WHO ARE WE?
HNS North America (HNSNA) Conference is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to support educational and literary activities for increasing public awareness about historical fiction in North America via a biennial conference. These conferences 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 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 is responsible for finalizing:
- A suitable conference location, venue, and date;
- Registration fees for the conference;
- The special guests, presenters, and agents/editors;
- The programs and technology to be offered at the conference;
- All contracts negotiated by the conference or its officers;
- A marketing plan for the conference; and
- Budgetary matters.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
All board members serve on the board for a two-year term, which begins on or before October 1 of the odd-numbered years when the conference is held. The Board is made up of eight members: Conference Chair, Programming Chair, Secretary/Communications Chair, Venue Chair, Marketing Chair, Registration Chair, Technology 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 have free time to enjoy the conference as attendees.
The Board meets at the chosen conference venue for planning purposes approximately one year ahead of the conference and holds several meetings on-site during the conference. Throughout the two-year term, the board meets via Zoom once per month until the final months leading up to the conference, when it typically meets twice monthly. 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.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
HNSNA needs to fill three board positions for the 2025 Las Vegas conference term: Venue Chair, Treasurer/Finance Chair, and Registration Chair.
WHAT IS REQUIRED TO BE A BOARD MEMBER?
- Board members must be residents of North America.
- 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; eight 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 are expected to attend the annual on-site meeting as well as the conference.
- Board members need to be prepared to make a significant contribution of their time and energy, especially in the six months leading up to the conference. They 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! The Board works closely together and becomes more like a family, enjoying opportunities to get together outside of conference planning. Board members can also look forward to the many friends and industry connections they will make in serving on the Board. Board members enjoy a spirit of camaraderie and accomplishment, helping create a phenomenal experience for conference attendees. They can take pride in organizing THE conference for historical fiction!
Read on for more information on each position!
HOW TO APPLY
If you’re interested in applying for any of these positions, click the button and fill out the form, then submit your resume by September 5.
Please email Conference Chair Jenny Q: firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
The Venue Chair has primary responsibility over all aspects pertaining to the conference venue, including:
- Overseeing the negotiations for hotel and vendor contracts and submitting these contracts to the Board for approval
- Coordinating the Board’s on-site planning meeting
- Proposing food and beverage menus, budgets, and projections
- Coordinating Audio/Visual needs and meeting room layouts
- Coordinating the conference’s guest room block and arranging comped reservations
- Overseeing the conference book signing and bookstore with the Bookstore Coordinator and the conference’s bookseller
- Coordinating local shipping and receiving
- Maintaining and coordinating HNSNA and sponsor signage
- Accommodating accessibility and dietary requests
- While on-site, ensuring all meeting rooms have been properly set up, coordinating with the banquet manager and AV staff, and responding to any issues that arise
- Researching potential venues, requesting proposals, and preparing recommendations to the Board for the 2027 conference
Candidates for Venue Chair should have experience planning events, working with hotels or other event venues, and negotiating contracts. An understanding of the bookselling environment, the different methods of publication, and how bookstores operate is helpful. Candidates should have excellent organizational and communication skills, be detail-oriented and adaptive to changes, and be prepared to oversee the venue and address issues on-site during the
Treasurer & Finance Chair
The Treasurer & Finance Chair has primary responsibility for all accounting, banking, insurance, financial reporting, and budgetary procedures, including:
- Preparing a budget for the conference, keeping the budget up-to-date and reconciled, and providing regular reports to the Board.
- Maintaining bank and credit card accounts and insurance policies and providing regular reports to the Board.
- Meeting all federal, state, and local filing requirements as well as all federal and state tax requirements. The Finance Chair does not need to prepare the conference’s annual income tax returns but will be responsible for several annual state and corporation report filings.
The Finance Chair shall also co-sign the hotel and other major contracts and work closely with other Board members on all matters impacting the conference budget.
Candidates for Treasurer/Finance Chair do not need to be a CPA or an accountant, but basic bookkeeping experience is preferred. Candidates should have experience with Excel spreadsheets, profit and loss reports, budget forecasting, budget reconciling, and online banking platforms and be familiar with Quickbooks or willing to learn. Experience with governmental filings is a plus. And lastly, because the Treasurer serves as primary on the HNS financial accounts, candidates must have a good credit score.
The Registration Chair has primary responsibility for developing timing and logistics of registration, setting up the registration form, and tracking registration and registrants, including:
- Coordinating the creation of the registration form utilizing past data, Board input, and registration platform team recommendations;
- Coordinating registration options (e.g., meal choices, master classes, and agent pitches) with relevant Board members
- Fielding general queries about registration from Board members, registrants, and the public;
- Addressing technical issues as soon as they arise with the registration platform team;
- Providing regular registration reports to the Board; and
- Evaluating registration and payment services as needed.
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 have daily availability for answering queries and troubleshooting during the registration period and on-site at the conference. Candidates should also be comfortable learning new technology and coordinating with team members.