This page contains some Frequently Asked Questions, with the answers you need to get to the summit! For event details, visit the homepage.
Check back often. We’ll add questions to the page, as they come in.
Updated September 2019
Q. Will we see the Northern Lights at the Aurora Summit?
A. We sure hope so! Of course, there is no way to predict what will happen this far in advance, but if there are clear skies and the Aurora make an appearance, we’ll be in one of the best locations in the contiguous U.S. for viewing.
Q. What are the dates for the Aurora Summit?
A. Aurora Summit 19 will be held Friday, Nov. 1 – Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. The dates are confirmed and the 2019 venue is booked, but the dates were changed when we decided to work with a new venue.
Q. Will the sessions be filmed so guests can watch all presentations on video?
A. As much as we’d like to share every presentation, we’re not set up to film the sessions. No video will be provided. However, slides, summaries and/or fact sheets from the Saturday sessions will be posted on the Aurora Summit website, when they become available. The files will be posted for about one year, and guests can find these on the website under Resources.
Q. Should I bring my camera, lenses or a tripod?
A. Photographers are welcome to bring camera equipment, and they are responsible for their own gear. The summit offers many opportunities for night photography and hands-on learning with D-SLR cameras. Bringing a tripod will help photographers to get clear photographs of the night sky and the Northern Lights if they appear. We’ll also invite guests to upload photos to social media during the conference, if you would like to bring a laptop or mobile device.
Q. Do you offer hands-on activities that will take place outdoors?
A. The venue sits on the beautiful shore of Lake Superior, with a northward-facing beach in Flood Bay located on the hotel property. There will be many opportunities to enjoy the pebble beach and the bonfire ring, which can be found behind the hotel, across the walk-bridge. Opportunities after hours include Night Photography, Aurora Chasing and Light Painting on Superior Shores Beach.
Q. What opportunities will we have for sight-seeing and photography?
A. On top of dark skies, the location offers many state parks, beaches and lighthouses within easy driving distance. Wisconsin State Parks require an annual permit or $11 day pass for admission for out-of-state visitors. For more information, visit Wisconsin State Parks.
Q. Can I buy a sweatshirt for the Aurora Summit?
A. Yes, we will sell apparel online through a print-on-demand website. To receive a sweatshirt or other gear in time for the conference, please place an order in advance. Allow time for shipping, so you’ll have it in time to pack! To learn more, visit Gear.
Q. I’ve seen several locations listed. Where will Aurora Summit 19 be held?
A. Aurora Summit 19 will be held in Washburn, Wisconsin.
This is a change from years past. The organizers considered the options carefully and looked into hosting the event in Duluth or the surrounding region. Due to high costs and light pollution that would make Aurora viewing difficult, we decided to choose a scenic location in a new state. We hope the short drive from Duluth will encourage many longstanding guests to join us!
Q. Why did you change the date and location for 2019?
A. There were many factors in this decision. The previous venue changed their business model, which led to an increase in room rates and an increase in facility rental costs — these costs nearly tripled. Guests were already paying a lot for the catered meals, so we decided it was time for a change. The new venue for 2019 will give us many of the same amenities in a scenic location about 40 miles south of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. We’re confident this venue will provide wonderful natural views and amazing service!
Q. Do I need to dress up for the banquet?
A. Come as you are! While the banquet is held in a great setting, we do not consider it a formal occasion. Between the north’s chilly fall temperatures and our passion for the outdoors, many people will come dressed in layers and prepared for the cold. You are much more likely to see others in sporting gear and insulated jackets, than you are to see formal attire.
Q. Who can attend the Aurora Summit?
A. The Aurora Summit is open to the public, including international guests! All guests must register. The retreat is designed for adults, and we request that all attendees register individually.
Q. What is the process for becoming a presenter, panelist, vendor or sponsor?
A. Anyone can enter! We’ve posted an open invitation for those who would like to present, speak on the panel, or play another role at the conference. We would like to know more about your interest before we make a decision, so please fill out an entry form on the website: Get Involved!
Q. When can I sign up to attend and register for the conference?
A. We plan to launch registration in June. Sign up early for the best results! Registration will be available when we have determined the sessions, the schedule and the meals that will be included, so we can set the price. When the Eventzilla registration website is available, it will be posted on the Home page.
Q. Do I have to register?
A. Yes. All guests must register, and we request that each person register individually. Registration is required to attend the Aurora Summit’s activities and meals.
Q. Does the registration package include the hotel?
A. No, however, we will reserve a block of rooms at the host hotel for a discount, when you mention the Aurora Summit. You’ll need to book your lodging separately. Please make sure you have a place to stay before you register.
Q. Is this event affiliated with a group?
A. No. The Aurora Summit is open to members of any Aurora group, but it is not affiliated with any group.
Q. Can I bring my dog?
A. Yes! Our host hotel for 2019 is pet-friendly, and there are many nearby lodging options available for your furry companions. Please contact the hotel for pet policies. Please also note that the Harbor View Event Center is not pet-friendly.
Q. Do I have to sign a photography release or waiver?
A. Yes. As part of registration, guests will be asked to sign a waiver and photography release. We invite guests to upload their photos to our social media channels during the conference, and we tend to share the photos broadly. We also produce a photography slideshow with submitted photos, and publish the resulting video file online.
While you should not expect any surprises regarding the use of photos, we do ask that you sign a waiver so that we may share your photos broadly on social media or other outlets.
Q. Is the discount code on the registration website available to anyone?
A. No, the discount code is reserved for conference presenters. The Early Bird Rate will be published as a ticket type, and no code is needed to receive this discount.
Q. What is the Early Bird discount?
A. For a limited time, save 20% on admission to the Aurora Summit, when you register with the Early Bird discount, valid only until July 28, 2019. Those who register during the first four weeks after launch will receive full admission at the Early Bird rate, including all meals, at a ticket price of $140 per person.
Act fast! This special price won’t last long.
Q. How much does the conference cost?
A. Regular Admission has been set to $175 for Aurora Summit 19. The cost covers all meals and all conference activities, including more than 18 educational presentations to choose from, a banquet featuring the keynote speaker and Aurora Slideshow, a panel discussion, hands-on night demonstrations, a travelogue, swag and special programming.
You may also choose from two dinner options:
• $69 for Banquet Only which covers all Saturday evening activities, or
• $89 for Friday Dinner + Banquet Only which covers all evening activities throughout the conference.
Determining the Conference Cost
The cost is decided by many factors, and it is likely to change each year. The cost helps to bring in quality presenters, afford printing costs, and cover rental expenses for the venue.
For reference, the cost of full admission was $179 for Aurora Summit 18 and $139 for Aurora Summit 17. We usually provide a dinner only option, which includes a catered dinner, the keynote speaker, and the Aurora Slideshow, as well as Saturday evening activities.
For those who register for the full conference package, the price covers all conference activities, including educational sessions, the panel discussion, the keynote speech, and prizes and swag. It also covers three meals, including a dinner buffet, a boxed lunch and the banquet.
Q. When will the cost of the conference be determined?
A. We usually announce the cost of admission in June. The price is determined by several factors, including provided meals, speaker fees and miscellaneous items, such as conference supplies and promotion. It’s our goal to launch registration in June each year, which is when we announce the cost.