THE ABC’s OF HOSTING DISTRICT CONFERENCES

Have you ever attended a District Conference? Has your Chapter hosted one? Next year could be your Chapter’s chance to host a District Conference! 

Applications to host PRSSA’s next District Conferences are now open, so we thought we’d outline the ABC’s of hosting. In this article, you will find useful information about the application and selection process, as well as resources and important dates to keep in mind.

WHAT ARE DISTRICT CONFERENCES?

District Conferences are mini-conferences planned, hosted, and attended by PRSSA Chapter members. They are 1 to 3 days long and are held every year between February and April in a in-person, hybrid, or virtual format. 

Throughout the conference, there are different growing and learning opportunities, such as speaker sessions, networking events, career fairs, and company tours.

BENEFITS OF HOSTING

District Conferences are an amazing opportunity to help your Chapter with fundraising, membership recruitment, fostering meaningful connections, and professional development. They are also at the forefront of PRSSA brand exposure, member recruitment, and overall advancement of the Society.

In the process of planning the event, conference committee members gain valuable event planning skills, broaden their network, connect with professionals in the industry, and enhance their portfolios. Additionally, while organizing the event, committee members interact with other District Conference hosts to brainstorm ideas, ask questions, and learn together. One of the commonly noted highlights of hosting a conference is becoming friends with people from different parts of the world.

Host Chapters are also eligible to apply for the Teahan Award, which consists of a $300 prize and a plaque for your Chapter. Chapters of any size can apply for the Star Chapter Award by meeting specific goals, one of which is hosting or attending a District Conference.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Chapters that are considering hosting a District Conference in 2023 should complete the Interest Form. This is a non-binding form that is due on August 23 at 2 p.m. EST. By submitting this form, you’ll be able to show your interest in hosting, ask questions, schedule a meeting if desired, and receive more information on District Conferences and the application, selection, and hosting process.

On August 25, the District Conference Hosting Application will go live and must be submitted by all Chapters that want to host a 2023 Conference. This is a binding form, which means that selected Chapters must host a District Conference. The District Conference Hosting Application will be due on September 13 at 2 p.m. EST.

Once your Chapter has submitted the District Conference Hosting Application, I will reach out to schedule a video call interview. This is a great opportunity to explain your unique conference plan. It will be 15 to 30 minutes long and the coordinator is required to participate. Additional planning committee members may join as well.

Everyone who submits an application will go through this process. All conference formats (in-person, virtual and hybrid) will be considered equally. 

SELECTION

Host Chapters will be notified that they’ve been selected to host a 2023 District Conference prior to ICON 2022. At least one person from each host Chapter’s committee is required to attend ICON in order to start promoting their conference.

Hosting a District Conference is a one of a kind experience. Being able to work together with such amazing people is what makes District Conferences so special and fun to plan. There is no better feeling than being at your conference and thinking about everything you have accomplished and learned throughout the previous months.

Although I just briefly explained District Conferences and their application and selection process, it’s important to read the District Conference Information Handbook and the District Conference Execution Guide for further information. If your Chapter is considering hosting a 2023 District Conference, I highly suggest submitting the Interest Form and scheduling a meeting with me. Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at vpevent@prsa.org. I can’t wait to work together!

Milagros Orcoyen, 2022-2023 vice president of events and fundraising, is a sophomore at Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (UADE) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is studying public relations and communication science.

Aside from her PRSSA involvements, Milagros is involved with two non-profit organizations. She volunteers at GEO, a sustainable development center from Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA), where she is a member of the communications department. She also holds the position of writer at The Jane Goodall Institute Argentina. 

She is also videocast host & social media strategist at The Business Takeaway, a student-led company that specializes in creating videocasts where they interview professionals in the advertising, marketing, and public relations industry. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

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