|Annual Meeting FAQs|
General Annual Meeting FAQs
Whether this is your first AFA Annual Meeting, or your 40th, please see below for some important information you might not know.
What should I wear?
We recommend sticking to business attire for any on-site programming or events. Please dress however you feel comfortable for dinner on your own, the optional excursions and traveling to and from the conference. For the closing banquet, we recommend cocktail/formal dress. Do you need some inspiration? Check out our Annual Meeting Pinterest board.
What other items should I pack?
It is really important to pack lightly, but previous attendees have said comfortable shoes, business cards, and padfolios have been essential. Also, don't forget some warm layers! Sometimes the meeting room can get chilly, and Boston in early December is typically anywhere between 35-45 degrees.
What time should I get to Boston?
It really depends on what pre-conference programs you'd like to attend. If you are not attending any pre-cons, you should be ready to start the meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 30. If you are a first time attendee, there's a special AFA Connections Kickoff just for you at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 30.
What meals are included?
The meals included in regular registration are the Foundation Recognition Luncheon on Friday, December 2 and the Closing Banquet dinner on Saturday, December 3. If you signed up for an Advance Program on Wednesday, your lunch is included in some of the options. There is also an appetizer Welcome Reception on Wednesday, November 30; however, we encourage you to eat dinner beforehand.
Is Internet provided?
Due to the size of the conference, we are unable to provide wifi to our attendees. If you are staying at The Westin, you may purchase high-speed access in guest rooms for $14.95 per night. Also, many of the hotels have access in their lobby areas.
How can I get involved at the Annual Meeting?
We have many Annual Meeting Ambassador positions open to attendees. Please consider applying for an opportunity by Friday, November 4.
Fireside Chats FAQs
What’s the difference between Fireside Chats Meet & Greet and Fireside Chats?
Fireside Chats are pre-scheduled 20 minute meetings between a campus based professional and an inter/national organization representative, during which time they can share information regarding a specific chapter. During Fireside Chats, each inter/national organization representative will have an assigned table, and campus based professionals will travel from meeting to meeting on their schedules.
During the Fireside Chats Meet & Greet, each participating campus will be assigned a table, and inter/national organization representatives will have the opportunity to circulate throughout the room, visiting different tables for a quick hello and possibly share information in a brief manner. The Meet & Greet is not an opportunity to conduct a Fireside Chat, but it may be an opportune time to set up a future conversation for later in the Annual Meeting.
What is usually discussed at a Fireside Chat?
A Fireside Chat is used to put a name to a face and to discuss what is going on with the chapter either from the college/university perspective or the inter/national organization perspective. It’s a time to share any concerns, accomplishments of the chapter, and/or upcoming events and deadlines.
What should I bring to a Fireside Chat?
It is always good to be prepared with business cards for the entire Annual Meeting. Statistics and specific information about the organization/campus you are meeting with is also very helpful. A more detailed list of items to bring will be provided to you once you register for Fireside Chats.
I requested a meeting with a campus/organization; why wasn’t a Fireside Chat scheduled for us?
Much like sorority recruitment, the Fireside Chats scheduling process can be looked at as a mutual selection process. The schedule for the campus/organization you requested may have already filled with mutually requested meetings. Another possibility is that although every effort was made to encourage the campus/organization to register for Fireside Chats, they have chosen to not participate or they are not in attendance at the Annual Meeting.
When will I know whom I am meeting with?
You will receive an email confirmation regarding any of the Fireside Chats that you request, however you should anticipate that there may be additional meetings with campuses/organizations who requested a meeting with you, or that you may not have fireside chats scheduled with some of the campus/organizations you requested. All registrants are strongly encouraged to contact a representative from an campus/organization they have requested prior to the Annual Meeting. You will be able to pick up a schedule for your Fireside Chats near Registration at the Annual Meeting.
Will there be any changes to my schedule or meetings that I did not anticipate?
No, schedules are final. You may also be scheduled for a meeting that you did not request if there is room in your schedule.
Should I bring up an incident with a particular chapter during a Fireside Chat?
It is best to have alerted the inter/national organization or college/university at the time the incident occurred. However, if for some reason that was not possible, it is important to bring up the incident and discuss what the next steps are to be taken. You do not want to get back to your office and discover that an incident had occurred, but no one from the college/university or inter/national organization spoke to you about it at the Annual Meeting.
Should I expect a solution to an issue during a Fireside Chat?
No. Fireside Chats are not intended to allow enough time to find a solution, but to perhaps discuss the first steps that need to be taken. You may also want to schedule an additional meeting following Fireside Chats to further discuss the issue.
A college/university or inter/national organization requested a Fireside Chat about an organization we currently don’t have on campus or a college/university at which we currently don’t have a chapter. Why would they request a meeting?
Many times college/university or inter/national organizations that are looking to expand will set up Fireside Chats with potential organizations or colleges/universities to discuss any upcoming opportunities for expansion or extension.
How will I know when my Fireside Chat is over?
A representative from the FSC committee will ring a chime to signal the end of your 20 minute session.
What does follow up look like after a Fireside Chat?
It is always nice to send a quick email or note to the representative with whom you met during the Fireside Chat thanking them for taking the time to meet with you. Also, it’s good to recap any discussion you may have had about action steps that will be taken once you return to your campus/office.
If you have ANY other questions about the 2016 Fireside Chats, please contact Lauren Utley, Fireside Chats Coordinator.