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Attending the 2018 AAHGS National Conference FAQs


Planning to Attend

1.     What is the 39th AAHGS National Conference?  When and where will it be held?

The AAHGS National Conference is an annual meeting of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society - the premier African-American genealogical group in the country.  The conference offers genealogical and historical sessions, exhibits, programs, and opportunities for networking.  It will be held October 11-13, 2018 at the Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia, PA outside Philadelphia, PA.
2.    What does the conference cost?

The price of the conference varies depending on a variety of factors.  Please see the Conference Pricing page for complete details.

You must either register online or have your mailed-in registration form postmarked by September 10, 2018 to qualify for the reduced "early-bird" registration fee.

3.     What is the cancellation policy?

All cancellations must be in writing and postmarked no later than September 1, 2018. All cancellations will be subject to a $70.00 processing fee.

This cancellation policy is firm and not subject to exceptions.

If you are concerned that you may have to cancel (due to illness, death in the family, or other unforeseen circumstances), you may purchase trip cancellation/ travel insurance from the company of your choice to reimburse you for conference fees and travel expenses. **

**This information is provided as a courtesy to our members.  AAHGS, Inc. does not endorse any specific travel insurance carriers.

4.     What can I do in Philadelphia before the conference begins?
The AAHGS conference committee has arranged tours of several historic sites in the Philadelphia area daily from Tuesday, October 9 through Thursday, October 11.
5.     Who are the sponsors of this year's conference?
See the Sponsor Information Page for a complete list of sponsors.
6.     Is it too late to submit a proposal to present at the conference?

Yes.  However, we are accepting proposals for the 2019 conference.

7. Can my spouse or other traveling companion (who is not registered for the conference) attend meals/social events with me?

Yes. Extra meal tickets for companions can be purchased during conference registration.

8.  I have special mobility requirements?  Will the conference be able to accommodate me?

Yes.  The Valley Forge Casino Resort recognizes the needs of guests with disabilities, as defined by the American with Disabilities Act of 1990. The Event Center makes every effort to comply with state and federal accessibility regulations and accommodate all guests with disabilities.

Mobility on Wheels offers scooter rentals on-site at Valley Forge Casino Resort.

In addition, the Valley Forge Casino Resort has 2 completely wheelchair accessible rooms.

9.  I have special dietary requirements?  Will the conference be able to accommodate me?

Yes.  For those conference attendees who have registered for meals, the AAHGS conference committee will do its best to accommodate any special dietary needs.  Special dietary needs must be detailed in writing and submitted on the 2018 AAHGS Conference Registration Form where noted, or with your online registration.

10.  What does full conference registration include? 

Full conference registration includes Thursday evening reception, Friday and Saturday Luncheon, Friday Dinner and Saturday Night Banquet; as well as all presentations and sessions. 

Breakfast is not included.  However, the Valley Forge Casino Resort has several on-site dining options.

11.  Do I need to register for the sessions I want to attend in advance?

Once you have registered for the conference. there is no need to register for any of the individual sessions.  As with other conferences of this type, attendees are free to attend any session until room capacity is met.  You can consult the Full Agenda page in order to select the sessions you are interested in.

Travel and Lodging

1.    What is the best way to get from the airport to the conference location?

The Valley Forge Casino Resort recommends Tropiano Airport Shuttle ( / 800-559-2040) for $29 cash / $34 credit card and $53 round trip. Shuttles depart from Philadelphia International Airport’s (PHL) Ground Transportation Area and returns to the airport on an hourly basis.  The last pickup at the airport is 11 pm.  The last pickup at the hotel is 6:00 pm. The distance is 18 miles and is approximately 28 minutes away. 

Reservations are advised, especially for the return trip to the airport since the service only stops at the hotel when a reservation has been made.

2.  Where can I stay during the conference?

AAHGS has reserved a block of rooms at the conference site, Valley Forge Casino Resort.  See the Hotel Information page for full details and to make your reservation.  There are also several other hotels nearby if you choose to stay elsewhere.

3.  What are the other travel options to reach the conference?

You may reach Philadelphia by car, bus, train, or airplane.  See the Travel Information page for additional details.

During the Conference

1.    What is the dress code for conference events?

Dress code for the daily sessions and meals (except the Saturday night banquet) is business casual.  There will lots of walking back and forth between sessions all day.  Wear comfortable shoes.  You may also wish to bring a light jacket or sweater in case the meeting rooms are cool.  For the banquet, attendees are expected to wear formal/church attire.

2.     What will the weather be like during the conference?


3.  What is the conference agenda?

The conference begins with Pre-Conference tours from Tuesday, October 9 through Thursday, October 11.  Opening ceremonies will be held Thursday Evening, followed by sessions and presentations from Friday, October 11 through October 12.  See "Conference At A Glance" for the conference schedule.

4.  Who will be the speakers and presenters at the conference?

Speakers and Presenters

5.  What awards will be presented during the conference?

AAHGS sponsors two different categories of awards - each of whose winners will be announced during the conference.  The winners of the International Book Awards will be presented during the Thursday Evening Book Awards and Ceremony.  The winners of the annual AAHGS Awards will be presented during the Saturday Evening Banquet.

6.  I am a presenter.  What materials should I bring and what materials will be provided on-site?

AAHGS will provide:

         Conference speakers will:

Refer to the 2018 Call for Papers Guidelines for complete details.

7.  What will the session topics be?

You can find descriptions of all sessions on the Tracks Overview page.

8.  I am a Book Awards Winner.  What events am I expected to attend?

Our 2018 International Book Awards Winners will attend 2 events:

  1. Thursday, October 10 - Awards will be presented during the evening Reception.  Awardees will receive complementary registration for the reception for themselves and one (1) guest.  (Please arrive by 5:45 PM @ Reception Room.)
  2. Friday, October 11 - Lunch with the Authors -  Winners participate in a panel discussion of their books.  Awardees will receive complementary registration for the luncheon for themselves ONLY(Please arrive by 11:15 AM  @ Grand Ballroom.)

Please see your awards notification letter or email for details on how to register to attend.


1.  When and where were the previous AAHGS conferences?

AAHGS Annual Conferences are generally held during the second week of October and hosted by a local AAHGS chapter.  See the Past Conferences page for a complete list of dates and locations.

2.  How can I become a member of AAHGS?

On the Membership page, you will be able to either join/renew online or download an application to mail in.

3.  What awards have been awarded by AAHGS?

Since 1982, the AAHGS Annual Awards has recognized individuals and groups who have made significant contributions to African-American scholarship. See the Previous Award Winners page for a complete list.

4.  Where will the 2019 AAHGS National Conference be held?

The 2019 AAHGS National Conference will be held in Washington, D. C.


1.  What is AAHGS's social media presence?

Be sure to use #AAHGS2018 when you post about the conference.

2.  Where can I get a conference flyer?

Please spread the word to your friends, your social groups, your church community, and to members of your family about our Annual Conference.  You may download either the "highlights" flyer or the detailed flyer.

3.  How can I place an ad in the conference souvenir booklet?

You may submit an ad at the Souvenir Booklet Ad page.  The deadline for submission is August 31st.


1.  How can I become a vendor at the conference?
You can reserve  Conference/Exhibitor Space Reservation Page
2.  I am an exhibitor.  What do I need to know about setting up?
The Vendor Registration Portal includes details on table pricing, setup/dismantling time, and other vendor requirements.  The Exhibitor Resources page contains a link to the Event Center Manual which contains information about Package Shipping and Receiving, and other practical details for exhibit setup.