We’ll be posting updated information about Charleston 2017 in the next few weeks. In the meantime, check out info from our 2016 conference below.
Got a question that’s not answered here? Contact Maggie Ardiente, AHA conference coordinator, at 202-238-9088 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Humanist Association, the oldest and largest humanist organization in the United States, has held an annual conference since its founding in 1941 so that humanists, atheists, and freethinkers can gather together for a weekend of informative lectures, networking, and fun activities. The year 2016 will be the 75th anniversary of the AHA’s founding, and we’re excited to celebrate with you! We’re anticipating this conference to sell out, so be sure to book your conference tickets early.
Online Registration Ends Sunday, May 15. The last day to register by phone is Friday, May 20; call 800-837-3792 during normal business hours. A limited number of Full Registration, Partial Registration, and Day Passes will be available at the door.
Full Registration includes access to all plenary sessions, workshops, the Welcome Reception, the Friday Night Banquet, Saturday Luncheon, and Saturday Night Banquet with meals. Partial Registration includes all of the above without banquet meals (general seating for the banquets start at 1:00pm for the Luncheon at 8:00pm for the Night Banquets). Student Registration is similar to Partial Registration, but you must have a current student ID to be eligible for the rate. Day Passes (good for one full day at the conference without meals) are available for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday only.
Single-Session Passes (defined as one speaker/panel presentation) or Banquet Passes (general seating for the Friday Night Banquet, Saturday Luncheon, or Saturday Night Banquet) is limited to 3 for the entire conference) is available by phone only at 1-800-837-3792.
The conference schedule is now complete and we are no longer accepting proposals for additional speakers or entertainers. We received dozens of requests from speakers and we regret that we could not accept them all.
You have two options: Midway Airport (20-25 minutes to the hotel) and O’Hare International Airport (40-45 minutes to the hotel). Midway services Southwest, Delta, Sun Country, Volaris, and others. O’Hare serves American, Alaska, British Airways, Delta, Frontier, Jet Blue, United, Virgin America, Volaris, Westjet, and others. We strongly recommend you fly into Midway. It’s a much easier airport to navigate, and it’s closer to the hotel than O’Hare.
The conference will be held at:
Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel
2233 S Martin Luther King Dr.
Chicago, IL 60616
The hotel does not provide a free shuttle to and from the airport. However, GO Airport Express offers shuttle service to and from O’Hare and Midway airports at a special rate for guests staying at the Hyatt Regency McCormick.
The Chicago Transit Authority’s “L” Trains are accessible from O’Hare or Midway. More information can be found here. A CTA map can be viewed here.
Directions from O’Hare Airport on the CTA via Blue Line:
1. At the Baggage Claim level look for the overhead signs “Trains to City.” follow the signs down one more level through an underground pedestrian corridor. These signs lead to the CTA station.
2. Take the Blue Line from O’Hare and transfer to a south-bound Green Line train at Clark and Lake. (Note, in the Loop the Blue Line is a Subway Train and the Green Line is an elevated train; a free transfer is available at Clark and Lake.)
3. Get off at Cermark-McCormick Place Station; the Hyatt Regency McCormick is located 3 blocks (7 minutes) from the hotel; map located here.
Directions from Midway Airport on the CTA via Orange Line:
1. At Midway, follow the signs to “CTA Trains” or “Trains to City.” An orange line painted on the ground will guide you there.
2. Take the Orange Line from Midway and transfer to a south-bound Green Line train at Roosevelt. (Free transfer is available.)
3. Get off at Cermark-McCormick Place Station; the Hyatt Regency McCormick is located 3 blocks (7 minute walk) from the hotel; map located here.
Please visit the Hotel page for more information on shuttle service, parking, and directions.
The 75th Anniversary Conference takes place May 26-29, 2016. The main conference begins with the Welcome Reception on Thursday, May 26 at 5:00pm, and ends on Sunday, May 29 at noon. A post-conference tour of Chicago will take place on Sunday, May 29 and may be added to your Full Registration for an additional fee.
Post-conference workshops will be held Sunday, May 29 after the main conference ends at noon. These workshops are geared toward local chapter leaders and/or Humanist Celebrants, but any conference attendees who are registered as Full, Partial, Day Pass, or Single-Session (if selected) may attend to learn more.
You can find the most up-to-date changes to the conference schedule here.
Check-in Registration for the AHA conference will open at 1:00pm on Thursday, May 26. Registration will be open throughout the conference between 8:00am and 8:00pm unless otherwise noted. Signs will lead you to the AHA Registration Table.
Once you check in, our staff will provide you with your nametag and banquet tickets (if applicable), plus our official Conference Program Book containing a full conference schedule, descriptions of the sessions, and map of the hotel. AHA staff will also be on hand throughout the conference if you need assistance.
Please wear your namebadge at all times during the conference. It serves as your pass to access the conference events.
The Friday Night Banquet, Saturday Luncheon, and Saturday Night Banquet (included with Full Registration) are the conference’s award ceremonies for our Humanist of the Year and other award recipients. You can see who will receive the 2016 Humanist Awards on the schedule. Partial Registration, Day Pass, or specified Single-Session ticket holders may also attend, but meals are not included (unless you purchased a meal ticket in addition to your registration). A cash bar will be available during the Friday and Saturday Night Banquets only from 7:00pm-8:30pm.
If you are attending the banquets, you will receive a paper ticket to receive a meal, which you MUST have with you at the banquets in order to receive a meal. Please do not lose this ticket (we suggest storing them behind your namebadge). If you selected vegetarian or vegan meals, it will be noted on your ticket.
Everyone will be served the same plated meal. Bread service, coffee, and tea are included. If you selected Vegetarian or Vegan when you registered, you will receive the vegetarian or vegan meal and dessert outlined below. Switching of meals from meat to vegetarian or vegan (or vice versa) at the last minute will not be allowed.
Please note that the meals below are subject to change based on the availability of ingredients and decisions by the hotel chef and catering staff. Hotels do their best to accommodate allergies or other dietary restrictions but can make no guarantees.
Friday Night Banquet
Salad: Spring Greens with Artichokes and Mushrooms
Main: Chicken Stuffed with Spinach, Prosciutto and Fontina Cheese (Vegetarian/Vegan: Tofu and Ratatouille Stuffed Mushrooms)
Dessert: Raspberry and Hazelnut Crunch Cheesecake (or Vegan Chocolate Chip “Cheesecake”)
Salad: Arugula and Frisee Salad
Main: Grilled Eggplant Involtini with Ricotta, Penne Pasta with Pesto Cream (Vegetarian/Vegan: Grilled Eggplant Involtini with Herbed Potato, Penne Pasta with Vegan Pesto)
Dessert: Carrot Cake (or Vegan Carrot Cake)
Saturday Night Banquet
Salad: Baby Spinach with Mushrooms
Main: Grilled Lemon Pepper Salmon and Lentils (Vegetarian/Vegan: Quinoa and Vegetable Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Black Bean Puree)
Dessert: Salted Caramel and Chocolate Tart (or Vegan Coconut Mango Panna Cotta)
If you hold a Partial Registration or Day Pass (Friday or Saturday), you are welcome to attend the Friday Night Banquet, Saturday Luncheon, or Saturday Night Banquet ceremonies without a meal (though you can purchase a meal separately if you choose). General seating takes place anytime between 7:00pm and 8:00pm for the Friday or Saturday Night Banquets, and 12:00pm-1:00pm for the Saturday Luncheon. Usually, Partial Registration or Day Pass holders use this time to grab lunch on their own from the hotel or a local restaurant nearby.
The awards ceremony program begins at 8:00pm for the Friday and Saturday Night Banquets, and 1:00pm for the Saturday Luncheon. General seating is set theater-style behind the banquet tables and is open seating. A large viewing screen will be available.
The official hashtag for the AHA 75th Anniversary Conference is #ahacon16. Be sure to tag @americnhumanist when you use Twitter, and feel free to add other hashtags like #humanism, #humanist, or #75years.
For the second year, the AHA will be using Cvent’s SocialWall, a live interactive, full-screen display of social media posts during the conference! When you post on Twitter or Instagram using hashtag #ahacon16, your tweet or photo may be shared on the big projector screen in between plenary sessions and during the banquets!
You are welcome to use your mobile phone, laptop, or tablet to tweet or post photos during conference sessions; free wifi will be available in most of the conference meeting rooms. However, please be respectful and do your best to not be disruptive to the speaker(s) or those around you.
Yes! EvolveFISH, our official conference merchandiser, will be selling books written by most of the speakers and awardees at this year’s conference. We encourage you to buy your book early to ensure you have a copy. Author signings will take place in the Exhibitors Area immediately after each speaker’s session or at the end of the banquet ceremonies.
Thank you for offering to volunteer! Our host chapters provide the number of volunteers needed for our conference. If you are member of the Humanists of West Suburban Chicagoland, End of the Line Humanists, or the Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago, please inquire with these groups about volunteering.
Yes, as an authorized exhibitor or advertiser! More information about purchasing an Exhibit Table or advertising space in our 75th Anniversary Conference Program Book is here. We are expected to draw over 500 humanists, atheists, and progressive activists from across the country, giving you an opportunity to introduce your organization/cause to new audiences!
Chicago will be moderate in late May, with an average high of 74°F and low of 56°F, but the weather could change drastically. Hotels tend to keep the meeting rooms cold, so we recommend bring a light sweater or jacket while you attend sessions.
Casual dress is acceptable for attending our breakout sessions throughout the day. Some attendees choose to change into business casual or business attire for the evening banquets. Formal attire is not necessary. Hotels tend to turn the air conditioning on very high, so bring a light sweater or jacket to wear indoors.
The AHA 75th Anniversary Conference is a welcoming event for all those interested in humanism and the work of the American Humanist Association. We expect all conference attendees to respect others, even those they may disagree with.
In general, prohibited conduct includes any abusive conduct that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with another person’s ability to enjoy and participate in the conference, including social events related to the conference. Any clear violation of the law will be immediately referred to local police.
The American Humanist Association and the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel cannot be held liable for any injuries or losses that take place during the course of the 75th Anniversary Conference, including pre- and post-conference events.
Yes! The American Humanist Association is partnering with Camp Quest West for the fourth year in a row to provide a Camp Quest Kids program and child care for the duration of the conference. Your children will enjoy activities hosted by experienced Camp Quest West volunteers while you attend conference sessions.
This program is FREE for all ages, as long as you purchase at least one Full Registration or Partial Registration. This cost covers meals, field trip fees, and transportation. A detailed schedule of the Camp Quest Kids Program will be provided at a later date. For questions, contact Camp Quest West Director David Diskin at email@example.com.
Please contact Merrill Miller, AHA communications associate, at 202-238-9088 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plenty! If you’re looking to explore Chicago after the conference, we recommend registering for the AHA’s Post-Conference Tour: Museum of Science + Industry and Hancock Building and enjoy an afternoon with your fellow humanists!
Your first stop will be at the Museum of Science + Industry, the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere and home to more than 35,000 artifacts and hands-on experiences designed to spark scientific inquiry and creativity. The museum features world-class exhibits such as Science Storms, an exhibit revealing the science behind nature’s most powerful phenomena; the U-505 Submarine, the only German U-boat in the United States; and more! Then we’ll stop at one of Chicago’s most visited attractions, the world-famous John Hancock Building, the fourth-tallest building in Chicago and the seventh-tallest in the United States. We’ll ride an elevator to the 94th floor where you’ll enjoy 360-degree views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan.
Bus transportation and boxed lunch provided; options include: ham and swiss sandwich, turkey and provolone sandwich, or garden salad (vegetarian) with bag of chips, fruit, cookie, and soda. (You will have the opportunity to select your preference when you register online.)
If you prefer to explore Chicago on your own, we recommend visiting the Museum Campus, home to the Field Museum of Natural History, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium, located just minutes from the hotel. Other area attractions includes Soldier Field (home of the Chicago Bears), the Museum of Science and Industry (one of the largest science museums in the world), Chicago’s Navy Pier (shopping and boat cruises), and the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower, the tallest building in the United States). For more information on Chicago activities, click here.
The Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel has five dining options:
• Shor Grill (classic American steaks, seafood, and pasta)
• Forno (casual Italian offering salads, sandwiches, and oven-baked pizza)
• Daily Grind (café for specialty coffees, baked goods, and snacks)
• M/X (sports lounge serving appetizers and drinks)
• Point of Interest (bar)
To see a list of restaurants near the Hyatt Regency McCormick, click here.
Please note that if you are booking hotel room nights for nights outside of the main conference dates of May 26-29, there are only a limited number available at the conference rate. You may be able to stay an extra night or two, but may be subject to the hotel’s standard rate, if applicable.