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Annual Meeting Programs & Events


Below you will find all the AFA sponsored programs and events at the Annual Meeting. Please read each carefully as some events require pre-registration or have a registration fee attached. Scroll through the page, or use the links below to jump to the section you're interested in.

Special Programs 

Order of Omega Case Study Competition 

Orientation | Wednesday, November 29 | 7:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Competition | Thursday, November 30 | 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The purpose of the Case Study Competition is to provide an educational learning experience for graduate students involved in the fraternity/sorority advising profession. The Case Study Competition provides both participants and judges with a practical educational opportunity to learn from each other. Participants and judges establish professional relationships and networks, which foster future professional development opportunities. As professionals are educated and grow, so do fraternities and sororities.

The Case Study Competition will consist of two tracks, Track One-Crisis Intervention and Track Two-Systemic Issue. The intended goal is that graduate students will have the opportunity to further develop by participating in the track that focuses on the area they do not have as much experience; hence providing participants with a practical opportunity to further develop their skills. Participants must attend the Orientation. Program Sponsored by Order of Omega

Ignite Fraternity

Thursday, November 30 | 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. 

Ignite Fraternity offers presenters 7 minutes to change the world with their innovative take on topics they have a passion for. This is your chance to spread new, groundbreaking and exciting ideas through your beliefs and experiences! To participate, you just need to prepare 20 slides. During the presentation, these slides will advance every 20 seconds whether you’re ready of not. This is the must see event of the Annual Meeting!

Please note: new this year, potential presenters have the option to share a 30 - 60 second video of themself introducing their topic area as part of the submission process. Once chosen, an experienced professional/facilitator will be paired with the presenter to offer critiques, to coach them through creation of slides, and to get them ready for their Ignite debut! Program Sponsored by LaunchPoint


Project Job Search  

Friday, December 1 | 8:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Project Job Search is the perfect way for graduate students to gain valuable insights as they embark on their career search. Participants will receive helpful tips and tricks for their job search – what makes cover letters and resumes pop and how to navigate interviews, whether a 30 minute phone call or a full day on campus.

Participants will learn about The Placement Exchange (TPE) and hear firsthand tips from TPE representatives and participants. Participants will also interact with a panel of experienced fraternity and sorority professionals from campuses and executive headquarters.  

This session will be tailored to the wants and needs of the participants preparing to enter the job market. Project Job Search will also include an opportunity to network with current professionals, have your resume and cover letter reviewed, and to identify a key mentor to serve as a resource and guide throughout the job search and beyond. Participants are encouraged to bring questions for the panel discussion and a copy of a current cover letter and resume.

Educational Seminars & Tracks

Graduate Training Track: Passion. Perseverance. Grit. Do you have it?

Wednesday, November 29 | 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.
In our industry, it is common to see wide-eyed and eager young professionals come into the profession. Yet, within a couple of years, they are gone. By utilizing a scientifically validated behavioral assessment and the powerful new book, Grit, by Angela Duckworth, as a foundation for our discussion, through conversation, reflection, and activities, participants will dig deeper to understand the importance of self-awareness, adversity, and action and how it relates to maintaining focus, passion, and longevity in our field. Industry leaders will present historical data and knowledge to assist with participant’s understanding of moments that have shaped the fraternal movement and project what challenges lie ahead.

This engaging and thought-provoking experience will allow participants to develop stronger self-awareness, which will cultivate better relationships, assist with personal and professional development, and encourage resiliency as they prepare to enter our industry as a professional. Endowed by Michelle Guobadia. Curriculum Developed by LaunchPoint & CAMPUSPEAK.

New Professionals Seminar

Thursday, November 30 | 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
During this seminar, new professionals will have the opportunity to come together to lean in, rise strong and talk about the grit of this profession.

Professionals in this field want to change the world. But changing the world is hard when we are working with the highest risk students, at a high risk time, in high risk university settings within high risk fraternity and sorority environments. And then we want these same students to create “values based” organizations.
Being a fraternity/sorority professional is tough, but it is also so rewarding! This session will focus on longevity and how to avoid the dreaded burnout.  Additionally, you will gain some good tips (and tricks) to feel equipped to do your job so you can make a difference in lives of our students…and potentially change the world! 

Please Note: The New Professionals Seminar is designed for professionals with three (3) years or less of full-time, professional experience with the content specifically focusing on the needs of members who have just begun their professional work.

Lori Hart, Ph.D, Director of Educational Initiatives, Holmes Murphy

Seasoned Professional Seminar 

Thursday, November 30 | 1:30 - 4:00 p.m.
In an era of budget cuts, increased scrutiny on educational outcomes, and even more legal challenges, it is an extremely challenging environment for professionals working in the fraternity and sorority community. There is increased pressure to find ways to speak to the various constituencies: presidents and trustees, students and parents, mainstream media and social media. This session will explore several of the hot topics impacting the fraternity and sorority community (such as continued hazing deaths and moves to remove groups from campus), and discuss strategies for seasoned professionals to address these issues while working effectively with various constituencies. We’ll wrestle with hard questions and together work on new strategies to improve the sorority and fraternity communities.

Please Note: The Seasoned Professionals Seminar is designed for professionals with seven (7) years or more of full-time professional experience within the field.

Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough, President, Dillard University


Fireside Chat

Fireside Chat Meet & Greet: Institute Edition  

Thursday, November 30 | 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. 
Campus-based professionals will be stationed at tables and organization-based professionals and volunteers will be about to seek out institutional representatives with whom they want to meet. The intention of the Meet & Greet is not to conduct full Fireside Chats, but rather to make introductions and potentially schedule a future meeting. While this is a great opportunity to put a face with a name, meet up with an old colleague, or say a quick hello, this is not an appropriate environment to bring up major issues which you have not previously scheduled a Fireside Chat to discuss. We encourage you to stop by the institutions’ tables to say hello and introduce yourself. Begin creating those partnerships early! Registration is required.


Fireside Chats 

Friday, December 1 | 4:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Fireside Chats are a forum for campus and inter/national organization representatives to reinforce their collaborative efforts on a variety of issues through brief, 20-minute meetings. These meetings will provide attendees the opportunity to discuss the progress of their organizations and create collaborative action plans for future success. 

Given the time limitations of these meetings, Fireside Chats should serve as a starting point for one-on-one discussions later on or regular communication between inter/national organization representatives and campus professionals. We strongly recommend that you inform the other party of discussion items prior to the meetings in order for both parties to be fully prepared. Preregistration is required.


Fireside FAQs & Registration

Check out the most frequently asked questions about Fireside Chats to learn more. If you have any other questions about the 2017 Fireside Chats, please feel free to contact Lauren Utley, Fireside Chats Coordinator.

Please note, the registration deadline is Friday, October 20, 2017. Due to space limitations we will not be able guarantee placement to anyone registering after October 20. Also, Fireside Chat Registration is separate from Annual Meeting Registration. You must have completed the Fireside Chat Registration if you were interested in participating.


Fundraising/Spirit of Giving

AFA Foundation Silent Auction

The AFA Foundation Silent Auction is one of the most popular events at the Annual Meeting. This year will be no different! All proceeds go directly to support those involved in the advisement of men's and women's fraternities. Your donations help the Foundation fund projects aimed at strengthening our profession, including research and professional development programs.


The final deadline for submitting a donation online is Wednesday, November 29, but donations will also be accepted onsite at the Annual Meeting. Fill out your donation form today to make the 2017 Annual Meeting the best one yet!


Because You Believe Stickers 

Because You Believe stickers are a great way to acknowledge and thank your colleagues for believing in you! Stickers are $5 each and all sales benefit the AFA Foundation. Consider a sticker purchase for your mentors, fellow volunteers, former coworkers or friends to display proudly on their Annual Meeting name tags.

Stickers may be pre-purchased here. Pre-purchased stickers can be picked up from the AFA Foundation for you to distribute during the Annual Meeting.


Spirit of Giving

Throughout the Annual Meeting we encourage our attendees to get into the Spirit of Giving. This year, we have partnered with the Gateway Center to provide clothing, gift cards, toiletries, etc. for individuals, families and veterans. This charity provides resources and assistance to move individuals out of homelessness. The Marriott Marquis is also getting into the spirit by donating any unused toiletries from the hotel rooms. Click for more information.



Connections Kickoff

Wednesday, November 29 | 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

The AFA Connection Kickoff is an interactive event designed to help first-time attendees, graduate students, and new professionals navigate and take ownership of their Annual Meeting experience. All first-time attendees, graduate students, and new professionals are encouraged to attend and learn what AFA and the Annual Meeting have to offer! Participants will meet other conference attendees and discover resources available through AFA and the Annual Meeting while building their professional network with experienced professionals. We hope to see you there!


Exhibit Hall 

Opening Coffee Reception | Thursday, November 30 | 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Open Hours | Thursday, November 30 | 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Open Hours | Friday, December 1 | 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Please make sure to block off time to visit the Exhibit Hall. Our Vendor Members offer services that enhance the work our members do and this is an excellent opportunity to network and learn more about how they can help you do your work better.


First Timers Meal Gatherings

Connect with fellow first-timers during special meal gatherings! Reservations have been made at two restaurants, so all you need to do is sign up online to reserve your spot. We will meet in the Atlanta lobby to walk-over. Please note, the cost of the meal is your responsibility.

Lunch on Thursday, November 30

11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. | White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails | Click to Sign Up

Dinner on Friday, December 1

7:15 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. |  Max Lager's Wood-Fired Grill & Brewery | Click to Sign Up 


Closing Banquet 

Saturday, December 2 | 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Join us for the Closing Banquet as we honor the recipients of the Sue Kraft Fussell Distinguished Service Awards, the Robert H. Shaffer Award, the Jack L. Anson Award, and the Dr. Kent L. Gardner Award. A meal ticket is required for this banquet and is available through the Annual Meeting Registration Form. Additional meal tickets are available for purchase at $110.


Offsite Excursions

CNN Center Tour

Wednesday, November 29 | 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. | Cost $15
Get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes access tour to the world headquarters of CNN! You’ll take a 50-minute walking tour with your own tour guide through the halls of the CNN Center, and you'll have the opportunity to take an inside look at how a live broadcast is produced and aired to viewers internationally. You’ll also get a more in-depth look at how the world’s largest news organization operates, and how CNN became the worldwide leader in news. The CNN Center is located .8 miles from the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. For anyone signed up to attend, we’ll meet in the hotel lobby at 3:45 p.m. to walk over.


SweetWater Brewing Company Tour & Dinner

Thursday, November 30 | 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. | Cost $26
SweetWater Brewery was named as one of the nation’s top 20 craft brewers in 2013 by the Brewers Association, ranking in the top 20 out of more than 2,000 breweries nationwide in sales by volume. Join us for dinner and a sampling of SweetWater’s best at this semi-private event featuring a buffet menu with pulled pork, mac & cheese, baked beans, and beverages, along with a brewery tour. Sweetwater is located 5 miles from the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, so we recommend participants leaving by 5:15 p.m. to make the tour.  Transposition is not included in the ticket price. Carpooling, Ubering, and Lyfting are all encouraged as parking is limited. Please make sure you bring your ID and any cash for gratuity.

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