Creating Change, the nation’s largest LGBT conference, is looking for four people from the Philadelphia region to serve as co-chairs of the event that’s heading to the city in January. The deadline to apply is April 11.
“We are committed to putting together a team that is representative of the LGBTQ communities of Philadelphia,” said Sue Hyde, director of Creating Change at the National LGBTQ Task Force. “It will be a race-mixed team, an age-mixed team and a gender-mixed team.”
She addressed about 30 people gathered March 31 at William Way LGBT Community Center to kick off planning for the 2017 conference. The first official host committee meeting will take place in four or five weeks, Hyde said.
Hyde said the co-chairs have to be experienced team builders, able to facilitate monthly meetings and lead large volunteer operations and be available for bi-weekly phone meetings with Task Force staff leading up to the conference at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown.
Each co-chair will oversee four subcommittees on the host committee for Creating Change. Volunteers are needed to form the 16 subcommittees that cover everything from fundraising and programming to local outreach and hospitality.
Hyde said some committees finish their work earlier in the year, like programming, the group responsible for soliciting workshop proposals. That work is expected to be done by the fall. Hospitality committee members will be active even during the conference, recruiting volunteers to run hospitality suites at Creating Change from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. each of the five days.
Hyde said the Task Force is also looking for no-cost community housing for 75 people. Community housing improves accessibility to the conference, she said, adding most of the money generated by the local fundraising committee covers the cost of food and beverage for the hospitality suites.
The host committee in Chicago for the most recent conference raised $40,000. Hyde said the Task Force would like to see Philadelphia beat that benchmark.
Russell Roybal, deputy executive director of the Task Force, said it costs about $900,000 to put on Creating Change. The Task Force subsidizes the conference after generating about $750,000 in revenue through fees, sponsorships and ad sales in the program book.
Creating Change has reached out to Comcast about sponsoring some of the conference in Philadelphia.
The 2016 conference drew more than 3,500 participants to 1,200 hotel rooms.