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Organizing a New Symposium

Outlined below is information regarding submitting proposals for stand-alone symposia, including a proposal template. The navigation menu on the left includes links to the two past AAEA symposia. Sample proposals from previous AAEA Symposia can be obtained by contacting the AAEA Business Office.


AAEA is now accepting proposals for stand-alone symposia. Modeled after the highly successful European Association of Agricultural Economics Seminars, these events focus on a specific theme within the field of agricultural and applied economics and last for two to three days with expected attendance ranging from 50 to 150 participants. AAEA will provide logistical support for approved symposia. The organizing committee will ensure high quality content and will secure outside funding if the latter is needed in order to bring in plenary speakers, etc. The precise format of each AAEA Symposium will be determined by the organizers, but will likely include a mix of plenary speakers, parallel sessions and potentially poster sessions as well.

The goals of the AAEA Symposia are as follows:

  • Provide an outlet for research
  • Promote interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary work
  • Facilitate networking opportunities
  • Enhance the value of AAEA membership
  • Advance the profession

AAEA strongly encourages collaboration with other societies; in fact, preference will be given to jointly sponsored proposals. In some cases, AAEA will be in the lead, while in others, AAEA will join an existing effort. Participants must be/become members of one of the sponsoring societies.


The proposal should be submitted to the AAEA Business Office roughly 18 months before the symposium takes place. The AAEA will work with the organizers to ensure it meets AAEA specifications. The AAEA Board will then review the proposal and will provide the organizers with feedback regarding scientific content, timing and format of the symposium. Once the Board approves these dimensions of the symposium, the proposal will be endorsed by the Board. Announcement and advertising will be conditional on approval of the final budget.

Symposium proposals should include the following information:

  • Topic
  • Title
  • Symposium Organizing Committee (at least 2)
  • Participating Organizations and letters of support
  • Proposed responsibilities of participating organizations
  • Proposed Date
  • Program outline
  • Targeted audience
  • Budget
  • Potential Funding
  • Proposed registration rates

The AAEA Business Office will work with the Organizing Committee to identify the ideal location for the symposium, factoring in local costs, access by participants, and other considerations. Unlike the EAAE Seminars, AAEA Symposium organizers are not obliged to host the symposium at their home institutions. The AAEA Business Office has considerable expertise and experience in organizing such events, and the AAEA expects that most such events will take place at commercial venues.

Typically, the Board will need to endorse the proposal before funding has been finalized. With this endorsement in hand, organizers can seek external funding for plenary speakers, dinners, receptions, etc. The AAEA President will write letters in support of funding for the symposium, as needed. Registration fees will typically cover the cost of facility rental and lunches and breaks. Final Board approval hinges on presentation of a budget which breaks even financially.

If a proposal is accepted and funding is secured, organizers should seek to achieve the following schedule (this will not be possible in every case, but it is indicative of the timing required to ensure a successful symposium):

  • Announcement of symposium: 1 year in advance
  • Call for papers: 10 months before symposium
  • Abstracts due: 7 months before symposium
  • Decisions: 5 months before symposium
  • Registration opens: 5 months before symposium
  • Program finalized: 3 months before symposium

Membership Requirements

If the symposium is not held jointly with another organization, all attendees must be members of AAEA. Requests for membership waivers for invited speakers should be submitted to the AAEA President. If the symposium is held jointly, participants may be members of either sponsoring society.

Expectations of the Symposium Organizers

Symposium organizers will be responsible for the scientific content of the symposium including, but not limited to, inviting speakers, collecting and processing abstracts/papers, scheduling, and finalizing the program. They will also be responsible for securing additional funding if projected expenses exceed anticipated registration revenue—typically due to the cost of plenary speakers. The AAEA Business Office will support the Organizing Committee on administrative functions including symposium promotion, registration, and site selection.

Support from the AAEA Business Office

Organizers should factor $5,000 into their budget for staff support. Final costing will depend on the specific services required. The AAEA Business Office will help organizers develop a budget for their proposal at no cost. If the proposal is accepted, the AAEA Business Office will be prepared to assist symposium organizers in the following tasks (this list may vary somewhat across symposia):

  • Secure a location and hotel rooms
  • Negotiate and sign vendor contracts
  • Manage hotel, facility, AV, and other vendor relations
  • Set up and process registrations
  • Promote the symposia
  • Develop program materials (handouts, name badges etc)
  • Process speaker reimbursements
  • Provide a website and online registration form
  • Provide software for managing abstract submissions

The AAEA may provide a staff person to be onsite at the symposium, but requests will be handled on a case by case basis. These additional costs can be discussed while developing the budget.

Support from AAEA

AAEA Board is willing to assist the organizers as necessary. The organizers will be allowed to send messages to the AAEA membership as well as post announcements on the AAEA website. Once the symposium budget is approved, AAEA will bear the associated financial risk and liability, as appropriate, given commitments that the organizers and their home institutions may take on as a result of external sources off funding. . The association maintains the rights to cancel, reschedule, or reorganize any symposia. When a symposium is jointly sponsored by AAEA and another association, the allocation of organizational tasks, revenues, costs, and risk bearing responsibility will be negotiated as early in the process as possible.

Submitting a Proposal

If you are interested in submitting a proposal for a new symposium, please complete the Symposium Proposal Template and submit it to the AAEA Executive Director Brian Mondragon Jones at