New to ALGS? Don't know what a Symposium is? This FAQ is for you.
Q1: What is an ALGS Symposium?
A1: According to Oxford Dictionaries online, a symposium is a conference or meeting to discuss a particular subject. However, a secondary definition of a symposium is a drinking party or convivial discussion, especially as held in ancient Greece after a banquet. An ALGSA Symposium is a combination of those two things: we give ALGS families a lot of information from ALGS doctors and other experts and we get ALGS families together to socialize and get to know one another. We even include the banquet part of that definition with a fun dinner, raffle/auction and dance on Saturday night of Symposium weekend. ALGS kids can meet other ALGS kids (often for the first time!). ALGS parents can share their stories and experiences. It is a really special, even magical event that you won't want to miss. Families that attend one Symposium almost always attend multiple Symposia. We call that the Symposium Hook.
Q2: How often does the Alliance hold a Symposium?
A2: Originally we held a Symposium once every three years. After the Symposium in 2014, we decided that we needed to get families together more often. We now hold a Symposium once every two years.
Q3: How many Symposiums have there been?
A3: There have been 7 Symposia so far. The 2018 Symposium will be the 8th international symposium.
Q4: How does the Alliance decide where to hold the Symposium?
A4: The ALGSA board of directors decides on the Symposium location. We try to move the event around the country so that we educate different doctors and people about ALGS. The ALGSA Symposia have been in Portland, Oregon (#1 in 1999), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2002), Atlanta, Georgia (2005), San Francisco, California (2008), Chicago, Illinois (2011), Washington D.C. (2014) and San Diego, California (2016).
Q5: How does the Alliance pay for a Symposium? It sounds expensive.
A5: Hosting a Symposium is very expensive. However, we always seem to manage to find the funds to do it. A lot of the money comes from the Alliance's annual Virtual Walk fund raiser. We also obtain grants and sponsorships to help cover expenses.