Multi-Track Programs

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[NOTE: this page has not yet been formatted. If you are interested in assisting in the care and maintenance of the FGS Wiki Content, please contact Thomas MacEntee at publicity@fgs.org.]
+
[[Category:Strategies for Program Chairpersons]]
 +
 
 +
 
 +
== Introduction ==
 +
 
 +
The decision is made to hold a major conference. The date is set. The site secured. The committee appointed. All that remains is to select a theme, topics, and speakers. Here are suggestions for doing this as easily and efficiently as possible.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
== Choose a Theme ==
 +
 
 +
 
 +
Themes are broad subjects that may encompass many different lecture topics. For its 2013 four-day national conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the Federation of Genealogical Societies used the theme: “Journey Through Generations.” A theme is useful in logo design, the promotion of the event, and the selection of sessions in a multi-track program.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
== Identify Tracks ==
 +
 
 +
 
 +
Tracks are the schedule or arrangement of program slots to be filled with sessions. A conference may have one or more tracks with titles such as, “International Research,” “Records and Resources,” and “Computers and Genealogy.” Within each track, are sessions which run simultaneously, giving attendees choices for each hour or more of programming. The number of tracks is often determined by the
 +
anticipated size of the audience and the number of lecture rooms available at the host facility. A variation on a multi-track offering is the blended program. This combines single and multi-track presentations. In the blend, a well-known speaker opens and closes the conference with general sessions for all attendees. The interim sessions (sometimes called “breakout sessions” because they split attendees into smaller groups) are presented by other speakers in a multi-track format.
 +
 
 +
Blended programs offer attendees the opportunity to hear the keynote speaker yet still choose sessions from two or more tracks before the group reconvenes for the general closing session. To ensure high quality in this type of setting, give the local speakers a test run before the actual seminar. To ensure high quality in this type of setting, give the local speakers a test run before the actual seminar.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
== Options for Sessions ==
 +
 
 +
 
 +
Within each track, the sessions are usually one hour in length. Sessions are specific topics or subjects presented as lectures, workshops, or trips: one presenter (or a panel) in a single time slot. For example, a three-track conference (with tracks titles, “I. International Research,” “II. Records and Resources,” and “III. Computers and Genealogy”) may offer these sessions: I. English
 +
Law and Probate, II. The Federal Census, and III. Software for Desktop Publishing, during the first hour.
 +
 
 +
A workshop is a hands-on experience which may be limited in the number of participants. Often advance reservations are needed with an extra cost per person for supplies. Examples of workshops are: setting up a Web site, how to do on-line family newsletters, how to identify and date old photographs, and techniques for paper preservation.
 +
 
 +
A trip to a local research center, library, an LDS Family History Center, or a historical site or museum, is another option. The trip could be conducted the day or evening prior to the opening of the  
 +
conference or be a special event on the final night. The 1998 FGS conference offered a dinner buffet and music at Cincinnati’s Union Station. The Hamilton Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society hosted this. Although trips can be led by a group leader who does not give a lesson, workshops and lecture seminars require presenters. The selection process for presenters can be as simple as a
 +
committee agreeing on whom to invite. Or, invitations can result from topics submitted in response to a Call for Papers.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
== Call for Papers ==
 +
 
 +
 
 +
A call for papers or lecture proposals to be submitted by prospective speakers can be placed in national, state, or regional society publications 12-15 months before the conference date. The call
 +
includes the conference theme and the tracks, and suggested possible topics. A call permits a “blind” choice by committee. A list of speakers’ names with a corresponding number is recorded on a separate sheet of paper. Then, all identification except the assigned number is blocked out on the lecturer’s submission. The program committee can then choose on the merits of the proposed topic and content description.
 +
 
 +
After selection, determine if the chosen speakers have additional topics that would be appropriate. Having speakers present more than one lecture helps to keep costs down. The blind selection method could result in several newer speakers being selected over more experienced presenters. Most conference planners seek a blend of talent: some new, some old. To achieve this, well-known speakers
 +
whose submitted topics were not chosen are considered for the keynote address or invited to do a particular presentation.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
== Choose Speakers ==
  
[[Category:Strategies for Program Chairpersons]][[Category:Broglin, Jana Sloan]][[Category:Conferences]][[Category:Programs]]
 
  
Introduction
 
The decision is made to hold a major conference.
 
The date is set. The site secured. The
 
committee appointed. All that remains is to
 
select a theme, topics, and speakers. Here are
 
suggestions for doing this as easily and efficiently
 
as possible.
 
Choose a Theme
 
Themes are broad subjects that may encompass
 
many different lecture topics. For its 1998
 
four-day national conference in Cincinnati, the
 
Federation of Genealogical Societies used the
 
theme: “Immigrant Dreams: The Settlement of
 
America.” A theme is useful in logo design, the
 
promotion of the event, and the selection of
 
sessions in a multi-track program.
 
Identi fy Tracks
 
Tracks are the schedule or arrangement of
 
program slots to be filled with sessions. A
 
conference may have one or more tracks with
 
titles such as, “International Research,”
 
“Records and Resources,” and “Computers and
 
Genealogy.” Within each track, are sessions
 
which run simultaneously, giving attendees
 
choices for each hour or more of programming.
 
The number of tracks is often determined by the
 
anticipated size of the audience and the number
 
of lecture rooms available at the host facility.
 
A variation on a multi-track offering is the
 
blended program. This combines single and
 
multi-track presentations. In the blend, a wellknown
 
speaker opens and closes the conference
 
with general sessions for all attendees. The
 
interim sessions (sometimes called “breakaways”
 
because they split attendees into smaller
 
groups) are presented by local speakers in a
 
multi-track format.
 
Blended programs offer attendees the
 
opportunity to hear the keynote speaker yet still
 
choose sessions from two or more tracks before
 
the group reconvenes for the general closing
 
Set VI Strategies for Program Chairpersons
 
Multi- Track Programs
 
by Jana Sloan Broglin�
 
session. To ensure high quality in this type of
 
setting, give the local speakers a test run before
 
the actual seminar.
 
Opti ons for Sessi ons
 
Within each track, the sessions are usually one
 
hour in length. Sessions are specific topics or
 
subjects presented as lectures, workshops, or
 
trips: one presenter (or a panel) in a single time
 
slot. For example, a three-track conference (with
 
tracks titles, “I. International Research,” “II. Records
 
and Resources,” and “III. Computers and
 
Genealogy”) may offer these sessions: I. English
 
Law and Probate, II. The Federal Census, and
 
III. Software for Desktop Publishing, during the
 
first hour.
 
A workshop is a hands-on experience which
 
may be limited in the number of participants.
 
Often advance reservations are needed with an
 
extra cost per person for supplies. Examples of
 
workshops are: setting up a Web site, how to do
 
on-line family newsletters, how to identify and
 
date old photographs, and techniques for paper
 
preservation.
 
A trip to a local research center, library, Family
 
History Center, or a historical site or museum,
 
is another option. The trip could be conducted
 
the day or evening prior to the opening of the
 
conference or be a special event on the final
 
night. The 1998 FGS conference offered a
 
dinner buffet and music at Cincinnati’s Union
 
Station. The Hamilton Chapter of the Ohio
 
Genealogical Society hosted this.
 
Although trips can be led by a group leader who
 
does not give a lesson, workshops and lecture
 
seminars require presenters. The selection
 
process for presenters can be as simple as a
 
committee agreeing on whom to invite. Or,
 
invitations can result from topics submitted in
 
response to a Call for Papers.
 
Call for Papers
 
A call for papers to be submitted by
 
prospective speakers can be placed in national,
 
state, or regional society publications 12-15
 
months before the conference date. The call
 
includes the conference theme and the tracks,
 
and suggested possible topics.
 
A call permits a “blind” choice by committee.
 
A list of speakers’ names with a corresponding
 
number is recorded on a separate sheet of paper.
 
Then, all identification except the assigned
 
number is blocked out on the lecturer’s
 
submission.
 
The program committee can then choose on the
 
merits of the proposed topic and content
 
description. After selection, determine if the
 
chosen speakers have additional topics that
 
would be appropriate. Having speakers present
 
more than one lecture helps to keep costs down.
 
The blind selection method could result in
 
several newer speakers being selected over
 
more experienced presenters. Most conference
 
planners seek a blend of talent: some new,
 
some old. To achieve this, well-known speakers
 
whose submitted topics were not chosen are
 
considered for the keynote address or invited to
 
do a particular presentation.
 
Choose Speakers
 
 
Some considerations in speaker slection:  
 
Some considerations in speaker slection:  
Skills: does the speaker present well? If no  
+
<ul>
one on the selection committee has  
+
<li>Skills: does the speaker present well? If no one on the selection committee has observed the speaker in action, request an audio or videotape of a recent lecture.  
observed the speaker in action, request an  
+
<li>Evaluations or Recommendations: Are there evaluations from recent conferences in which the speaker participated available? Or can recommendations be obtained from your society members who may have attended sessions by this speaker?  
audio or videotape of a recent lecture.  
+
<li>Expertise: Has the speaker published books or articles on the topic or possess some professional credentials that denote a recognized authority on the subject?  
Evaluations or Recommendations: are
+
<li>Exposure: Has the speaker recently addressed area groups that represent your potential audience? If so, would they attend yet another event featuring this speaker (using the same or different topics)?  
evaluations from recent conferences in  
+
</ul>
which the speaker participated available?  
+
 
Page 2 FGS Society Strategies, Set VI Number 3
+
 
Multi-Track Programs�
+
== Choose Topics ==
Or can recommendations be obtained from  
+
your society members who may have  
+
 
attended sessions by this speaker?  
+
If a Call for Papers was used, the program committee reviews the submitted material to be sure the subject matter is appropriate to the conference theme or tracks. If there was no Call, committee members must choose specific sessions to fill time slots. Mark speakers’ names on a rough draft of the program that shows tracks and sessions. Plan so that the speaker gives only one or two lectures per day (unless the speaker agrees to more).  
Expertise: has the speaker published books  
+
 
or articles on the topic or possess some  
+
After choosing and scheduling presenters, notify them by mail or email. Send letters of regret to those not chosen. This letter should be polite and encourage future submissions. Chosen speakers receive a letter of invitation 7 to 10 months prior to the conference. The letter repeats the theme of the conference, gives the location, and shows the names and times of the sessions to be given. The amount of honorarium and arrangements for transportation, meals, and lodging should be stated. The invitation should include the following enclosures:  
professional credentials that denote a recognized  
+
<ul>
authority on the subject?  
+
<li>The speaker agreement form asks for all contact information (name, address, and day and evening phone/e-mail/fax numbers). By signing this form, the speaker agrees to the terms of payment and arrangements for the conference. Two copies should be mailed: one is for the speaker to keep.  
Exposure: has the speaker recently  
+
<li> The equipment form identifies in-place equipment, such as lecterns and microphones, extension cords, extra bulbs, and screens. Special needs are to be indicated by the speaker.  
addressed area groups that represent your  
+
<li>The speaker biography form should be returned to the program chair with the agreement form. The information requested may include hometown, education, genealogical experience and special interests, society memberships and offices held, and publications or special projects. A photograph may be requested.  
potential audience? If so, would they attend  
+
<li>The handout or syllabus material request form gives preparation instructions and preferred length. If these are for a syllabus, include a sample page showing the format requirements (margin sizes, preferred fonts, and type of heading, footers, numbering of pages, etc.). The speaker’s name, address, and contact information should be on the heading of the syllabus submission. A copyright statement is recommended for the end of the syllabus submission. A statement should indicate on the form whether the presentation is geared to the beginner, intermediate, or advanced researcher. The request form should include the deadline date for submission of syllabus material.  
yet another event featuring this speaker  
+
</ul>
(using the same or different topics)?  
+
 
Choose Topi cs
+
 
If a Call for Papers was used, the program  
+
== More To Consider ==
committee reviews the submitted material to  
+
be sure the subject matter is appropriate to the  
+
 
conference theme or tracks. If there was no Call,  
+
Speakers are paid on the voucher system. These vouchers give the name and address of the person to be paid, a list of expenses, and the purpose of the payment. The speaker enters the date of the session, topic, the amount of honorarium, and agreed upon expenses. The speaker signs and returns this voucher prior to the conference. A paycheck will then be ready for the speaker at time of registration.  
committee members must choose specific  
+
 
sessions to fill time slots.  
+
Introductions are an important part of any conference. The program committee should arrange for persons to introduce the speakers. A standard format may be devised. It can be very precise: announce the session number, the subject, and the lecturer’s name. Mention can be made that there is more information in the syllabus regarding the presenter. This is the method preferred by most speakers. Otherwise the person introducing the lecturer may become nervous and give a negative slant to the presentation.  
Mark speakers’ names on a rough draft of the  
+
 
program that shows tracks and sessions. Plan so  
+
 
that the speaker gives only one lecture per day  
+
== Problems ==
(unless the speaker agrees to more).  
+
After choosing and scheduling presenters, notify  
+
 
them. Mail letters of regret to those not chosen.  
+
Ah, yes, problems. No conference goes off without a hitch. Try to anticipate everything that could go wrong. One of the most worrisome concerns is speaker cancellation. If this happens early enough, select another speaker for the same topic and only minor adjustments will be necessary to the published program. If no speaker is available on a specific topic, choose a new topic, even if it does not fit into the selected tracks. Last-minute cancellations or no-shows present a different problem. The audience may be entering a room when word comes that a speaker has fallen ill and will not appear. The  
This letter should be polite and encourage future  
+
only way to manage this is to have a couple of backup speakers, “waiting in the wings” with a general-interest lecture.  
submissions.  
+
 
Chosen speakers receive a letter of invitation 7  
+
 
to 10 months prior to the conference. The letter  
+
== Final Check ==
repeats the theme of the conference, gives the  
+
 
location, and shows the names and times of the  
+
sessions to be given. The amount of honorarium  
+
A detail-minded person should do a last-minute examination of each meeting room. This person should be sure that everything is ready to ensure a smooth presentation:  
and arrangements for transportation, meals, and  
+
<ul>
lodging should be stated. The invitation should  
+
<li>the requested equipment is in place and in proper working order  
include the following enclosures:  
+
<li>there is fresh water and a glass available  
• the speaker agreement form asks for all  
+
<li>the introducer is ready to begin  
contact information (name, address, and  
+
<li>the speaker has arrived, approved the set up of equipment and location of the lectern, and made any preparation necessary for the audio or visual part of the presentation  
day and evening phone/e-mail/fax numbers).  
+
</ul>
By signing this form, the speaker agrees to  
+
 
the terms of payment and arrangements for  
+
Now, take a deep breath, and enjoy the conference.
the conference. Two copies should be  
+
mailed: one is for the speaker to keep.  
+
• the equipment form identifies in-place  
+
equipment, such as lecterns and microphones,  
+
extension cords, extra bulbs, and  
+
screens. Special needs are to be indicated by  
+
the speaker.  
+
• the speaker biography form should be  
+
returned to the program chair with the agreement  
+
form. The information requested may  
+
include hometown, education, genealogical  
+
experience and special interests, society  
+
memberships and offices held, and publications  
+
or special projects. A photograph may  
+
be requested.  
+
• the handout or syllabus material request  
+
form gives preparation instructions and preferred  
+
length. If these are for a syllabus,  
+
include a sample page showing the format  
+
requirements (margin sizes, preferred fonts,  
+
and type of heading, footers, numbering of  
+
pages, etc.).  
+
The speaker’s name, address, and contact  
+
numbers should be on the heading of the  
+
syllabus submission. A statement should  
+
indicate if the presentation is geared to the  
+
beginner, intermediate, or advanced  
+
researcher. The request form should include  
+
the deadline date for submission of syllabus  
+
material.  
+
More To Consi der
+
Speakers are paid on the voucher system. These  
+
vouchers give the name and address of the  
+
person to be paid, a list of expenses, and the  
+
FGS Society Strategies, Set VI Number 3 Page 3
+
Multi-Track Programs�
+
purpose of the payment. The speaker enters the  
+
date of the session, topic, the amount of  
+
honorarium, and agreed upon expenses. The  
+
speaker signs and returns this voucher prior to  
+
the conference. A paycheck will then be ready  
+
for the speaker at time of registration.  
+
Introductions are an important part of any  
+
conference. The program committee should  
+
arrange for persons to introduce the speakers.  
+
A standard format may be devised. It can be  
+
very precise: announce the session’s number,  
+
the subject, and the lecturer’s name. Mention  
+
can be made that there is more information in  
+
the syllabus regarding the presenter. This is the  
+
method preferred by most speakers. Otherwise  
+
the person introducing the lecturer may become  
+
nervous and give a negative slant to the presentation.  
+
Problems  
+
Ah, yes, problems. No conference goes off  
+
without a hitch. Try to anticipate everything that  
+
could go wrong. One of the most worrisome  
+
concerns is speaker cancellation. If this  
+
happens early enough, select another speaker  
+
for the same topic and only minor adjustments  
+
will be necessary to the published program. If no  
+
speaker is available on a specific topic, choose a  
+
new topic, even if it does not fit into the selected  
+
tracks.  
+
Last-minute cancellations or no-shows present a  
+
different problem. The audience may be  
+
entering a room when word comes that a  
+
speaker has fallen ill and will not appear. The  
+
ony way to manage this is to have a couple of  
+
backup speakers, “waiting in the wings” with a  
+
general-interest lecture.  
+
Fi nal Check  
+
A detail-minded person should do a last-minute  
+
examination of each meeting room. This person  
+
should be sure that everything is ready to ensure  
+
a smooth presentation:  
+
the requested equipment is in place and in  
+
proper working order  
+
there is fresh water and a glass available  
+
the introducer is ready to begin  
+
the speaker has arrived, approved the set up  
+
of equipment and location of the lectern,  
+
and made any preparation necessary for the  
+
audio or visual part of the presentation  
+
Now, take a deep breath, and enjoy the  
+
conference.  
+
[Jana Sloan Broglin was on the program
+
committee for the 1998 FGS/OGS
+
conference and was the Ohio Genealogical Society’s
+
program chair in 1999.
+
She will be conference chair in 2002 for the
+
OGS conference in Toledo, Ohio.]
+

Latest revision as of 08:06, 30 August 2013


Contents

[edit] Introduction

The decision is made to hold a major conference. The date is set. The site secured. The committee appointed. All that remains is to select a theme, topics, and speakers. Here are suggestions for doing this as easily and efficiently as possible.


[edit] Choose a Theme

Themes are broad subjects that may encompass many different lecture topics. For its 2013 four-day national conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the Federation of Genealogical Societies used the theme: “Journey Through Generations.” A theme is useful in logo design, the promotion of the event, and the selection of sessions in a multi-track program.


[edit] Identify Tracks

Tracks are the schedule or arrangement of program slots to be filled with sessions. A conference may have one or more tracks with titles such as, “International Research,” “Records and Resources,” and “Computers and Genealogy.” Within each track, are sessions which run simultaneously, giving attendees choices for each hour or more of programming. The number of tracks is often determined by the anticipated size of the audience and the number of lecture rooms available at the host facility. A variation on a multi-track offering is the blended program. This combines single and multi-track presentations. In the blend, a well-known speaker opens and closes the conference with general sessions for all attendees. The interim sessions (sometimes called “breakout sessions” because they split attendees into smaller groups) are presented by other speakers in a multi-track format.

Blended programs offer attendees the opportunity to hear the keynote speaker yet still choose sessions from two or more tracks before the group reconvenes for the general closing session. To ensure high quality in this type of setting, give the local speakers a test run before the actual seminar. To ensure high quality in this type of setting, give the local speakers a test run before the actual seminar.


[edit] Options for Sessions

Within each track, the sessions are usually one hour in length. Sessions are specific topics or subjects presented as lectures, workshops, or trips: one presenter (or a panel) in a single time slot. For example, a three-track conference (with tracks titles, “I. International Research,” “II. Records and Resources,” and “III. Computers and Genealogy”) may offer these sessions: I. English Law and Probate, II. The Federal Census, and III. Software for Desktop Publishing, during the first hour.

A workshop is a hands-on experience which may be limited in the number of participants. Often advance reservations are needed with an extra cost per person for supplies. Examples of workshops are: setting up a Web site, how to do on-line family newsletters, how to identify and date old photographs, and techniques for paper preservation.

A trip to a local research center, library, an LDS Family History Center, or a historical site or museum, is another option. The trip could be conducted the day or evening prior to the opening of the conference or be a special event on the final night. The 1998 FGS conference offered a dinner buffet and music at Cincinnati’s Union Station. The Hamilton Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society hosted this. Although trips can be led by a group leader who does not give a lesson, workshops and lecture seminars require presenters. The selection process for presenters can be as simple as a committee agreeing on whom to invite. Or, invitations can result from topics submitted in response to a Call for Papers.


[edit] Call for Papers

A call for papers or lecture proposals to be submitted by prospective speakers can be placed in national, state, or regional society publications 12-15 months before the conference date. The call includes the conference theme and the tracks, and suggested possible topics. A call permits a “blind” choice by committee. A list of speakers’ names with a corresponding number is recorded on a separate sheet of paper. Then, all identification except the assigned number is blocked out on the lecturer’s submission. The program committee can then choose on the merits of the proposed topic and content description.

After selection, determine if the chosen speakers have additional topics that would be appropriate. Having speakers present more than one lecture helps to keep costs down. The blind selection method could result in several newer speakers being selected over more experienced presenters. Most conference planners seek a blend of talent: some new, some old. To achieve this, well-known speakers whose submitted topics were not chosen are considered for the keynote address or invited to do a particular presentation.


[edit] Choose Speakers

Some considerations in speaker slection:

  • Skills: does the speaker present well? If no one on the selection committee has observed the speaker in action, request an audio or videotape of a recent lecture.
  • Evaluations or Recommendations: Are there evaluations from recent conferences in which the speaker participated available? Or can recommendations be obtained from your society members who may have attended sessions by this speaker?
  • Expertise: Has the speaker published books or articles on the topic or possess some professional credentials that denote a recognized authority on the subject?
  • Exposure: Has the speaker recently addressed area groups that represent your potential audience? If so, would they attend yet another event featuring this speaker (using the same or different topics)?


[edit] Choose Topics

If a Call for Papers was used, the program committee reviews the submitted material to be sure the subject matter is appropriate to the conference theme or tracks. If there was no Call, committee members must choose specific sessions to fill time slots. Mark speakers’ names on a rough draft of the program that shows tracks and sessions. Plan so that the speaker gives only one or two lectures per day (unless the speaker agrees to more).

After choosing and scheduling presenters, notify them by mail or email. Send letters of regret to those not chosen. This letter should be polite and encourage future submissions. Chosen speakers receive a letter of invitation 7 to 10 months prior to the conference. The letter repeats the theme of the conference, gives the location, and shows the names and times of the sessions to be given. The amount of honorarium and arrangements for transportation, meals, and lodging should be stated. The invitation should include the following enclosures:

  • The speaker agreement form asks for all contact information (name, address, and day and evening phone/e-mail/fax numbers). By signing this form, the speaker agrees to the terms of payment and arrangements for the conference. Two copies should be mailed: one is for the speaker to keep.
  • The equipment form identifies in-place equipment, such as lecterns and microphones, extension cords, extra bulbs, and screens. Special needs are to be indicated by the speaker.
  • The speaker biography form should be returned to the program chair with the agreement form. The information requested may include hometown, education, genealogical experience and special interests, society memberships and offices held, and publications or special projects. A photograph may be requested.
  • The handout or syllabus material request form gives preparation instructions and preferred length. If these are for a syllabus, include a sample page showing the format requirements (margin sizes, preferred fonts, and type of heading, footers, numbering of pages, etc.). The speaker’s name, address, and contact information should be on the heading of the syllabus submission. A copyright statement is recommended for the end of the syllabus submission. A statement should indicate on the form whether the presentation is geared to the beginner, intermediate, or advanced researcher. The request form should include the deadline date for submission of syllabus material.


[edit] More To Consider

Speakers are paid on the voucher system. These vouchers give the name and address of the person to be paid, a list of expenses, and the purpose of the payment. The speaker enters the date of the session, topic, the amount of honorarium, and agreed upon expenses. The speaker signs and returns this voucher prior to the conference. A paycheck will then be ready for the speaker at time of registration.

Introductions are an important part of any conference. The program committee should arrange for persons to introduce the speakers. A standard format may be devised. It can be very precise: announce the session number, the subject, and the lecturer’s name. Mention can be made that there is more information in the syllabus regarding the presenter. This is the method preferred by most speakers. Otherwise the person introducing the lecturer may become nervous and give a negative slant to the presentation.


[edit] Problems

Ah, yes, problems. No conference goes off without a hitch. Try to anticipate everything that could go wrong. One of the most worrisome concerns is speaker cancellation. If this happens early enough, select another speaker for the same topic and only minor adjustments will be necessary to the published program. If no speaker is available on a specific topic, choose a new topic, even if it does not fit into the selected tracks. Last-minute cancellations or no-shows present a different problem. The audience may be entering a room when word comes that a speaker has fallen ill and will not appear. The only way to manage this is to have a couple of backup speakers, “waiting in the wings” with a general-interest lecture.


[edit] Final Check

A detail-minded person should do a last-minute examination of each meeting room. This person should be sure that everything is ready to ensure a smooth presentation:

  • the requested equipment is in place and in proper working order
  • there is fresh water and a glass available
  • the introducer is ready to begin
  • the speaker has arrived, approved the set up of equipment and location of the lectern, and made any preparation necessary for the audio or visual part of the presentation

Now, take a deep breath, and enjoy the conference.

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