify appropriate venues that can accommodate our conference needs. Angela organizes all these facts to consider together. We also consider important prices such as the cost of hotel sleeping rooms, hotel workshop space, the overall budget for the conference, A/V costs, and all other costs. Angela gathers all that information together into a spreadsheet and presents it to the NAD Board to discuss. Sometimes the discussion lasts over several meetings before deciding where the conference will be based on the factors. That is the process of how the biennial conference is determined. As you saw, President Melissa has announced that the Biennial Conference in 2020 will be held in Chicago, Illinois. Later on, we’ll announce where the conference will be in 2022 in Region III, the Southeast area, and the conferences that follow. Now you know how we determine our conference sites! Thank you.
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