Note: The following are estimated timelines and activity checklists.
CHECK LIST A: One Year Ahead
- Begin planning for each of the conference needs, including but not limited to: the goals and objectives of conference, anticipated attendance, activities, hotel and service needs, website considerations, and other needs.
- Meet with Dean's Office regarding the conference procedures, website services, and registration needs.
- Begin planning for the dates of the conference, considering local activities that may impact the estimated attendance. For example, football weekends and graduation periods would influence the hotel and meeting space options and prices.
- Work on the content of the program:
- Scout for and obtain commitments from speakers and leaders.
- Contact companies regarding goods and services.
- Think also about displays and decorations for the event.
- Consider possible donations of goods and services to defray meeting costs.
- Scout for the place for the meetings and banquet; consider also lunch, coffee break service, hotel accommodations, and entertainment needs.
- Negotiate for any goods and service needs. Make sure to understand the conditions of any contract and have approval for any contract agreements.
- Communicate with conference coordinators/officers on all of the above to obtain advice and assistance.
- Prepare a preliminary itemized budget based on anticipated attendance, revenues and expenditures. Request a UT Account number.
- Request website services from Dean's Office.
CHECK LIST B: 6 to 3 months ahead
- Advertise the conference:
- Provide announcements, brochures, and advertising for conference as needed.
- Contact the Dean's Office Public Affairs Team and Departmental website for posting a news article (advertisement) to their websites if appropriate.
- Start preparing a detail program of conference speakers, meetings, and activities.
- Ask speakers and leaders for abstracts and related information for brochures to be turned in before the deadline for all printing.
- Check the availability of all facilities and rooms, AV equipment, recording and other services. Contact responsible people to arrange for their services as needed.
- Reassess the anticipated attendance for meetings, hotel accommodations, and activities and adjust purchases of goods and services accordingly.
CHECK LIST C: 3 to 2 months ahead
- Banquet, lunch, coffee breaks and other food services should be settled by now.
- Firm up all activities for the conference follow up on any reservations of goods and services.
- Get printed materials ready, including signs, print brochures, free hand outs, etc., if not ready already.
- As attendance registrations come in, start preparing the packages for pre-registered participants (envelopes with printed materials, brochures, hand outs, etc.).
- Make sure you arrange to have friendly, competent and reliable personnel ready to staff all stations for the duration of the meetings. Students are often happy to help in exchange for free registration.
CHECK LIST D: A Few Days Before the Conference
- Obtain final online registration sales and combine with your own attendance lists for complete list of attendees.
- Check list of facilities and equipment:
- Conference rooms - light, air conditioning, enough tables and chairs,
- Projectors, screens, microphones, loud speakers,
- Recording equipment and permission forms for speakers to sign
- Coffee service
- Free hand outs
- Welcome table
- Bulletin board for announcements, etc.
- Make sure the direction signs are out first thing in the morning and that all facilities are opened on time.
- If needed, print name tags and attendee lists.
CHECK LIST E: Conference Ending Activities
- Balance and reconcile the UT Account.
- Consider mailing thank-you letters to the speakers, leader and other persons who assisted with the conference.
- Maintain a record of overall head-counts for hotel rooms, meetings and activities as these will be useful to the next conference organizer for this event in future years.