Guiding Principles for Site Selection for EDUCAUSE Events

EDUCAUSE hosts a variety of in-person events over the course of any given year. In-person events are critical to our mission of leading the way to advance the strategic use of technology and data to further the promise of higher education. Conferences, in particular, are key to connecting and empowering our member community through insights, advocacy, resources, networking, and learning opportunities to anticipate trends and strengthen professional practice. For our smaller events (less than 1,000 participants) we book venues 1-2 years in advance, and for the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference, which is projected to gather around 10,000 participants in the future, is booked by necessity about 10 years out. For an event of this size and complexity, the 10-year window assures that we have several cities to choose from in the final cut (as options are limited) and we can negotiate the best rates to keep the cost of attendance down for participants. We paused booking conference venues 10-years out in 2020 due to the uncertainty of the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic (see table 1), and we are continuing our work to book our future venues about ten years out.

Table 1 - Annual Conference schedule through 2033
City, State Conference Date Year EDUCAUSE Booked Status

Chicago, IL

Oct 9–12, 2023



San Antonio, TX

Oct 21–24. 2024



Nashville, TN

Oct 26–29, 2025



Denver, CO

Sept 28–Oct 1, 2026



Orlando, FL

Oct 18–21, 2027



Seattle, WA

Oct 30–Nov 2, 2028



New Orleans, LA

Oct 23–26, 2029




TBD, 2030


RFP search

Salt Lake City, UT

Oct 27–30, 2031




TBD, 2032


Spring 2024 RFP


TBD, 2033


Spring 2024 RFP

Site selection for our in-person events is guided by the following principles set forth by the EDUCAUSE Board of Directors on April 5, 2023.

  • EDUCAUSE is based in the U.S., and the majority of our members are from organizations based in North America. In-person events are typically hosted in a U.S. city to increase access to the member majority. 

  • EDUCAUSE is a non-partisan organization with members in all states. EDUCAUSE can best meet its mission to further the promise of higher education by considering conference venues in all states.

  • EDUCAUSE will do its best to avoid booking conferences in cities/states that prevent attendee participation due to state-to-state travel bans or other travel restrictions in contiguous years. Travel bans are a consideration but not a litmus test for site selection. When a travel ban is pronounced after a site is booked EDUCAUSE will not typically cancel existing contracts in effect prior to the ban.

  • EDUCAUSE will do its best to rotate the location of events from year to year, and disperse events in a given year across different regions of the country. Rotating locations of EDUCAUSE events broadens the pool of community members who have drive-in access to in person events.

  • EDUCAUSE carefully considers the cost of doing business with a given venue and the cost of attendee travel. Preferential site selection is given to cities that keep the costs of attendance low for participants.

  • EDUCAUSE events create a significant economic impact in the host city, especially for workers in the service industries that support the event, along with increased educational opportunities for local students and higher education professionals. Canceling events once booked causes economic harm to the local economy.

In addition to these guiding principles established by the Board, EDUCAUSE staff consider a broad range of logistical criteria in site selection that includes:

  • The cost of renting convention center and hotel venue spaces, the cost of labor and vendor services, and the cost of food and beverages.

  • The availability of sufficient hotel rooms for the size of the event and a suitable headquarter hotel close to the convention center.

  • The availability and cost of public transportation, local sustainability/recycling/green business practices, and overall carbon footprint impact.

  • The availability of off-site restaurants and after-hours venues close to the convention center.

  • The ADA accessibility and walkability of the venue and area surrounding the event site.

  • The availability of domestic and international flights for attendees, and proximity of the airport to the convention center.

  • The alignment of values between EDUCAUSE and city officials and local partners.

  • The dates and timing of the event do not conflict with major holidays or competing events.

  • The convention center and surrounding areas are pedestrian-friendly.

  • The convention center and ancillary meeting spaces meet our functional specifications to design and deliver an event that facilitates participation to develop new skills, showcase thought leadership, connect with others in the community, and discover new products and services.

We understand that not all our members are able to travel to our in-person events, and EDUCAUSE is committed to providing ways year-round to meet members’ professional development, networking, and product discovery needs. We also understand that not all our members may be comfortable traveling to states with discriminatory laws, however, EDUCAUSE is committed to creating a welcoming environment for all of our attendees. Members are encouraged to reach out to their local EDUCAUSE Ambassador or one of our member relations specialists to learn about how EDUCAUSE can best serve your professional needs.