Affiliate Events

The ACR offers opportunities for you to hold affiliate events during our Annual Meeting. An affiliate event is any meeting or event organized by exhibitors, universities, nonprofits, and government entities.

If your organization is interested in hosting an event, please see the information below to learn more. Please note that all affiliate events must be approved by the ACR.


To hold an affiliate event, you must be one of the following:

  • a 2017 exhibitor (If ACR receives notice that an exhibiting company is cancelling exhibit space, all affiliate event approvals, as well as housing reservations, badges, etc., will be cancelled.)
  • a non-profit organization
  • a university, college, or school of medicine
  • a division of the government


The 2017 application period is closed.

Approved Times, Policies, and Categories

Events must adhere to the ACR policies, rules and regulations, and guidelines listed below and all events must be approved by the ACR.  Events cannot offer CME (except for approved industry symposia).

Approved Times

Affiliate events may be held during the times outlined in the Affiliate Events Schedule. Restricted times are reserved for ACR programming.  Onsite registration for affiliate events may not begin before the approved event time.

Event Categories

Non-Attendee Meetings

Any event at which only full-time employees of the organization will be present.

Staff Meetings: Cannot include professional attendees unless they are full-time employees.

Attendee Meetings

Any event to which an ACR meeting attendee will be invited.

Advisory Boards:  Sponsored and financially supported by a pharmaceutical/biotech organization, academic center, nonprofit organization, or consortium that focuses on a genuine need, benefits patient welfare, documents outcomes, and advances the field of rheumatology.

  • All participants must have a signed contract with the sponsor.
  • Advisory board meetings may not be held for more than four hours during the approved times.
  • Attendees may not be compensated for travel or lodging to the Annual Meeting.
  • Compensation for lodging expenses outside the Annual Meeting dates is acceptable.

Analyst/Financial Meetings:  A meeting held by publicly traded corporations where the company executives provide information about how the company is performing and its future financial prospects.

Committee Meetings:  A meeting of a group of no more than 50 people for administrative purposes. May not exceed eight hours in length during the approved times. There are different time slots for industry vs. non-industry committee meetings.

Hospitality Suites:  Small social gatherings sponsored and financially supported by an external entity. These events must be held in hotel hospitality suites.  Educational activities of any kind are not permitted. To obtain a hospitality suite, contact ACR Housing and Registration.
Convention Management Resources (CMR)
101 Mission Street, Suite 200
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 800-990-2446 or 415-979-2286 (6:00 AM - 6:00 PM Pacific Time)
Fax: 415-293-5231

Investigator Meetings:  Restricted to fewer than 150 individuals and sponsored and/or financially supported by a pharmaceutical/biotech organization, academic center, nonprofit organization, or consortium.

  • Must focus on institutional review board or regulatory agency-approved protocol and serve to review conduct or results of a specific study.  Such studies must benefit patient welfare, document outcomes, and advance the practice of rheumatology.
  • Promotional meetings to present data or launch a drug or study are prohibited.
  • May not be more than four hours.
  • Investigators and other study personnel attending may not receive honoraria or be compensated for travel or lodging to the Annual Meeting.
  • Compensation for lodging expenses outside the Annual Meeting dates is acceptable.

Social Events (pharmaceutical/biotech organizations):  A reception, dinner, etc., where there is no CME educational programming and which is sponsored and financially supported by an exhibiting organization. Speakers may be engaged, provided they are primarily employed by (primarily employed is defined as 50% or more of an individual's working time) the supporting organization. The ACR does not regulate, endorse, or support social events. The ACR strongly discourages large social events.

Social Events (university, government or nonprofit): Events organized, sponsored, and financially supported by a university or nonprofit organization.

Symposia: Only Corporate Roundtable donors are eligible to offer symposia during the Annual Meeting.  Companies interested in offering a symposium should refer to the IndustrySupported Symposia Guidelines. There is a separate application process for this type of event.

Special Conditions for Certain Types of Meetings and Events

Fellows-in Training/Medical Students/Residents Events:  Any event or activity outside the ACR Fellows Education Fund is prohibited from November 2 - November 8.

Focus Groups:  Meetings that target a specific group of attendees to obtain specific data.  Focus group meetings are only allowed at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting - November 8 after 12:30 PM.

What you Need to Know

  • To make sure your events are in compliance, refer to the section Approved Times, Policies, and Categories above and the exhibitor Rules and Regulations.
  • Upon submission of your application, you will receive an email approval/confirmation from the ACR which will contain hotel contact information. Be sure to forward a copy of this email to your hotel contact so he/she knows that your request has been approved. After your request has been approved you will work directly with the hotel to secure space and finalize the details of your event(s).
  • Approval of your event does not guarantee there will be space available for your event at a particular hotel.
  • Hotels may charge a fee for set-up and labor costs if your event does not provide a minimum amount of food and beverage orders.
  • The ACR is not responsible for contractual agreements made by event organizers or for any costs associated with or incurred by affiliate events.
  • ACR reserves the right to cancel any meeting that does not adhere to our guidelines. The ACR will not be responsible for any costs incurred for cancelled events.
  • Marketing materials, agendas, and handouts must be in compliance with the Promotional Materials Guidelines.

Housing for Affiliate Events

Requests for hotel rooms must be made by the supporting organization through the online exhibitor housing process.  Organizers of affiliate events should contact the exhibiting company’s official contact person to reserve hotel accommodations.  For more information, see Exhibitor Housing.


  • The ACR does not allow signs or banners publicizing affiliate events in lobbies or in any public areas of hotels or the convention center.  One sign placed directly outside the assigned meeting room is permitted.
  • If transportation is being provided (see below), up to two persons may hold hand-held signs directly next to the vehicle 15 minutes prior to the stated departure time. No signs are permitted inside the convention center. Individuals holding hand-held signs must be professionally attired.
  • No reference to the ACR, ARHP, or Rheumatology Research Foundation (The Foundation) may be included.
  • The ACR does not allow information desks in public spaces of the official ACR hotels or convention center for exhibitors, affiliate events, or groups.


Space for affiliate buses at the San Diego Convention Center and official ACR hotels is limited. Buses cannot interfere with the official ACR shuttle service. Prior approval must be obtained in advance to use driveways or bus lanes at ACR venues. Contact Erroll Hotard at or 888-447-4387, ext. 330 or 877-865-3437. Transportation for affiliate events may not begin prior to 15 minutes before approved event times.