The vast majority of conferences show significant profits. The host institution keeps those profits for their own programs with the following exceptions:

15% of registration fees is sent to the ACDFA national office.
The 15% assessment covers use of online registration system and website templates.  A 20% assessment is applied to profits over $5,000. The host institution keeps the first $5,000 of profits and 80% of all profits over $5,000. The host institution assumes the financial responsibility for hosting a conference. 

There is no formula for building a conference budget. Budgeting differs for every institution. Some institutions provide space and services for no fee; some charge for everything; some fall between the extremes. There are, however, budgetary demands that all conferences will encounter. Below are factors to consider in budgeting for your conference:


  • Adjudicator Expenses
    Honoraria. The recommendation is $350/day. In practice, honoraria paid in recent years range from $1000-$1800. We recommend planning in the $1200-$1600 depending on the number of dances to be adjudicated, master classes taught, etc.

    Transportation, food, lodging. There are several ways to work out food for adjudicators: per diem, providing meals, reimbursing receipts. Some coordinators negotiate comp rooms at conference hotels and use them for adjudicators; other coordinators choose to house the adjudicators in accommodations separate from
    conference participants. It is also thoughtful to provide snacks and water during adjudication and feedback.

  • Musicians
    Unless a musician is full-time faculty, plan on paying musicians to accompany classes. Estimate how many classes need to be covered. Range in recent years is from $20-$40/class. You may also need to negotiate travel, food, and accommodations.

  • Managerial/production costs:
    lighting designer, technical director, box office manager, stagehands, and any secretarial staff you may need. Depending on their status with your institution, you may need to provide food (especially with a tight tech schedule) and accommodations. Other production costs might include lighting equipment, sound, and floor rental.

  • Receptions—student, faculty, gala

  • Printing, stationary, envelops, postage, programs, posters, telephone
    Much of this might be in-kind donation from your school or department. Depending on how much you do on the Internet, postage and paper costs can be relatively low.

  • Space/equipment rental: sound systems, floors.

  • Custodial fees: if your conference is held over a school break, you may have to pay for custodial support.

  • Staff meals

  • First Aid Equipment
    Dancers are expected to provide the usual supplies, e.g., band-aids, but it’s a good idea to provide instant icepacks at selected locations for emergency purposes. This may be an “in-kind” donation if your department has this on hand.

  • Guest artist or guest teacher fees.


  • Registration fees
    Individual conferences set their own fees; however, ACDFA requests that registration fees do not exceed $110/person. The conference will send 15% of each registration to the ACDFA national office after the conference.

  • Adjudication fees ($100/dance)

  • Box office:
    Schools with large auditoriums often opt to sell tickets to the public for adjudicated, guest, faculty, or gala concerts that are part of their festival. Smaller facilities may not be able to accommodate additional audiences beyond those registered for the conference.

  • T-shirt, water and food sales to conference participants.

  • Other: Program ads, vending

  • Grants (state, local arts agencies), university support


Office supplies, postage, etc.

Sponsored receptions/dinners from university administrative offices. For example, the Provost office might pay for the cost of the faculty reception.