TIMELINE FOR DEVELOPING A CONFERENCE, WORKSHOP, OR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY
Initiate a conversation with colleagues regarding the needs of a conference/workshop/ professional development opportunity. An approximate time-table would be four to six months prior to event. For major or large conferences, six to twelve months prior to the event.
Discuss structure of the conference and space needs: Large group plenary sessions, breakout sessions.
Conference speakers: Identify appropriate speakers, discuss honoraria, travel costs for major speakers Conference fees must be planned to cover all major expenses and university contracts must be issued for speakers with payments in excess of $500
Budget: Estimate projected costs vs. income; set tentative registration cost based on funding needed
Donations: Identify possible organizations, individuals, or departments who could be approached to underwrite costs of the conference
Site visit to examine available space
Meet with OPDS staff to discuss all aspects of conference
Estimate size of conference: Likely attendees, outreach to prospective registrants
Develop publicity template: “Save the Date,” brochure or flyer; e-mail lists or ListServs
Plan a time schedule for the conference: Start time, end time, breaks, timing for meals (if provided).
Decide on meals during the conference: Breakfast, lunch, special food arrangements
Audiovisual needs for conference: General sessions, breakout sessions
Layout of large areas: Arrangement of tables and chairs; transition from activity to activity
Ordering of food: Initial, closer to conference based on registration trends; final adjustments
Determine what handouts should be included in the conference folder and be prepared to provide them to the OPDS by ten days before the event.