General Conference Information:


What is the name of the 109th Annual Conference & Expo and when and where will the conference take place?

The 109th AAFCS Annual Conference & Expo,  Cultivating Social and Emotional Competence for Healthy Relationships, will take place from June 24 to June 27, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Proposal Submissions:


I’ve submitted an Annual Conference proposal before—can I use the same login credentials or should I create a new account?

If you submitted your proposal in the last six years, you may use the same credentials—if not, you will need to create a new account. Please note: the login and password for the online proposal system are NOT the same as your login and password for MyAAFCS.

What is a Concurrent Session?

Concurrent 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! To help define them, sample sessions are provided below each strand title. Please be creative—sessions that cover every content area and practice setting can fit within these strands, and we want to hear from you!  You can learn more about strands here--please make sure to expand the Strands section!

How do you define “learning formats”?

All Concurrent 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. 

I’m not sure if I want to submit a concurrent session proposal, but I am thinking about it. What should I do?

Read the FAQ and the Call for Concurrent Session Proposals. Please do not go online and begin working on a proposal if you believe you may abandon it, because even incomplete proposals are a financial burden for the Association. If you are sure that you want to submit after reading the FAQ and the Call for Concurrent Session Proposals, click here to submit!

How do I submit my proposal?

All proposals* must be submitted through our online system. Please read the FAQ and the Calls for Proposals before you submit. When you're ready to submit, click on the button below! 

*Individuals who wish to submit proposals to present at the Community of Colleges, Universities, and Research (CUR) Research Poster Session; the Community of Colleges, Universities, and Research (CUR) Oral Research Presentation Session; the Assembly of Higher Education (AHE) Undergraduate Research Poster Session; the Council for Accreditation Faculty/Student Poster Presentations; the Community of Apparel, Textiles, and Design Juried Design Showcase and Exhibition; or the Community of Elementary, Secondary, and Adult Education Curriculum Showcase should NOT submit them through this system. Information on submitting individual proposals for these functions will be posted on the "Call for Other Event Guidelines"page.

What categories of proposals are accepted online?

The categories of proposals to be submitted online are Concurrent Sessions, Meal Functions, and Board and Business Meetings. Communities that sponsor showcases will be contacted by staff for setup information. i3: Inspiration—Innovation—Impact will have a separate online submission system that will open in December.

Who decides what is in the conference program?

All sessions are evaluated based on merit by qualified reviewers, and Concurrent Sessions are blind-reviewed. Proposal submitters will be informed of their submission’s status by January 2018. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Sara Tantillo at annualconf@aafcs.org

To apply to review concurrent sessions, click here! You will need to sign into your MyAAFCS account. If you are submitting a proposal, you may still review, as long as you are reviewing a different strand. 

If my AAFCS Community or Committee wants to propose a session, where should I submit it?

If your committee is interested in having a business meeting, choose the board or business meeting category. AAFCS will NOT schedule any community or committee meetings if they are not submitted.  Workshops that are being proposed by AAFCS Communities or Committees should be submitted as Concurrent Sessions within the relevant strand.  If your Community would like to hold a ticketed meal function, please submit in the meal function category. Remember, every ticketed meal must have an educational component and fall within one of the strands.

When is the deadline for online proposal submission?

The proposal submission system is open now and will close on October 16th.  Proposal submitters will be informed of their proposal’s status by January 2018.

What questions will I be asked when I work on my proposal? Are there word limits on my answers?

In general, you should be prepared to answer questions about two areas— the presenters involved and the session itself. Before you begin submitting your proposal(s) online, click here for Concurrent Sessions, here for Board or Business Meetings, and here for Meal Functions to learn what information you will need!  

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.

*Effective September 1, 2005, 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. To be eligible, a retiree must be 60 or more years of age, have met retirement guidelines at their place of employment, and must no longer be gainfully employed. It is the responsibility of the CFCS professional to request retired status for their CFCS credential. The “CFCS, Retired” certification category allows maintenance of the professional credential with no further requirement for reporting ongoing professional development. Retirees who will continue to both complete and report professional development units would continue their active “CFCS” status.

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.

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; or you may choose a conference set-up, which is one table surrounded by chairs. 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 2018, 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 most if not all sessions—the determination will be made in January 2018.  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.  

Do spaces count in my character limits when I am working on my proposal in the online submission system?

Yes, spaces count toward the character count.

How long can my session be?

Concurrent 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 a Concurrent 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. How do I indicate in my proposal which day that is?

In order to present, you must be available to present on any day of the conference (June 25th, 26th, or 27th) because the conference schedule is subject to change. The Program-at-a-Glance will be available by February 2018,  and please continue to check the schedule up through June as it will continue to be adjusted.

I have no doubt that I want to submit a proposal. Why shouldn’t I go directly to the online system to work on my proposal once the system has opened?

Spelling and grammatical errors will result in a lower score, and there are no grammar check functions available in the online system. Proposal submitters may prefer to develop the proposal in a word processing program, where grammar and spelling can be checked more easily before the proposal is copied and pasted into the online system.

I am still developing my proposal in a word processing document, but am not ready to submit it. Should I still access the online system?

The online system allows you to begin a proposal, save it, and come back to it as often as needed. When you are finished with your proposal, submit it by clicking on the "Finalize" button. Make sure that you do not see an error message listing required fields that are still empty. Otherwise, your proposal will be listed as incomplete when the deadline for proposal submission has passed. Although you do not need to complete your proposal when you first create it, please keep in mind that even incomplete proposals are an unnecessary expense for the Association.

I am working on a proposal, but I do not see questions about presenters. Why?

When you begin working on your proposal once the system opens, you will first see a screen of submission instructions. Please read these thoroughly. Next you will be asked questions about the proposal itself. After you answer these questions, you will be asked for a little information about yourself (the submitter). Then, you may or may not answer questions about presenters, depending on the type of proposal you are submitting:

  • Concurrent Session: You should continue to the Presenter tab and enter all presenter information, including yours, if you are a presenter.
  • Board or Business Meeting: You will not be asked questions about presenters, as presenters are not listed in the annual conference program book or app for meetings. 
  • Meal Function: You should continue to the Presenter tab and enter all presenter information for the educational component of your meal function.

I would like my co-presenters to proofread our proposal after I have put the information in the online system. How do I do that?

Share your user name and password with your co-presenters. If they log in as you, they will have access to the proposal until October 16th at 11:59 pm Eastern Time. For your online security, remember to use a password that you do NOT use on other accounts.

I am already working on my proposal online and am having technical problems. Who can I contact for help?

If you are having a technical problem and wish to contact technical support while working on your proposal, click on a link (in the upper, right-hand corner of your proposal) called "Support." A pop-up window will appear. Complete the form that is in the pop-up window and click on the submit button. Technical support is open from 9am to 5pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. You may also contact Sara Tantillo at 703-706-4612 or annualconf@aafcs.org with questions.

How do I save my proposal?

Proposals can be saved in the online system and edited until October 16th at 11:59:59pm Eastern Time. To save your work at any time, click on "Save." Once you have completed your proposal, click on "Save" and make sure you do not see an error message that indicates there are required fields that have been left blank. If there are not any errors, click "Review" to look over your proposal, and if there is nothing to edit, click "Finalize." Please note that even submitted proposals can be edited until October 16th at 11:59:59pm Eastern Time. Proposals that have not been submitted by then and marked "Finalized" are considered incomplete.

I submitted my proposal by clicking the “Finalize” button. Now I realize I need to change some information on my completed proposal. Is it too late?

It is not too late. You can make changes even to your submitted proposals by logging onto the online system. You can do this as often as needed between the opening and closing dates.

What is my Reference ID number?

The Reference ID number is found near the top left-hand corner of your proposal. 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 ID number with other identifying numbers, such as your AAFCS member ID.

What email address should I use 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 109th 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.

When will I be notified of the outcome of the selection process and will everybody listed as a presenter be notified?

A message will be sent ONLY to the proposal submitter by January 2018. 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.

Will I be able to continue accessing the online proposal system after the deadline has passed so that I know what information I provided?

No. After the online proposal system closes on October 16th at 11:59pm ET, you will not be able to access the system. Please make sure to print a copy of your submission once it has been finalized!

Is there anything I can submit an application for that does not go through the proposal system described above?

Yes! Submissions will open by October for several events, all of which can be found here when available. 



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.

What are the registration rates and who are the conference speakers?

We are as excited as you about the 109th Annual Conference & Expo. Information about registration rates will be available here soon, and information about keynote speakers will be available here. Please also check out the “Connect and Learn” drop-down menu for more information about speakers and sessions, being added all the time!

What is included in my conference registration?

Last year, we were excited to include two luncheons and the welcome reception in all full registrations! The final decisions on what will be included in registration have not yet been made—however, we anticipate similar inclusions this year. Stay tuned for more information, coming soon.

Planning Your Trip:


In what time zone is Atlanta, Georgia located?

Atlanta is located in the Eastern Time Zone.