National Conference

National Conference and Theatre Tour

Pre-Register Now* for LHAT’s 2020 Virtual National Conference & Theatre Tour!

44th National Conference & Theatre Tour

Virtual Event - July 13-15, 2020

2020 National Conference Sponsors

Downtown Austin Courtesy of Geoff Duncan, Visit Austin

This year, LHAT is going virtual! We’re sad that current events and restrictions will keep us from gathering in person this summer, but rest assured, our virtual event will still capture the spirit of community that has always made our National Conference so special.

*The 2020 Conference will be available to all active LHAT members only and everyone must pre-register no later than midnight EDT on Wednesday, July 8. And thanks to the generosity of our National Partners and Sponsors, the conference will be offered FOR FREE!

If you have not received an email from us giving you the link to pre-register and you would like to attend, please send an email to We’ll verify that you are an active member and that you are in our system, then we’ll email you the link to pre-register using our quick and easy online form.

If you’re not a currently a LHAT member and you would like to attend, please click here to JOIN NOW.

Why Should You Attend the 2020 National Conference?

This conference will be uniquely LHAT -- filled not only with incredible insight, but also with laughter, joy and even some tears. We would expect nothing less from you, our incredible members.

We will certainly miss being with you, but we will at least be able to “see” you in this interactive, virtual event that will include:

  • Live and OnDemand Tools & Techniques sessions
  • A Dedicated Networking Space
  • An Interactive “Meet the LHAT the Service Providers” Expo
  • A Captivating Keynote Address by Robert Bull of The Compass Group
  • The Annual LHAT Membership Meeting
  • A Virtual Theatre Ramble (touring theatres we may never have been able to visit in person)
  • And even some Virtual Happy Hours (because we are LHAT and it’s kind of a thing!)

While some of the 2020 conference will be available OnDemand to fit your busy schedule, we hope you’ll plan to spend a couple of hours each day participating live. We have partnered with our friends at Agile Ticketing Solutions to make this a fun, interactive and informative experience.

Please see below for an overview of this year’s schedule so you can plan accordingly. After the July 4th holiday, we’ll post more details about each scheduled event.

Even if only virtually, we can’t wait to reconnect with you at the LHAT National conference, July 13-15!

Photo by Bob Krist for the PHLCVB

The 43rd National Conference
and Theatre Tour

Sunday, July 14 - Wednesday, 17, 2019
Philadelphia, PA

2019 National Conference

Thank you to everyone who helped make our 43rd National Conference a HUGE success!

Philadelphia is known for many things -- it's the fifth largest city in the U.S. It's the home of the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Reading Terminal Market and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (let's not forget the "Rocky statue and steps!"). And yes, it's where the famous Philly Cheesesteak was born. But the City of Brotherly Love is not only rich in history and culinary delights, it's a town with a strong focus on arts and culture, including a thriving Avenue of the Arts.

More than 325 people from across North America and the United Kingdom attended, including representatives from 108 different historic theatre organizations and close to 80 service provider and supplier firms, in addition to individuals from local preservation agencies, Subscriber members and invited guests.

The optional Pre-conference Theatre Ramble took 51 attendees to visit five theatres in and outside of Philadelphia, including: the Grand Opera House, Wilmington, DE; The Playhouse on Rodney Square, Wilmington, DE; the Ambler Theater, Ambler, PA; the Keswick Theatre, Glenside, PA; , and Plays & Players Theatre, Philadelphia, PA.

Over four days, we provided more than 46 hours of professional development covering Facilities, Operations, Marketing, Fundraising, and Film, in addition to case studies showcasing the best practices of several member theatres. Two in-depth sessions covered "Renovation 101" and "In-House Promoting 101".

On Opening Night, we presented our 2019 Awards for Excellence to these very deserving recipients: Outstanding Historic Theatre Award: Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, IL and Outstanding Individual Contribution Award to Russ Collins, Executive Director of the Michigan Theater Foundation in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

On day two, 46 exhibitors showed off their products and services during the 2.5 hour Annual LHAT Expo.

When the conference was over, attendees were both exhausted and exhilarated by all that they experienced. They left Philadelphia with mounds of information and best practices to apply at their own theatres, not to mention with a whole new network of LHAT peers and friends with whom they can continue to network and share advice throughout the year.

THANK YOU to all of our national partners, sponsors, volunteers, speakers, exhibitors and attendees. Because of all of you, LHAT's most important annual event continues to grow and improve year after year!

About the National Conference & Theatre Tour

The League's annual conference is the largest annual gathering of historic theatre professionals, community leaders, and service providers and suppliers, attracting participants from across the U.S. and Canada for idea sharing and network building. Professionals, volunteers and devotees join together for four days of networking and peer information exchange, tools & techniques sessions, and tours of local historic theatres, plus events, banquets and receptions.

By defining our field, creating a shared vocabulary and identifying best practices, the educational components of the League's annual conference strengthen efforts to sustain historic theatres of various sizes, operating structures and programming philosophies. During theatre tours, docents emphasize how each venue has dealt with the specific challenges of sustaining their operations to serve their communities, now and in the future. The conference takes place in different locations across North America each year.