Organize a Conference with SMS!

Interested in organizing a special conference? We welcome ideas and expressions of interest from members who want to be involved in creating a special event that focuses on a specific topical area.These conferences are typically co-organized between the SMS, an Interest Group or SMS member organizers, and local partners and/or institutions.

Open Call for SMS Special Conference Proposals

The Strategic Management Society is seeking proposals from members interested in hosting a Special Conference with the Society. SMS Special Conferences provide smaller environments for discussion and debate than is possible at the SMS Annual Conferences, thus allowing more in-depth examinations of specific topics, deeper engagement with thought leaders at the conference, and strengthening of professional networks. Special Conferences may vary in the way each is structured, organized and executed, but the primary goal is to engage participants with one another in a smaller setting in order to further develop the field of strategic management. We are seeking proposals for Special Conferences to take place in 2024 and beyond. 


Special Conferences allow the Society the opportunity to create in-depth idea exchange and interactions among participants around a particular theme. These events engage with regional scholars, our Interest Groups and Communities, or broader audiences than may be the case at Annual Conferences. Our aim is to have about one special conference a year that is designed around a theme that will bring together academics and executives in meaningful ways, and one that will engage members in geographies that are often underserved by our annual conferences.

Types and Models

Each Special Conference has its own aims and goals and should be designed with the intention to serve a specific purpose. At this time, we are focusing on conferences that target regional development and growth or academic and executive collaboration.

SMS has explored different models for its Special Conferences. The most common is a co-hosted conference with a partner institution, such as a local business  or business school. This model typically involves the majority of the conference to be hosted at the institution, or primary support and planning assistance to come from the institution. Other common models include conferences organized by a group within the SMS or a collaborative conference where there is a partner that is not the same as the host. Click here for a preview of the conference agreement to learn what is expected from the partner/host institution.

Conference Program

The content for Special Conferences bears many similarities to the structure of the SMS Annual Conference. While the theme and topic focus of each conference will be unique, the submission structure and flow, session types, and overall feel of the conference will be consistent with all SMS events. The website platform designed for the Society has been built to handle submissions, reviews, and registrations for all conferences. In addition to the academic program, each Special Conference normally has a signature evening event that is included with the registration fee to incorporate the local culture of the destination city into the conference.

Submit a Proposal

We are now encouraging submissions of proposals for Special Conferences. We are currently seeking initial proposals for conferences to take place in 2024 and beyond to be submitted by May 17, 2023. Spring and Winter dates for 2024 and 2025 are of particular interest.

Each proposal should be sent through the online submission form and should include:

  • Summary information for the conference
  • Contacts and/or link(s) as appropriate for organizers and partner institutions, etc.
  • Description of theme for the conference and how it relates to theory-practice collaboration or regional development

Typically, SMS hosts Special Conferences in the spring, summer and sometimes winter, excluding the fall to avoid overlap with the Annual Conference. As these events take a great deal of coordination and planning, conversations regarding the conference theme, location, partners, and call for proposals typically begin 14-18 months in advance. Our target is to launch a conference on the website 12-14 months before the planned date of the event.

If you have any questions about this process or Special Conferences in general, please contact Anna Allen, SMS Director of Membership and Events ( Special Conference proposals will be reviewed by the Conference Committee of the SMS Board of Directors after the submission period has closed.