If you’ve attended AAFCS Annual Conferences before, you may be wondering why certain changes were made to the 2019 conference, including using a universal versus a focused theme! In 2017, AAFCS staff researched trends in the conference industry and examined the needs reported by conference attendees and partners. Some of the conference changes will roll out in 2020, but the first and most visible change was the move from a separate theme each year to our signature brand, the AAFCS Annual Conference & Expo! Reasons for this change include:
- AAFCS member feedback has indicated that often, FCS professionals are not able to obtain funding to attend if the theme does not match their content area(s). Even though the conferences have included content that would be appropriate for their professional development, the theme meant they were turned down.
- AAFCS sponsors and exhibitors have informed us that in certain years, they have not been able to exhibit or sponsor due to the theme not connecting with their products—even though attendee demographics are fairly consistent.
- Organizations with related missions, such as the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE), the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), and the American Council on Consumer Interests (ACCI), have moved to signature conference brands with positive results.
- A signature brand helps indicate that the AAFCS conference is for everyone—Family & Consumer Sciences is a large, interdisciplinary field, and AAFCS wants to make sure that all of family and consumer sciences and allied professionals feel welcome, and everyone in the field can find professional development suited to them!
While we have moved away from a yearly conference theme, we continue to have sessions that fall within focused “strands” (formerly known as tracks)—making it easy to see at a glance what might appeal to you! Each strand can include sessions from different content areas and practice settings, all of which relate to one topic.
- Advocacy and Collaboration
- Leadership and Association Engagement
- Educational Tools and Resources
- Research and Scholarship
- Trends and Innovations
The AAFCS Annual Conference & Expo will continue to be THE premier learning and networking event for family and consumer sciences and allied professionals and students.
It's THE place to share new resources and research, address current critical issues, and exchange information and best practices across multiple practice settings and content areas.
We hope you’ll join us in St. Louis in 2019 and beyond!
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.