Annual General Meetings FAQs

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Why is the AGM always held in October?

On occasion, the AGM is held in late-September; however, most conferences are held in October.  JASNA is able to secure a lower hotel rate for attendees since October is not peak vacation time.  In addition, the AGM is often held on the weekend of Canadian Thanksgiving to ensure an easier journey for Canadian attendees.

When do hotel reservations and AGM registration typically open?

It is usually possible to begin making room reservations at the JASNA rate at the beginning of the year in which the AGM is held.  Individual hotels may have unique requirements about advance room reservations, changing the schedule.  Room blocks sometimes sell out, but additional availability often occurs in the summer, as some people change their plans and release their reservations.  Registration for the AGM begins in May or June.  Each AGM maintains a set of pages on the JASNA website, where the most current information about registration dates can be found.

What does the registration fee include?

Registrants receive three meals (continental breakfast on Saturday, the banquet on Saturday night, and brunch on Sunday) and admission to all plenary sessions, registrants’ choice of breakout sessions, special interest sessions, and non-ticketed extra activities or displays (which vary from conference to conference).  Registrants have the option of purchasing additional special event tickets and tours.  Registration fees defray common costs such as plenary speakers’ fees, meeting room costs, audio visual technology for all speakers, registration and program materials, both printed and online, and cover various other gifts and useful items which vary by conference.

How is the registration fee set?

The registration fee reflects the costs of staging the conference.  It varies from location to location based on the cost of meals, meeting space, and essential services.  The fee is kept low by the volunteer contributions of the many breakout speakers and the volunteer work of the local JASNA members.

How is the hotel rate set?

JASNA and the Professional Meeting Planner with whom the society works negotiate the best rate possible.  Hotel commitments need to be made five or six years in advance of the AGM.  Hotel room rates can be highly variable.  Hotels in some cities are much more expensive and in greater demand than other cities.  Every effort is made to balance a central location, amenities, good quality, sufficient rooms and meeting space with a fair price.

Can the AGM accommodate attendees who have various allergies and sensitivities?

Yes, provided that each attendee indicates allergies and sensitivities on the registration form or emails the AGM Team about them.  When given enough preparation time, the AGM Team can work with the hotel staff to provide for an attendee’s needs.  Waiting until arrival to notify the hotel of specific food restrictions can cause difficulty in meeting those needs.

Why do some AGMs have a higher attendance limit than others?

Some hotels have an attendance limit established for the banquet hall, set by local fire code laws.  JASNA adheres to those limits.

I’d like to attend the Annual General Meeting (AGM), though I’m not a JASNA member.  Is this possible?

JASNA literary conferences are designed for JASNA members.  However, you are welcome to become a member of JASNA by joining and then registering for the conference.

What is a Companion?

A Companion is an attendee category and is any person who accompanies a JASNA member to the literary conference and pays the AGM companion registration fee.  That person—and only one Companion can accompany a JASNA member—may be a spouse, friend or family member.  The Companion typically attends the Saturday Continental breakfast, the Saturday evening banquet, and the Sunday brunch, but the Companion is not entitled to attend plenary, breakout and special interest sessions.  The Companion may attend special ticketed events, upon purchasing a ticket, depending on the event.  AGM attendees are free to share their hotel rooms (subject to hotel policies) with other friends or family members traveling with them without registering them as official Companions, but unregistered persons are not entitled to attend any meal functions or events.

Why do some AGMs have a higher Companion limit than others?

Some conference hotels are simply larger than others, allowing for a greater number of Companions.

What does the Companion fee include?

The Companion fee covers the amount paid by JASNA for the food served at the Saturday Continental breakfast, the Saturday evening banquet, and the Sunday brunch.  No other AGM costs are added to the Companion fee.

Would JASNA consider holding a conference in my home town?

JASNA AGMs are held in cities where a JASNA region has volunteered to act as Host Region.  If your JASNA Region is interested in hosting a conference, please contact the Vice-President for Conferences at

If you have other questions about the AGM and do not see them posted, please email JASNA’s Vice-president for Conferences at