Interested in Hosting a Convention?

Thinking about hosting a convention? It can seem like a daunting task but doesn’t have to be. The NSS has a well-established process for hosting and organizing a convention, as well as resources and support for volunteers that decide to host.

Keep in mind that convention teams and dates are established years in advance. So please plan ahead.

Below you will find frequently asked questions about hosting a convention.

Have Questions?

The Convention Manual is a great place to start for information about hosting. The Convention Coordination Committee Chair can also answer outstanding questions as well.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What time of the year will we be hosting?

The Official Date Range is June 21st - August 21st. But seasonal weather conditions, insect populations, cave conditions etc. all must be considered. Dates will also be constrained by the availability of facilities.

Because of school schedules, July dates usually offer the greatest possible attendance.

Who do I need as volunteers to submit a bid?

As a starting point, you should have a Convention Chair, Vice-Chair(Or Co-Chairs), and a Treasurer identified and willing to volunteer. This forms your Leadership Committee.

How Many attendees should I expect?

Convention Size Approximate Attendance:

  • Small: 500-750
  • Medium: 750-1000
  • Large: 1000-1600

What are the requirements for facilities?

When you believe you have found the ideal location, the Convention Development Chair will come out & do a site check before you submit a bid & a preliminary budget to the NSS BOG for approval. Support is available from the Convention Division Staff, the Convention Steering Committee, and the Convention Development Chair.

Salons Displays will need the following space in linear feet:

  • Cartographic Salon: 200
  • Cover Arts Salon: 200
  • Print Salon: 200
  • Symbolic Devices: 75 and tablespace
  • T-shirts: 100
  • Other Displays: 100

Other Requirements can be found below:



Facilities(Capacity): Small Convention Medium Convention Large Convention
Small Rooms(20-50)334
Mid Sized Rooms(50-100)344
Large Rooms(100-200)223
Auditoriums(200 - 1000)123
AC Gym W/Rig Points111
Vendor Rooms121212
Banquet(All Attendees)111
Photo Salon(1/2 Attendees)111
Camping Capacity Small Convention Medium Convention Large Convention
Land Required(Acres)101520

Any additional facilities requirements?

You should also think about the following:

  • Do local grottoes & regions support hosting a convention in the area?
  • Will AV equipment be available or will you have to rent it?
  • Does the facility have WiFi?
  • Is the facility handicapped accessible?
  • Can you camp on the session facility property?
  • Camping must be within 15 miles of the session facility.
  • Can campers park at their campsite?
  • Will you need shuttles to move attendees from the campground to the session facility?
  • Will pets be allowed?
  • Are there dorm rooms available?
  • Are motels & eateries within 15 miles from sessions & camping?
  • Can food service (meal plan or ala-carte) be arranged at the session location? (Breakfast and lunch)
  • Where will you hold Howdy Party?
  • Are there alcohol ordinances?
  • Are there noise ordinances?
  • Will you need to transport the attendees to and from the location?
  • Will you need to shuttle people to & from the Banquet location?
  • How far away are caves?
  • Have you decided what caves will be open to convention attendees?
  • Do you have a plan to make cave access arrangements with landowners or government agencies?
  • Are there other attractions in the area?
  • How far away are major airports?