Components of hosting the ABCs

Those curious about applying to host the 2020 ABCs first complete the interest form and then will be sent the link to to the full application. Because the full application is quite lengthy (and gets pretty granular) we wanted to give you a sense of what to expect.

The host site application has six major components. We invite folks to submit applications with as many of the six pieces as you want! We know hosting a national conference is a big ask and are ready to be flexible with what this looks like and how involved hosts are.

1. Housing | accommodations for 60 - 100 people

We aim for housing that helps us make participants feel comfortable and build community through shared space. Often, this looks like a dorm building with double occupancy rooms, though has included everything from camping tents or mattresses on the floor to individual studio apartments. We’re a flexible and pro-thrift bunch.

Questions include:

  • cost per person per night
  • number of participants sharing a room
  • number of bathrooms & all-gender bathrooms
  • details about ADA compliance levels of spaces

2. Food | all meals for attendees

We strive to live out the values of alternative breaks through our food choices and are often balancing a number of factors, including cost, a range of offerings for those with dietary restrictions, and opportunities to support local businesses. Supporting these efforts could include connecting us with dining services and helping us negotiate a discounted contract or helping us identify a kitchen space that would allow our staff the capacity to cook conference meals ourselves.

Questions include:

  • address/physical location of dining hall options
  • cost per person per day of provided meals
  • availability of accommodations for dietary restrictions
  • kitchen specifications: address/physical location + inventory

3. Workshop Space | classroom-style space for conference sessions

Workshop spaces must have movable furniture (chairs + some tables); blank wall space for displaying posters and flip charts; and preferably have access to whiteboards, and AV hookups. During the week, we'll need 2-3 rooms with capacity for 40 people and 1 room with capacity for 70-100.

Questions include:

  • address and operating hours of buildings
  • layout and furniture set-up of classroom spaces
  • availability of nearby parking + parking pass requirements

4. Transportation | options to/from the conference and to/from service projects

Our goal is to make travel to and from the conference as convenient and affordable for our participants as possible. Proximity to a transportation hub is useful but we’ve also used public or privately chartered shuttles to get participants to the site of the ABCs. We’ll also need to transport teams of 12-14 to service projects around the area, if you have vehicles we could access.

Questions include:

  • availability and cost of shuttles to/from the airport
  • cost per vehicle per day for rentals (campus fleet, etc.)
  • information on overnight parking + parking pass requirements

5. Social Issue Education + Guest Speakers | curriculum development + community relationships

The alternative break component of each ABCs centers around a particular social justice focus area. One of the most important considerations in selecting a focus is its relevance to the community we're working with - making it easier to find educational materials, service opportunities, and local experts to maximize the learning that happens. Contributing to the curricular framework for the experience could include suggesting articles, podcasts, video clips, and documentaries. We also appreciate when hosts can connect us to local community members, scholars, and nonprofit leaders to share their experience and expertise with the group.

Questions include:

  • focus area suggestions + relevance in the community
  • your interest in contributing to the framework: engagement level

6. Community Partnerships | group service projects

Partnering with community organizations in the area, teams of 12-14 conference participants engage in three, three-hour service projects. We'd love to work with nonprofits and community organizations in your area that you have pre-existing relationships with. And our staff is ready to follow your lead based on your capacity to be involved in project planning. Past hosts involved with service partnerships have suggested organizations who could benefit from a volunteer group or, on the other end of the spectrum, been responsible for coordinating projects for the conference.

Questions include:

  • organization name + website
  • maximum number of volunteers at one time
  • name + phone number of contact person

Still not satisfied?  You're a thorough bunch - here's a PDF version of the proposal form. (Don't worry - the actual form looks better.)