General Conference Information

When and where will the 111th Annual Conference take place?

The 111th AAFCS Annual Conference will take place from Friday, June 26 to Sunday, June 28, 2020, in Baltimore, MD.

Who should attend this conference?

The AAFCS Annual Conference is for anyone interested in and family and consumer sciences and related topics! Attendance is not limited to current FCS professionals or students—if you find the subject matter valuable, we want to see you in Baltimore! Input from people studying or working in all sorts of content areas and practice settings is what makes FCS such a valuable and important field. Learn more about family and consumer sciences here

Proposal Submissions

What is an Educational Session?

Educational 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! You can learn more about strands here--please make sure to expand the Strands section!

How do you define “learning formats”?

All Educational 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.

What categories of proposals are accepted online?

The categories of proposals to be submitted online are Educational Sessions, Community & Group EventsMeal Functions, and Board and Business Meetings. i3: Inspiration—Innovation—Impact will have a separate online submission system that will open later in the fall.

Who decides what is in the conference program?

All sessions are evaluated based on merit by qualified reviewers, and Educational Sessions are blind-reviewed. Proposal submitters will be informed of their proposal's status by January 2020. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Sara Tantillo at annualconf@aafcs.org

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.

*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. 

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.

If you are submitting as a sole presenter, you must still add your information in the Presenter 1 fields.

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. 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 2020, 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 all sessions that request a projector in their submission. 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.

How long can my session be?

Educational 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 an Educational 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 27th or 28th) because the conference schedule is subject to change. Please contact staff at annualconf@aafcs.org with any questions or requests.

What is my reference number?

Your reference number/submittal ID is found on your proposal in the system, and in your confirmation emaill. 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 number/submittal ID 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 will be asked for an email address that is checked regularly. The email that you provide will be used to contact you, and, if you present at the 111th 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?

Notifications will go out to ALL submitters in January 2020.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. Please email us at annualconf@aafcs.org with any questions.
Yes! Submissions are open for several other events, all of which can be found here.


How do I register for conference?

Click here to learn everything you need to know about how to register! Registration will open in early February 2020.

I need a copy of the registration form to show to my employer--where can I find that?

Once registration opens, we will have a sample form available online for your reference. 

However, all registration is online—you will need to log into your MyAAFCS account or create one. (if you’ve ever purchased anything from AAFCS, you have an account—contact us at annualconf@aafcs.org if you’re unsure)  If you do not have the ability to register online due to internet or computer access problems, please call Sara at 703-706-4612. Click here to learn more.

Can I register on paper?

AAFCS does not offer a paper registration form at this time. We may make limited exceptions for registrants whose employers require a paper form or for emeritus members with no internet access. Please contact us at annualconf@aafcs.org with requests.

Can I register on behalf of someone else?

If you need to register on behalf of several professors, teachers, or students please contact us directly at annualconf@aafcs.org.

I won an award/have a complimentary registration/am supposed to receive a discount, how do I register?

Distinguished Service Award Winners, FCSRJ Best Paper Award Winners, and First-Time 50-Year Members will see their special rates when they click on the registration link and log in. If you are expecting a different type of discount and have not already received instructions from your contact person at AAFCS, contact us at annualconf@aafcs.org before registering.

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.

If your session is accepted and you determine you cannot attend due to cost, you may withdraw your proposal with no penalty and may submit in the future.

What is a Family/Guest Registration?

People with a Family/Guest registration may attend the Opening General Session, the Saturday Expo, and any sessions at which 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.

Family/Guest registrations may only be purchased with a Full or One-Day registration, and are not valid for presenters.

Family/Guest registrations may include one or more additional events; more information is coming soon.

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 2020 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?

Information will be available soon regarding registration rates and speakers! We can say that registration rates will be lower than 2019 due to the changes made in the conference's structure.

What is included in my conference registration?

More information coming soon about what will be included with this year's registration!  If you will be attending with a complimentary or other special type of registration, please refer to the information sent to you by AAFCS for included meals and events.

I need AAFCS to fill out a form for my employer--who should I contact?

We’re happy to fill out any form your employer requires. Our W-9 is here, and you can email us at annualconf@aafcs.org to fill out any other forms. You may also fax us at 703-706-4663—however, email is checked more frequently and we suggest that if you do fax that you email to let us know.


Are there discounts on registration available?

We are working on some great group discounts for professionals! We currently offer a student group rate (click here for more on that) and will have more information soon regarding professional group rates.  You can also save  by registering before the April 15th Early-Bird Deadline, or by purchasing a membership with your registration if you are not yet a member!

Our ROI toolkit--coming soon!--can help show your employer the value of the AAFCS Annual Conference, and we have some resources for getting funding here.

We also have discounts for different methods of travel (more coming soon), and a discounted rate for our hotel


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 Baltimore, MD located?

Baltimore is located in the Eastern Time Zone.

Where is the hotel? Do I have to stay there?

The hotel is the Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor, and it’s located right next to Baltimore's famous Inner Harbor at 300 Light Street, Baltimore, Maryland, United States, 21202. You are not required to stay at the hotel; however, staying at the hotel at the special discounted AAFCS conference rate helps ensure that AAFCS is not assessed fees by the hotel. Attendees not staying at the Hyatt who are not based within a 50-mile radius of the hotel will be assessed a $25 fee, once a full rooming audit has been completed in July 2020*. There are so many benefits to staying in the conference hotel—book at our special rate and learn more here. Don't miss out!

*Attendees registered as students are exempt from this fee.

How do I get to the hotel?

Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood  Marshall Airport (BWI)  is just 10 miles and 20 minutes from the Hyatt. It offers flights on 13 airlines and has nonstop service to more than 90 domestic and international destinations. Information regarding transportation from BWI can be found here.

While BWI is the closest airport to the hotel, there are several other airports serving the area--take a look at your options before booking, and check back soon for more information on discounted shuttles, rental cars, and more! 

Dulles International Airport (IAD)  60 miles/1 hour and 15 minutes from the Hyatt
Reagan National Airport (DCA) 43 miles/1 hour 10 minutes from the Hyatt

How to get to the hotel and parking: 

Coming by train?
 Baltimore has two Amtrak stations--one at the airport, 10 miles/20 minutes from the Hyatt, and one at Pennsylvania Station, just 2 miles from the hotel. 

Flying in? Take the MTA Light Rail from the airport to Mt. Royal Avenue, then hop on the Penn Station Light Rail--that's just one fare of $1.90!  (more information about shuttles coming soon!)

Driving? Baltimore is easy to reach by car! I-95, I-83, and I-70 all get you to the city. More information coming soon about parking! 

Can children attend?

Children are welcome! We ask that no children under 15 enter the expo hall or attend sessions unaccompanied. We also ask that you use your judgment regarding whether your child is being disruptive and be cognizant of your child’s safety. Note: Before signing up your child for an educational excursion, please contact AAFCS at annualconf@aafcs.org to confirm that children are welcome at off-site locations.

Infants are welcome to attend any session, and parents are welcome to nurse anywhere at the AAFCS Annual Conference. As well, we will have a lactation room where parents can pump, nurse, or just have some quiet time with their baby. If you’d like to take advantage of this room, please make sure to note that when you register.

What is the dress code for the Annual Conference?

In general, the dress code is business casual. We recommend wearing layers—hotels can get cold! As well, please remember that you’ll be doing some walking—we recommend comfortable shoes. Several events have different dress codes—we suggest “semi-formal” for the National Coalition for Black Development in Family & Consumer Sciences Banquet. More information coming soon!

I have a disability; how will you accommodate me?

Please make sure to note your disability or, if you don’t feel comfortable sharing, the accommodations you will need in the Special Needs section when you register. The Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor is ADA compliant, and we want to make sure everyone is able to get the most out of our conference! Accommodations AAFCS has made in the past include large-print programs, ramps to the stage, and reserved seating; please let us know how we can help.

What is your policy against harassment?

Please click here and expand the Code of Conduct section to learn more! We take attendees' safety and comfort very seriously, and all participants in the Annual Conference must agree to the Code of Conduct to attend.

Where will future conferences take place?

Unable to join us in Baltimore? Plan for 2021 and 2022! Our goal when booking these years was to save you money—save the dates today and stay tuned for room and registration rates!   

  • 2021: Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, Minneapolis, MN June 25-27 (room rate: $181)
  • 2022: DoubleTree by Hilton at SeaWorld, Orlando, FL June 25-27 (room rate: $149)