State Policy Network
SPN 27th Annual Meeting October 29-November 1, 2019 Colorado Springs, CO

October 29-November 1, 2019 • Colorado Springs, CO

SPN 27th Annual Meeting

State Policy Network’s Annual Meeting is the premier gathering of organizations and people dedicated to promoting state policy solutions that strengthen communities and improve the lives of Americans.

About the SPN Annual Meeting

Each year, 1,300 attendees representing state-based and state focused organizations from all 50 states gather to be inspired, discover and develop new strategies to replace failed government policies, and network. State Policy Network hosts this meeting to strengthen the state-focused network by:

  • Inspiring attendees to go further—whether that be improving the operations of their organization or advancing policy change through effective leadership, education, outreach, and communications.
  • Providing an environment where policy ideas can be shared, tested, and sharpened so that state solutions that improve the lives of individuals and families can have national impact
  • Connecting attendees with peers, mentors, philanthropic partners, and experts who can help them to grow and achieve personally and professionally

Why should you go to the SPN Annual Meeting?

SPN’s Annual Meeting is the gathering place for people who are serious about winning the battle of ideas for this generation and the generations to come. You’ll have access to the wisdom of 1,300 people: policy and professional specialists from 325+ organizations, top-notch speakers, and many industry experts, too. You can also build or join smaller groups of like-minded freedom-lovers to refine your strategies, increase knowledge, and recharge your battery.

Last, but certainly not least, we celebrate victories and have a little fun! Annual Meeting is the place to be for happy warriors determined to advance freedom in the states.


State Policy Network’s Annual Meeting is a gathering of people with diverse viewpoints, undergirded by the belief that free speech fosters civility and progress. Therefore, the views and opinions expressed at State Policy Network’s Annual Meeting belong to those who express them, and do not necessarily reflect the views or official policy positions of State Policy Network. As extensions of individual speech, the materials and publications shared at Annual Meeting likewise are the creations of diverse individuals and do not represent statements of belief or policy on the part of State Policy Network.

Please note: This is a private event governed by rules available here. SPN reserves the right to refuse registration and entrance.

Join us for the SPN 28th Annual Meeting in 2020

Meet us in Chicago for the SPN 28th Annual Meeting in 2020! We are pleased to have Illinois Policy Institute as our host state think tank for this event.

Date: August 31–September 3, 2020

Location: Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile
540 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

Where else has the SPN Annual Meeting been?

1992: Colorado Springs, CO
1993: Traverse City, MI
1994: Tampa, FL
1995: San Diego, CA
1996: Minneapolis, MN
1997: Tempe, AZ
1998: Atlanta,GA
1999: Dallas, TX
2000: St. Louis, MO
2001: Boulder, CO
2002: Indianapolis, IN
2003: Seattle, WA
2004: Austin, TX
2005: Charleston, SC
2006: Milwaukee, WI
2007: Portland, ME
2008: Scottsdale, AZ
2009: Asheville, NC
2010: Cleveland, OH
2011: Bellevue, WA
2012: Amelia Island, FL
2013: Oklahoma City, OK
2014: Denver, CO
2015: Grand Rapids, MI
2016: Nashville, TN
2017: San Antonio, TX
2018: Salt Lake City, UT
2019: Colorado Springs, CO

Registration & Attendance Policies

Attendance Eligibility

All board members, executives, and staff at current SPN state think tank affiliates and associate members are invited to attend SPN’s Annual Meeting. Go here to see specific membership criteria.

General attendees are also welcome, but they must provide a reference and pass SPN’s review process in order to register.

Review Policy

The SPN Annual Meeting is a privately held event and acceptance of registration is pending verification of eligibility. This review policy ensures registrants have selected the most appropriate ticket option. All registrations will receive notification of registration status within three (3) business days. Payment will not be processed until registration is accepted.

After the review window, accepted registrants will receive an email with a confirmation number.

Cancellation Policy

State Think Tank Affiliates

Affiliate registrations are eligible for full refunds or transfers to members within the same organization until a specified deadline. The refund deadline for the SPN 27th Annual Meeting is October 1, 2019, at 5:00pm EST.


Associate registrations are eligible for a full refund less a $75.00 cancellation fee prior to a specified deadline. The refund deadline for the SPN 27th Annual Meeting is October 1, 2019, at 5:00pm EST.  No refunds after this deadline will be fulfilled. Refunds will only be issued to the original registrant or credit card holder. Associate registrations may be transferred to individuals in the same organization as the original registrant.

General Attendees

Refunds will be issued prior to a specified deadline, less a $75.00 cancellation fee. The refund deadline for the SPN 27th Annual Meeting is October 1, 2019, at 5:00pm EST. General attendee registrations are not eligible for transfer.

Terms and Conditions of Attendance at SPN’s Annual Meeting

Your attendance at SPN’s Annual Meeting indicates your agreement to the following terms and conditions. All event attendees must register in advance of admission. A valid photo ID is required for registration and admission.


This event is held for the benefit of our think tank affiliates and associates in the state-based policy community. Anyone who attempts to attend this event without properly registering will be removed. SPN further reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to physically remove from the premises any person, regardless of registration status, who in our judgment threatens to disrupt, inhibit, or undermine the quality of this event or the activities of our guests. This policy also applies to anyone who is responsible for bringing another person to the event. “Premises” shall be defined by SPN in consultation with venue management and local law enforcement.

Additional conditions of attendee conduct may apply pursuant to SPN’s agreement with the owner of the event venue as well as local law enforcement. Any person who is removed may be subject to arrest or detention by law enforcement for violation of this policy or the codes of the jurisdiction of the event. Nothing in this policy is designed to infringe speech or conduct on public property. By registering for or attending this event, you agree that State Policy Network as well as its partners, affiliates, associates, contractors, and vendors assumes no liability for injury, damage or loss which may be related in any way to traveling to, attending, or traveling from this event, or with implementation of this policy.

Emails and Onsite Photography

By registering for and attending State Policy Network’s Annual Meeting, you consent to interview(s), photography, audio recording, video recording and its/their publication. Images, videos, and/or audio recording may be used to promote this event and similar SPN events in the future and highlight the network’s growth and impact. By registering, you also consent to receive important Annual Meeting news and reminders via email.

Session Attendance

All Annual Meeting attendees must wear their name badges at all sessions. Upon entry to many of the conference sessions, SPN will have team members who will scan the unique code on your name badge. This helps SPN better calculate our overall event attendance at specific sessions and create content better tailored to our attendees in the future.


State Policy Network prohibits all unauthorized audio or video recording, image capture, or any form of transcription and transmission of event presentations and activities, including but not limited to statements by presenters, materials displayed or offered during presentations, and comments by event attendees captured without their express consent. SPN further reserves the right at its sole discretion to authorize select audio or video recording and/or transmission of the event, as well as the taking of photographs during the event. Anyone so authorized agrees to use any and all such recordings or images only with SPN’s written consent, and agrees further to make them available without charge to SPN for its unrestricted use. SPN will have anyone conducting unauthorized recording or photography removed from this event, and may pursue at its discretion all available criminal and civil remedies.


All packages, bags, and other containers are subject to search, and may be required to be stored during the event.

Social Media Policy

Thank you in advance for respecting our social media policy and the privacy of other attendees. Because this event is invitation-only and much of the content is intended only for participants, please adhere to the following guidelines to ensure SPN’s Annual Meeting is a safe and respectful environment for sharing strategies and ideas. SPN reserves the right to remove inappropriate or sensitive posts from the Annual Meeting app and to request that attendees remove public social media posts that do not respect the following guidelines.

  • All breakout and workshop sessions are off the record. Live tweeting, recording video, posting pictures, or sharing content from the sessions are expressly prohibited. This discretion ensures our breakout sessions, workshops, and roundtables can be safe and candid environments for strategic conversations and idea-sharing. Plus, we want to respect speakers’ proprietary content.
  • Plenary sessions are on the record. You’re welcome to live tweet or post about the talks. 
  • Share your excitement, inspiration, and connections. While specific strategies and tactics should not leave sessions and discussions, you are welcome to post generally about speakers who inspired you, the general implications for your work, the people you’ve met, etc.
  • Be respectful. For the sessions and events that are not off the record, please be respectful of other attendees’ privacy and think before quoting or posting pictures that could be misinterpreted.
  • Provide context. When posting, remember not all your audience will have the full context, so be aware of posts that might be misconstrued or misunderstood.


Host Hotel: The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs


The Broadmoor
1 Lake Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80906

Reservations at The Broadmoor: Sign up for the waitlist 

SPN’s room block at The Broadmoor is now sold out for the nights of October 29 and October 30. The hotel is accepting reservations on a waiting list. To add your information to the waitlist, go here or call the reservation department at 719-577-5775.

Nearby Accommodations: 

These hotels are a short distance from The Broadmoor. We are not able to provide shuttle service to and from the conference site, but an Uber or Lyft is less than $10.

DoubleTree Hotel, 1775 E Cheyenne Mountain Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO

Hampton Inn & Suites Colorado Springs/I-25, 2910 Geyser Dr., Colorado Springs, CO

Courtyard by Marriott Colorado Springs South, 2570 Tenderfoot Hill St, Colorado Springs, CO

Residence Inn Colorado Springs South, 2765 Geyser Dr, Colorado Springs, CO

Cheyenne Mountain Resort, 3225 Broadmoor Valley Rd Colorado Springs, CO

See The Broadmoor Property

Video Credit: The Broadmoor

Travel & Transportation

Nearby Airports

Denver International Airport (90 minutes from The Broadmoor)

Colorado Springs Airport (15 minutes from The Broadmoor)

Ground Transportation

Shuttle: The Broadmoor Transporation Department can help arrange round-trip and one-way shuttle service between both Colorado Springs Airport and Denver International Airport and the resort. To learn about options and make reservations, call 719-362-3276.

Rental Cars: Parking is available on The Broadmoor property for those who prefer this transportation option.

Taxi or Uber: Both of these options service the Colorado Springs Airport and Denver airports.

  • Uber from Colorado Springs Airport to The Broadmoor: $20 for UberX
  • Uber from Denver Airport to The Broadmoor: $100 for UberX

Parking at The Broadmoor

Valet Parking: The overnight Valet Parking Fee for Hotel Guests is $32.00 per night.

Parking Garage: The overnight self-parking fee for hotel guests is $25.00 per night with full in and out privileges.

For more information and driving directions, please visit The Broadmoor’s website.


Located adjacent to the plenary ballroom, the Connections Lounge is the high-traffic site of several planned events and breaks throughout the week, as well as a space for general networking, meeting, and relaxing with fellow attendees. The Connections Lounge will be locked at the end of each day. The Exhibitor Hall will be situated in the pre-function space at the entrance/exit to the Connections Lounge and will also be secured after hours.

New in 2019: Networking Appointments

Exhibitors will have the opportunity to use our SPN Annual Meeting Networking Appointments feature to connect with attendees up to thirty days prior to the event to schedule meetings at your space.

If you would like information on 2019 exhibitor opportunities, please contact Cindy Kilduff at

Download a printer-friendly version of this page

2019 Exhibitor Opportunities

SOLD: Center Seating Area of the Connections Lounge: $25,000 (Independence Partner)

  • Exceptional branding opportunity in this 40’ x 40’ space with a variety of seating options to attract participants to relax, network, or conduct meetings (food and beverage not included).
  • Includes powered lounge-seating groupings and optional high-top tables/chairs and/or 6-foot tables/chairs.
  • Among other Independence Partner level benefits, includes 4 full conference registrations and 4 complimentary passes to VIP Reception prior to the Thomas A. Roe Award Dinner.
  • Opportunity to participate in our new SPN Annual Meeting Networking Appointments, which will allow you to connect with attendees thirty days prior to the event and schedule meetings at your space.

SOLD: Premier Furnished Connections Lounge Quadrant: $20,000 each (Constitution Partner)

  • 25’ x 25’ space with 2 furniture pods, 1 charging unit, 2 6-ft. tables, 4 chairs, 2 garbage cans, includes power.
  • Prime opportunity to creatively attract attendees during networking/reception/breaks (food and beverage not included).
  • Among other Constitution Partner level benefits, includes 3 full conference registrations and 3 complimentary passes to VIP Reception prior to Thomas A. Roe Award Dinner.

ALL SOLD: Booths: $3,000 each

  • 8’ x 10’ booth Includes 6-ft. table with basic table cloth and skirting, 2 chairs, garbage can.
  • Flexible space to showcase your brand, power upon request. 

ALL SOLD: Exhibitor Tables: $1,000 each

  • 6’ table with basic table cloth and skirting.
  • Power option available (with direct bill to hotel).

Connections Lounge Preview

Bob Williams Awards

The Bob Williams Awards for Outstanding Policy Achievement celebrate state think tanks doing exceptional work to develop and disseminate credible policy research and ideas that can help states implement free-market solutions that will have national impact. The awards are named in honor of our network’s most iconic policy maven and a friend to many, Bob Williams.

Nominations have closed for 2019. See the finalists in each category here. Winners will be announced at SPN’s 27th Annual Meeting in Colorado Springs, CO.

Categories for the Bob Williams Awards for Outstanding Policy Achievement

Best Issue Campaign

Recognizes the organization that ran the highest quality issue education campaign. Submissions will be judged based on measures of execution not necessarily if a win was ultimately achieved. Measure of execution include strategic thinking, exemplary use of outreach tactics, ability to reach target audiences, and team alignment.

Most Influential Research

Recognizes the organization whose original research achieved a high level of influence in academia, media, or policy-making arenas. Submissions should describe one piece of research which is either a single publication or a closely related series of research publications (for example, one white paper, a collection of essays on a single topic, or a book). Submissions should also include information about the impact that the research publication made and clearly communicate the measured outcomes and results.

Biggest Home State Win

Recognizes the organization that achieved a significant policy win in their home state. Your win can come from any jurisdiction in your home state, local government, executive, judicial, legislative, or etc. Submissions will be judged on the significance of the victory and how important the organization’s contribution was to the victory.

Note: submissions for Biggest Home State Win can also be considered for Biggest Win.

Biggest Win

Recognizes the organization whose effort was instrumental toward securing a significant policy victory this year. Wins can be one state or a multi-state effort; offense or defense; state or national. Submissions will be judged on the significance of the victory and how important the organization’s contribution was to the victory.

About Bob Williams

Bob is the founder of the Washington Freedom Foundation and is a nationally recognized expert in the areas of fiscal and tax policies, election reform, and disaster preparedness. Bob is currently the Director of State Budget Solutions a project of the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Bob holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Penn State and was a Certified Public Accountant. In that capacity, he served as an auditor at the Pentagon and Post Office for the U.S. Government Accountability Office. He served five terms in the Washington State Legislature and was the 1988 Republican nominee for governor of Washington State.


How much does registration cost?

Ticket Type Early Bird Rate Full Rate
State Think Tank Affiliate Members Special membership rate Special membership rate
SPN Associate Members Special membership rate Special membership rate
General Registration $1,000 $1,300
One-Day Pass (Tuesday) $150 $150
One-Day Pass (Wednesday or Thursday) $500 $500
One-Day Pass (Friday) $100 $100
Onsite Registration N/A Full rate plus $50 fee

What important dates should I put on my calendar?

August 1, 2019 Early Bird pricing ends at 5:00 pm EST
October 4, 2019 Hotel reservation cut-off date
Oct. 29 – Nov. 1, 2019 SPN 27th Annual Meeting in Colorado Springs

What is included in my registration?

All events, sessions, and meals listed in the agenda, except for any event listed as “invitation only.”

How can I make changes to my registration?

If you need to update your personal information or change your session selections, please follow these steps:

1. Click “already registered” from the registration page.
2. Enter the email address you used to register
3. Enter your confirmation number (found in your registration confirmation email)
4. Once logged in , select “modify” from the navigation and make the modifications necessary. Click the “next” button at the bottom of each page to proceed.
5. Select “finish” once you have completed the changes.

I don’t have a registration confirmation email. How do I get it?

First, search your inbox or check your spam folder. We will send all registered attendees another copy of their confirmation email 6-8 weeks prior to the conference and again at 3-4 weeks prior to the conference. If you still cannot locate the email, please contact to request a copy.

What is the registration cancellation policy?

State Think Tank Affiliates: Full refunds by September 5 at 5:00 pm EDT.

Associate Members: Full refunds less a $100 cancellation fee by September 5 at 5:00 pm EDT.

General Attendees: Full refunds less a $100 cancellation fee by September 8 at 5:00 pm EDT.

What is the conference dress code?

Business casual attire is appropriate during the day. We recommend bringing a sweater or jacket for the hotel and for cooler evenings. Attendees should also plan to bring appropriate clothing for any special activities, such as workout clothes for the 5K for Freedom and a swimsuit for the indoor pools.

What is the weather like in Salt Lake City in October?

Highs will be in the 60s. Evening temperatures can drop into the 40s.

How can I get a copy of the agenda?

Go to the agenda section to see session titles and description. Click on the printer icon to pull up a printer-friendly copy. The Annual Meeting app will be available in late August/early September so that attendees can explore the agenda and build their customized schedules.

What are the tracks?

Tracks are collections of breakout sessions and workshops for specific disciplines or topics. Attendees are not restricted to certain tracks. Unless noted as an “invitation only” event, sessions are open to all attendees.

How do I choose the best track or sessions for me?

Attendees can attend any track regardless of their current role. This is part of what makes Annual Meeting such a unique and rich learning opportunity. It’s a great time to explore topics that align with your career aspirations or interests—even if they don’t directly relate to you day-to-day job. We encourage attendees to try at least one session outside their current discipline.

The tracks are also designed to sharpen your skills in your current discipline if that is your professional goal. So, you can also choose to stick with one track throughout the entire conference and attend sessions on the areas you want to learn more about.

Will I be able to register onsite?

Yes, but you will pay the full ticket price plus a $50 onsite registration fee. We encourage attendees to register online, preferably by the Early Bird deadline of August 1, so that you can receive the best registration rate.

Are guests allowed to attend?

Unfortunately, personal guests are not permitted. All attendees must register for the meeting. 

Where do I go when I arrive at the hotel?

After checking in to your room, come to registration (located at The Grand America Hotel) and pick up your badge and welcome bag. You’ll need your badge to get into all Annual Meeting activities. Be sure to have your photo I.D. with you when you pick it up.

What do I do during a networking break?

SPN provides networking breaks and structured networking activities so that attendees can network without having to worry about missing any sessions. Networking breaks are a good time to tour the Exhibitor Hall or stop by the Connections Lounge.