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How to Arrange a Successful Conference

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How to Arrange a Successful Conference

TIPS ON ARRANGING CONFERENCES There are 10 important steps to arranging a good conference.The steps are outlined below:

1. Build a Team of Organizers (Local and Outsiders) Elect a Conference President, Conference Director, Conference Secretary and the Organizing Committee. The Organizing Committee will consist of:

  • 1 person responsible for contacts with local authorities
  • 1 person responsible for overall design (logo, design of announcements, design of folders, design of the Program, site decoration),
  • 1 person responsible for logistics
  • 2 people responsible for the budget
  • 1 person responsible for contacts with mass media and advertising
  • 1 person responsible for the Program
  • 1 person responsible for cultural events
  • 1 person responsible for foreign guests

2. First Announcement: logo, title, motto, goals, procedure, organizing committee, celebrities, contact information

3. Call for Papers: see First Announcement + Registration Form + info about the site + info about the city + cultural events

4. Budget: registration fees + local support + fund-raising + grants

5. Logistics: timing, forms, tables, databases, schedules, visas, hotel info, reservations, transportation, site decoration

  • TIMING: consider dates of the Conference, deadlines for submission of the articles and for registration, frame of the conference program, arrival/departure opportunities
  • FORMS: registration form, speaker proposal form, letters of invitation, letters to readers, letters to moderators, letters of acceptance, letters of rejection
  • TABLES: arrivals, departures, responsibilities
  • DATABASES: all participants, moderators, speakers, readers, guests of honor, hotel rates, transportation schedules
  • CONFERENCE WEBSITE: create, support, update
  • SCHEDULES: timing on when what and where, committee meetings (don’t forget to take notes!)
  • VISAS: procedure, timing, approvals, complete info on the invited guest
  • HOTEL INFO accommodations, prices, don't forget about VAT, addresses, telephone and fax numbers, students' dormitories, tourist centers
  • RESERVATIONS: site, transportation, hotels, cultural events
  • TRANSPORTATION: University, personal, friends, students, sponsors
  • DECORATION: logo, greetings, flowers, posters, flyers, plan of the premises (put in every folder and post on the site’s walls), arrows to show directions to special exhibitions, workshops, etc.
  • TEA/COFFEE BREAKS: menu, location, cost, sponsors, decorations, volunteer help
  • RECEPTION: Cheese and Wine reception- menu, location, cost, sponsors, decorations, volunteer help; Dinner - options, usually for those who choose to pay.
Don’t forget * folders * badges * registration * announcement board * photos * rest/informal communication area Train your staff!

  • Special colors to wear (ties or belts of the colors of the Conference)
  • 5 steps rule- have a special training with the support staff (students)
  • appoint support staff to meet guests at the airport/train station
  • think about porters at the airports/train stations, if they are not available, invite students
  • check (inspect) rooms at the hotel: personally go and see the rooms, do not trust hotels that the rooms are fine!
  • all VIPs should have an escort student/young teacher and they should accept this role as a great privilege (a reward)

6. Advertising + mass media: create a flyer advertising the conference and send it to educational institutions. Also create a press release and send it to various media resources: e-mail, posters, telephone calls, word of mouth, English newspaper "Speak Out", committees on Education, Ministry of Education, NATE website, ELT website, Hello-online e-journal

7. Preliminary Program Develop the Concept, format (plenary, guest speakers, talks, round table discussions, panels, workshops, satellite workshops/symposium)

8. Conference

  • Lottery (?)
  • Raffle (provide rules ahead of time)
  • Competitions (the best presentation, workshop, etc)
  • Equipment should be in all rooms before the beginning of all presentations – inspected and checked. There should be a technician available for problems
  • All hand-outs should be available and put on the presenter’s table BEFORE the start of presentations
  • Check whether boards, felt pens, chalk are not only available, but are functional
  • All members of the organizing committee, drivers, those who meet people at the airports/train stations and help with check-in at hotels should have cell phones, the list of cell phones with names should be laminated and given to all organizers
  • Music in the assembly hall – before the beginning of the Conference and during breaks
  • All Rooms should have CLEAR numbers and the room number should correspond to the room number in the program
  • There should be a notice board with all info about the Conference in at least 2 places
  • There should be paper arrows on the walls showing directions to major Rooms - each participant should have a plan of the premises in the Conference pack
  • There should be info about recent changes twice a day (on the notice board and/or on give away leaflets)
  • Post announcements on the doors about presentations that will be in that particular Room
  • All bathrooms should have soap and toilet paper
  • If publishing houses representatives want to take part in the conference and have a display of their materials or want to sell their materials, they should be financial sponsors of the Conference
  • Each speaker should be approached (best in writing) with a request to video record his/her presentations: possibly these materials could be offered to the Conference participants
  • Organizers should be available at the “turning points” of the Conference – Before the beginning, after the last presentations, etc
  • Moderators’ reports should be included into the program
  • Think about “welcome” letters to the participants (they can be from VIPs, Opinion leaders, etc
  • Arrange hospitality Table or Booth (what is interesting in the city, where to go, what to see, where to change money, map of venue, medical unit, inter-city phone calls, photo shop, tickets, info about restaurants/cafes, internet access, renting of cell phones, emergency phone list, info about a post office, transportation services)

9. Certificates, thank you letters, awards: Certificates should be printed before the beginning of the Conference - Awards should be announced and prepared and given during the Conference

10. Evaluations: evaluation forms should be printed out and put into Conference packs - special evaluations from opinion leaders

English Language Fellows "Visit Request Guidelines and Form"

How to Arrange a Successful Conference

Useful Links

Link to del-ici-ous

ELTA-URALS: Elena Lubnina's presentation of ELO programs and projects at IFL (USPU), Yekaterinburg.
Komi English Language Teachers' Association
Salavat Access Summer Camp 2012

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