Conference Overview

Invitation from the AEA President

Conference Schedule

Conference Overview

The Annual Conference of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) is held each year in November. AEA welcomes evaluation practitioners, academics, and students from across the US and around the world to learn from each other in a supportive atmosphere. 

The Conference will be held from November 5-8, 2003 at John Ascuaga's Nugget in Reno/Sparks, Nevada. Half- one- and two-day professional development workshops will precede and follow the conference itself on November 3-5, and November 9. Scroll to the bottom of the page for a draft schedule. 

Drawing on a very large local attendee base in the capital region, in 2003 over 1800 people attended the annual conference held in Washington, DC. This year, we expect a slightly smaller attendance, in the 1400-1600 range. We welcome attendees who are just beginning their careers as well as seasoned experts. Each year, you will find the leading authors in the field presenting their work at the conference including Yvonna Lincoln, Donna Mertens, Michael Patton, Hallie Preskill, James Sanders, and Michael Scriven. Approximately 10% of those attending come from outside the United States. 

There are over 370 separate sessions at the conference showcasing the knowledge and skills of more than 800 presenters. 

Key dates for the conference include:

January 7: Conference website goes online include online proposal submission forms
March 14: All proposals due to the AEA office
July 1: All accept/reject notices sent to presenters via email
July 1: Professional development workshop descriptions go online
July 1: Online conference registration begins
August 15: First draft of full program goes online
October 1: Full program with abstracts goes online
October 1: Cutoff date for early registration (registration fees increase)
November 3-5, 9: Professional development workshops offered in Reno/Sparks, NV
November 5-8: Annual Conference, Evaluation 2003, offered in Reno/Sparks, NV

You may also wish to click here to visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page to learn more about  registration, the conference, or the American Evaluation Association.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the AEA office at any time. Susan and Heidi are there to help! They may be reached via email at, or via phone at 888-232-2275 or 508-748-3326.   

Invitation from the AEA President

AEA came into being in 1986 as the merger of two earlier evaluation groups: The Evaluation Research Society and The Evaluation Network. Today, we celebrate the legacies of both of these groups through a national conference that showcases the work of hundreds of practitioners, academicians, and students while promoting quality through peer-review of proposals and the feedback of colleagues during the event itself.

The theme for this year’s Presidential Strand is “Methodology.” It will provide an opportunity to fill your toolbox with new tools and put a sheen on some that may have grown worn. We anticipate an increased number of hands-on sessions within the conference itself and are arranging for vendors to demonstrate new technologies and resources for your use. At the same time, the Presidential Strand is but one of 34 separate focus areas within the conference. Each of AEA’s TIGs, as well as the Conference Committee, assembles a program that highlights sessions within its area of interest. We encourage proposals focusing on any aspect of the theory or practice of evaluation. This year's plenary sessions bring to AEA the work of internationally known experts on surveying, anthropology, and qualitative methods, highlighting the work of Don Dillman, Nancy Scheper Hughes, and Michael Quinn Patton. To learn more about the plenaries, click here.

This year’s conference will take place in Reno/Sparks, Nevada. We’ll learn from local practitioners and draw from the resources and expertise in nearby northern California. From the “biggest little city” in the US, you may enjoy the splendor of the Sierra Nevadas or take a short 45-minute drive to Lake Tahoe. Of course, there is also the excitement of Casino Gambling and stage shows, great shopping, and wonderful restaurants.

I invite you to submit a proposal to present at Evaluation 2003.

Richard Krueger
AEA President

Conference Schedule:

This year’s program runs from Wednesday, November 5 through Saturday, November 8, as indicated below with professional development sessions on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, November 3-5 and Sunday, November 9. Please note that proposed conference sessions are scheduled during the times where “Concurrent Conference Sessions” are indicated. There are over 300 presentation slots distributed throughout the conference. The Conference Committee will schedule presentations at any of the available times as dictated by topic and space availability.

Monday, November 3, 2003

      9:00 am to 4:00 pm: Concurrent Full-day Professional Development Workshops

Tuesday, November 4, 2003

9:00 am to 4:00 pm: Concurrent Full-day Professional Development Workshops

Wednesday, November 5, 2003

8:00 am to 3:00 pm: Concurrent Half- and Full-day Professional Development Workshops
3:15 pm to 4:15 pm: Welcome and Presidential Address
4:30 pm to 6:00 pm: Concurrent Conference Sessions
6:30 pm to 7:45 pm: Reception and Information Fair

Thursday, November 6, 2003

8:00 am to 9:10 am: First Plenary
9:25 am to 12:35 pm: Two Sets of 90 Minute Concurrent
Conference Sessions
12:45 pm to 1:30 pm: AEA Business Meeting
1:40 pm to 4:50 pm: Two Sets of 90 Minute Concurrent Conference Sessions
5:00 pm to 6:00 pm: Concurrent TIG business meetings
6:30 pm to 7:45 pm: Reception and Poster Exhibition

Friday, November 7, 2003

8:00 am to 9:10 am: Second Plenary
9:25 am to 12:00 pm: Three Sets of 45 Minute Concurrent Conference Sessions
12:10 pm to 1:45 pm: AEA Awards Luncheon
1:55 pm to 6:00 pm: Two Sets of 90 Minute and One Set of 45 Minute Concurrent
     Conference Sessions
6:30 pm to 7:45 pm: Reception and International Silent Auction

Saturday, November 8, 2003

8:00 am to 9:10 am: Third Plenary
9:25 am to 12:35 pm: Two Sets of 90 Minute Concurrent Conference Sessions
12:45 pm to 1:40 pm: Networking Luncheon
1:50 pm to 5:00 pm: Two Sets of 90 Minute Concurrent Conference Sessions

Sunday, November 9, 2003

                   9:00 am to 12:00 pm: Concurrent Professional Development Workshops