HPAIR Asia Conference 2018 Bidding Information

History of the HPAIR Asia Conference

With over 20 years of history as Harvard’s largest annual student-run event in Asia, the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations creates a forum of exchange and facilitates discussion of the most important economic, political, and social issues relevant to the Asia-Pacific region. Since 1991, the HPAIR conferences have brought together students from the world’s foremost universities and leaders in the fields of government, business, culture, and academia.

HPAIR’s flagship event, the Asia Conference, is organized annually in cooperation with a leading Asian university. The conference is organized to achieve its three goals on which HPAIR was founded:

      • To provide a dynamic forum of exchange on international issues vital to Asia
      • To foster long-term relationships among young leaders from around the globe
      • To connect talented delegates with some of today’s leaders in academia, business and government

Why Host the HPAIR Asia Conference

The Host Country Organizing Committee (HCOC) has the opportunity to jointly organize Harvard University’s largest annual conference in the Asia-Pacific region. Through this process, members gain the valuable real-world experience of organizing one of Asia’s most prestigious conferences. By forging lasting relationships with delegates, Harvard students, and world leaders in business, politics and academia, members of the HCOC will find that organizing the conference is a uniquely rewarding experience.

The partnership university gains distinction and benefits of hosting the Asia Conference. HPAIR receives over a thousand qualified applicants every year, and hosts over a hundred world leaders in a wide array of fields. Universities who have worked with HPAIR in the past have enjoyed an elevated degree of international prominence and broad media exposure.

Expectations of the Host Country Organizing Committee

The HPAIR Asia Conference shall be jointly organized by the HPAIR Organizing Committee (HOC) and the Host Country Organizing Committee (HCOC), which consists of affiliated members of the partnership university. In particular, we are looking for a core group of active and professional team members willing to devote time and energy, and who have good English and communication skills. Additionally, the partnership university should be at a location where the HPAIR Asia Conference has not been recently held.

Below are some of the common responsibilities previous HCOCs have fulfilled, organized by committee. However, the exact responsibilities shall be entailed in a Memorandum of Understanding upon which both HPAIR and HCOC agree.

      • Operations:
            • Working closely with HPAIR in negotiating and finalizing important details such as conference venue, housing, transportation, and catering
            • Planning major events of the conference including an international performance night, delegate party, gala dinner, and opening and closing ceremonies
    • Conference Programming:
          • Inviting prominent speakers from the host country and nearby regions
          • Implementing new, innovative sessions that maximize speakers’ expertise and time, reduce our costs, and increase delegate engagement
          • Improving upon initiatives such as HPAIRx, skills workshops, and the case competition
      • Delegate Relations:
            • Assisting with visa issues by coordinating with the host country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Tourism and providing official letters of endorsement for HPAIR delegates, speakers, and staff
            • Planning and organizing exciting social events for delegates during the conference, including pre-conference tours of the host city
            • Ensuring smooth and professional registration, check-in, and troubleshooting processes during the conference
      • Corporate Relations:
            • Securing sponsorship and operational support from the partnership university administration and corporations based in the host country
            • Organizing the conference career fair
            • Initiating partnerships for the case competition, venues, food, and transportation to help lower costs
      • Marketing and Communications:
            • Marketing and delegate recruiting within the host country
            • Inviting host country news and media outlets such as television stations and newspapers to cover the conference
            • Brainstorming, developing, and executing marketing techniques to promote the conference through new networks with a particular goal to increase delegate diversity
            • Expanding social media coverage during the conference
      • Design:
            • Drafting professional designs and printing the conference handbook, delegate facebook directory, and banners in coordination with the HOC design team
            • Coordinating all printing needs during the conference
            • Executing professional videography, photography, and editing

The Bidding Process


A group of ambitious and motivated students with full endorsement (logistically and financially) from an accredited institution of higher education. Experience in attending HPAIR conferences, though not mandatory, is highly recommended.

The Selection Process:

      1. Conference bidders shall submit a proposal, as specified in the guidelines below.
      2. The HPAIR Executive Board shall review proposals and conduct video conference interviews.
      3. The selection of the HPAIR 2018 Asia Conference partnership university will be announced by late November/early December.

Bidding Proposal Guidelines:

The below guidelines are not meant to be a comprehensive list that are required to be included in the bidding proposal. Bidders are highly encouraged to be innovative yet professional with their proposals as these are important traits we look for in a HCOC. Past bidders have impressed us with statements of support from potential sponsors and the partnership school or ideas about how to improve HPAIR.

      • The bidder’s vision for the HPAIR 2018 Asia Conference
      • Why the partnership university and the city would be ideal for hosting the HPAIR 2018 Asia Conference
      • Past experiences and skills of the core members of the HCOC that would ensure the delivery of a successful conference
      • A comprehensive plan of execution detailing the responsibilities of HCOC outlined above in the “Expectations” section
      • Written support from the partnership university
      • Optional: Successful bidders in the past have often included a video outlining why the HPAIR Asia Conference should be hosted in their school and city.


Each HCOC differs from year to year, but the most significant similarity among the different HCOCs during the bidding process is that they show, concretely, that they can deliver positive results in planning large-scale events. Ultimately, the decisions will be largely based on the professionalism, content, and enthusiasm of the proposal.

Additional Information

If you are interested in participating in the conference bidding process, please contact bidding@hpair.org or sxiao@hpair.org

Important Dates

  • November 10th, 2017 – Conference bidding proposals due
  • Mid-November – Video interviews held
  • Late November/Early December 2017 – Partnership university selected


  • Executive Director, Scott Xiao – sxiao@hpair.org
  • Asia Bidding Email – bidding@hpair.org | All bids must be submitted through this email with Scott Xiao CC’ed

Sample Bidding Materials