New Horizons

Are you ready to explore new horizons at an upcoming conference in one of the most vibrant cities in the Southwest? Selecting a city for our Southwestern conferences is a meticulous process that requires extensive planning, organizing, and work. As I transitioned into the role of president-elect, I gained a newfound appreciation for the intricacies involved in this process.

Finding the Right Host City

In looking for a host city, Helms-Briscoe (the conference/event company that ACDA uses) sources concert performance spaces as well as general conference spaces and checks on the number of hotel rooms available in the city that would be near performance spaces. There must be enough rehearsal spaces, meeting spaces, and “double/double” hotel rooms for 600 honor choir members.

Hotel to Accommodate Everyone

While we are a regional conference, we usually have between 350 and 500 attendees. However, due to the number of singers and families who attend, not every city is large enough to host. As we work to find the right location, but other factors can come into play.

Food and Beverage Requirements

Hotels and convention centers charge a Food and Beverage (F&B) minimum. This amount is not the money that our members will spend in the city while they are in attendance but the amount that the organization is expected to spend on things such as the honor choir lunches, receptions, all-conference dinners, morning coffee, etc. The honor choir lunches are typically around $35 per person, while coffee could be as high as $90 per gallon. We are not allowed to bring outside food and beverages in. This F&B is often between $30,000 and $50,000.

Hotel Cost

Our SWACDA conference hotels typically cost in the low $200s, although during our search for a 2026 location, hotels quoted at nearly $300 per night. We did not select that city.

Conference Experience

Our utmost priority is to provide an exceptional conference experience, ensuring comfortable hotels, beautiful performance venues, ample time for networking and socializing, and a taste of the host city’s culture. I am confident we have successfully achieved these goals for our 2026 SWACDA conference.

Gateway to Our Community

The SWACDA Connection, our new magazine, is not just a publication but a gateway to our community. In the coming issues, you will have the opportunity to meet the SWACDA leadership, the R&R Chairs, and Past Presidents, get monthly membership updates, read articles by guest writers, and much more. This first issue is a special edition as we delve into the history of ACDA and SWACDA. We will explore past conference locations, introduce our honor choir clinicians, and unveil the city that will host us in 2026.

Be a Part of Something Extraordinary

As we embark on the next two years, I am filled with anticipation for the exciting opportunities and the promise of a truly memorable conference experience that awaits us all! Nestled in a vibrant, culturally rich city, this event promises to inspire, connect, and empower you. Don’t miss your chance to be part of something extraordinary—join us for an unforgettable experience! Before turning the pages, see if you can guess where we’re going – someplace we’ve never been before.

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