WHO ARE WE?
We are HNS Conference, Inc., a non-profit organization incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois, better known as HNS North America (HNSNA). The purpose of HNSNA is to support educational and literary activities for increasing public awareness about historical fiction in North America via a biennial conference. These conferences will provide opportunities for readers, writers, and publishers of historical fiction to meet with others who share their interests and to learn more about historical fiction from experienced presenters. These conferences will also create opportunities for writers to discuss their work with others, including professionals in the field.
WHAT DO WE DO?
The Board of Directors is responsible for planning the conference and for overall policy and direction of the organization as well as day-to-day operations. In particular, the Board of Directors shall be responsible for finalizing:
- A suitable conference location, venue, and date;
- Registration fees for the conference;
- The Guests of Honor;
- The programs to be offered at the conference;
- All contracts negotiated by the conference or its officers; and
- Budgetary matters.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
All board members shall serve on the board for a two-year term, term to begin on or before October 1 of the odd-numbered years when the conference is held. Prospective members shall be North American members in good standing of the Historical Novel Society, an international literary organization.
The Board is currently made up of seven members: Conference Chair, Programming Chair, Secretary/Communications Chair, Venue Chair, Marketing Chair, Registration Chair, and Treasurer/Finance Chair. The Board receives no compensation other than reasonable expenses. This includes travel and expenses related to the annual planning meeting and the conference itself. The Board is expected to work during the conference to ensure that two years of planning are brought to fruition as smoothly as possible, though Board members will still have opportunities to enjoy the conference as attendees.
The Board is required to hold an in-person meeting once a year, though the board may vote to conduct this meeting virtually if necessary. The board typically meets at the chosen conference venue for planning purposes one year ahead of the conference and holds several meetings on-site during the conference. Throughout the two-year term, the board typically meets via Zoom once per month until the final months leading up to the conference, when we meet twice monthly. Other meetings may be required as necessary.
Each board member has first right of refusal for the position he/she holds, subject to a majority vote by the rest of the board. Each board member is eligible for re-election in the same position for up to three consecutive terms. After this, he/she should retire from the position and the board. He/she is then eligible to apply for a new position.
WHO DO WE NEED?
HNSNA needs to fill three board positions for the 2023 conference term: Marketing Chair, Treasurer/Finance Chair, and Registration Chair. Read on for more information on each position!
Duties of the Marketing Chair:
The Marketing Chair shall have primary responsibility for the overall publicity and public relations about the conference.
The Marketing Chair shall have secondary responsibility for:
- Publicity and Branded Materials;
- Photography (on-site);
- Conference Program;
- Social Media Sites;
- Website; and
- Sponsors and Exhibitors.
The Marketing Chair may work on these duties directly, or he/she may recruit and meet with skilled individuals who handle such duties. The Marketing Chair may also select other assistants as needed.
Any of these roles may be modified by the Board; the Board may also assign other duties to the Marketing Chair.
Candidates for Marketing Chair should have working knowledge of email newsletter services like Constant Contact; should be familiar with updating WordPress websites; should have demonstrated ability to create engaging content on social media and be familiar with social media advertising; should be comfortable seeking out potential sponsors and sources of advertising revenue; and should have knowledge of basic advertising and marketing principles.
Duties of the Treasurer & Finance Chair:
The Treasurer & Finance Chair shall have primary responsibility for all accounting, banking, insurance, financial reporting, and budgetary procedures. The Finance Chair shall meet all federal, state, and local filing requirements as well as all federal and state tax requirements. The Finance Chair shall also co-sign the hotel contract and work closely with other Board members on all matters impacting the conference budget.
The Treasurer & Finance Chair may work on these duties directly, or he/she may recruit and meet with skilled individuals who handle such duties. The Treasurer & Finance Chair may also select other assistants as needed.
The Conference Chair will be the Alternative Signer on the HNS Conference’s bank accounts with the Treasurer & Finance Chair, and only one of the signers is needed to affect a transaction.
Any of these roles may be modified by the Board; the Board may also assign other duties to the Treasurer & Finance Chair.
Candidates for Treasurer/Finance Chair do not need to be a CPA, but they must have robust bookkeeping experience, preferably with Quickbooks, experience with Excel spreadsheets, profit & loss reports, budget forecasting, budget reconciling, and online banking platforms. Candidates do not need to be prepared to file the conference’s annual tax returns, but a working knowledge of non-profit tax forms and regulations is helpful. And lastly, because the Treasurer serves as primary on the HNS financial accounts, candidates must have a good credit score.
Duties of the Registration Chair:
The Registration Chair shall have primary responsibility for developing e-mail blasts regarding timing and logistics of registration, setting up the format of the registration form, and tracking registration and registrants.
The Registration Chair shall have secondary responsibility for:
- Coordinating registration options (e.g., meal choices and agent pitches) with relevant Board members (e.g., Venue Chair and Agent/Editor Coordinator);
- Providing registration details to Board members and fielding general queries about registration from Board members registrants, and the public; and
- Providing regular registration reports to the Board.
Any of these roles may be modified by the Board; the Board may also assign other duties to the Registration Chair
Candidates for Registration Chair do not need to have previous experience with registration systems, though it is helpful, but they do need to have experience with Excel spreadsheets and parceling information into relevant reports. They must have excellent customer service and communication skills and be prepared to devote extra time and energy answering queries and troubleshooting during the registration period and on-site at the conference.
WHAT IS REQUIRED TO BE A BOARD MEMBER?
Board members are volunteers, so a passion for historical fiction and for the conference are extremely important, as is dedication to seeing a commitment through to completion. Board members must have excellent interpersonal, organizational, and time management skills and should feel comfortable taking initiative and working with minimal supervision. Board members must be comfortable with learning new technologies as the conference adapts to suit its attendees.
Board members must be team players; seven people don’t always see eye-to-eye on everything, but majority consensus rules, and each Board member must be willing to respect that and carry on accordingly. Board members must make every effort to be present for all meetings and to undertake their duties and responsibilities in a timely fashion. Board members may need to be prepared to take time off of work to attend the annual on-site meetings.
Board members need to be prepared to make a significant contribution of their time and energy in the six months leading up to the conference. Board members should be prepared to work during the conference, though they will have opportunities to enjoy the conference as attendees.
It’s important to note that Board members also get to have fun! In addition to our monthly meetings, we’ve had virtual happy hours, we’ve attended webinars together, we’ve spent time together outside of conference duties, we’ve had a lot of laughs, and we’ve become more like a family. Board members can also look forward to the many friendly and industry connections they will make in service to the conference. Board members enjoy a spirit of camaraderie and accomplishment in knowing that they helped create a phenomenal experience for conference attendees and take pride in organizing THE conference for historical fiction!
If you have any questions, please email Conference Chair Jenny Q: email@example.com
And/or attend our informational session on Zoom: July 26, 7pm ET/4pm PT
To apply for one of these positions, please fill out the following form: