The Communications Network Annual Conference

ComNet — The Communications Network annual conference. 

Frequently asked questions

Labor Strike

Is ComNet18 happening?

Absolutely, ComNet18 is happening. While it may not happen as originally planned, it’s going to be amazing.

What is happening with the strike at the Westin St. Francis?

There is a national hotel strike underway right now in San Francisco and many other cities across the country.  The Westin St. Francis is one of the hotels affected. We will not ask anyone to cross a picket line to participate in conference programming and our team is working around the clock to put together a “ComNet18 Plan B” right now.

What is ComNet18 Plan B?

We are working on it. Please check back to or the conference app frequently for conference updates. You can also follow #ComNet18 on social. We will make a decision on Plan B by Tuesday, October 9th at 2pm PST.

Should I cancel my accommodations at the Westin St. Francis?

Not necessarily – that decision is entirely up to you. Some of you may choose to move and others may be unable to move because of a lack of availability or high room rates (we’ve seen $700 at some downtown locations). We simply want to keep you looped into what is happening so you can make an informed decision on your own.

Will I be charged a cancellation fee for cancelling my reservations at the Westin St. Francis?

No. The Hotel Westin St. Francis has been exemplary and have generously agreed to waive all cancellation/penalties. You can cancel at any time -- if you wish to do so.

Will ComNet18 be providing alternative accommodations for those who choose to cancel their initial reservations at the Westin St. Francis?

We are trying. We cannot make any promises. The fact is, it may be impossible to relocate everyone booked into the Westin St. Francis in such a short period of time. We will do our best. Check back frequently to and our conference app for more updates.

If I choose not to attend ComNet18, will I receive a refund?

The conference is proceeding and simply moving locations. We will not offer refunds. Our refund period ended August 17th.  

When will a decision be made to move ComNet18 conference programming from the Westin St. Francis?

If necessary, we’ll make the decision to move conference programming by Tuesday, Oct. 9th at 2pm PST.

Will Plan B include food?

We know this is a question. We’ll have more information soon.

Where can I go to learn more about the strike and the new location for the conference?

We will contact you directly via email should there be a location change. Will also be posting updates on our website at and on our conference app. You can also follow #ComNet18 on social.

How do I get the ComNet18 app?

Search “ComNet Annual Conference” in either the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. Download the app and make a profile.


When and where is ComNet18?

ComNet18 will take place from October 10- 12, 2018 in San Francisco at The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square.

Who should attend?

You. The conference is aimed at social sector professionals interested in communications who share our belief that strategic communications can be a force that helps spur positive social change.

In 2017, we hosted CEOs, policy and program leaders, communication directors and social sector consultants from across the globe including folks from Ford Foundation, Gates Foundation, the Clinton Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, the Knight Foundation, Kresge Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, The University of Chicago, and more.

See a full list of our 2017 conference attendees here.  

Why should I attend?

The Communications Network will host over 800 senior nonprofit and foundation professionals from across the social sector for three days of learning, networking, and idea sharing to advance the field strategic communications and help you improve your work. Attending the conference will provide you with the unique opportunity to make connections with other leaders in the social sector while learning about the latest developments in strategic communications that will help you communicate your message in an impactful way.  This is the communications conference of consequence.

Will I be able to connect with other conference attendees prior to the conference?

Attendees' organizations will be made public so registrants have the opportunity to connect before the conference. Please note that we will not share or sell registrants names and contact information, such as email addresses or phone numbers. Current Network members can communicate using our online Members Community or connect through our Facebook page.

Are there limits on how many breakout sessions I can participate in?

No. Once you are registered, you are allowed to attend as many sessions as you would like.

Are consultants able to attend the conference?

Yes, but they have to be current members of The Communications Network to do so. Only foundations or nonprofits can register as non-members. Additionally, there is a strict no-solicitation policy at the conference that registrants should be aware of. If you are a consultant and would like to join the Network, you can find more information here

About The Communications Network

If you’d like to learn more about The Communications Network, check out our website


When can I register?

Registration is now open. Get your ticket before we sell out.

What are the fees to attend the conference?

General Registration is $888 for members of The Communications Network and $1,400 for nonmembers.

How do I register for ComNet18?

Head on over to our Registration page to place an order.

Is there an early registration discount?

Our Early Bird Registration is $799 for members of The Communications Network and $1,200 for nonmembers.

Are group discounts offered?

Group discounts are not offered for regular registration. However, sponsors receive free and discounted registrations depending on the sponsorship level. For more information on becoming a sponsor, please visit our Sponsor page.

Do presenters receive a complimentary registration fee?

Presenters will receive a discounted registration fee. Presenters must register for the conference. Instructions will be emailed with submission acceptance notifications.

What do my registration fees include?

Registration fees include:

  • Access to plenary sessions

  • Ability to choose from all breakout sessions

  • Opportunity to register for our pre-conference skill-building workshops (additional fees apply)

  • Admission to The Lab

  • Entry to conference receptions

  • A discount on your hotel room

  • Access to conference app

  • A conference "swag bag" and related conference materials

Registration does not cover the cost of a hotel room, so please reserve your room separately.

May I attend the conference without registering?

No. Anyone who would like to attend the conference must register.

May I register for a single day at a reduced rate?

Single day passes will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Please email for more information.

Can I get a refund for ComNet18?

Yes, you can get a full refund until Friday, August 17, 2018. No refunds will be available after that date. 

Can I transfer my registration?

Yes, but you must alert us if you do so. Keep in mind, if you are a member and are transferring your registration to someone else, it must be another member in order for them to receive the reduced member registration price.

What hotel should I stay in, and how do I book a room?

The conference will be hosted at The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square. Registrants are encouraged to stay here. Once you’ve registered, you can book a room at our preferred conference rate of $325 per night, subject to availability. 

Please note: registration does not include accommodations, which must be booked separately.

Can I stay at a different hotel?

Yes, you are welcome to stay at a different hotel but transportation from your hotel to the conference site will not be provided by the conference. Most registrants will stay on-site.

If I choose to stay in San Francisco through the weekend, can I stay at the hotel for the discounted rate?

Arrangements should be made directly with the hotel.

What is the dress code?

The dress code for the conference is business casual. The temperature in San Francisco during October normally ranges from 55°F to 70°F . Please plan accordingly.