7. Conference Planning Committees and Organization

7.1 Introduction

Conference committees and organizational structure may vary according to conference circumstances. IASA conference hosts may choose to operate with whatever structure best suits their needs. This may be one committee, several committees, or no committees using the existing organizational structure of the conference host. Some structure may depend on whether a professional conference organizer is employed. The key is that whatever committee or organizational arrangement is chosen, the basic activities in organizing the conference are assigned and responsibility for those tasks is understood. These responsibilities are outlined in a summary Summary of Conference Responsibilities. A suggested timeline has also been provided Conference Planning Timeline.

7.2 Conference Planning/Local Arrangements:

7.2.1 The conference hosts should decide how they wish to organize their own conference organization. The EB will delegate a representative or representatives to liaise with the conference hosts to provide advice and assistance and keep the EB current on conference plans. The conference hosts are responsible for local arrangements, conference site, conference rooms, finances etc. It is ultimately their choice and responsibility for these arrangements. The EB will advise and assist. The local organizers take on sole responsibility for almost everything except the program, publicity, and travel assistance.

7.2.2 The arrangements are more complex for a joint conference. There should be balanced representation on the planning group but this will not always be possible if the one association membership is low in the host city/region. Both EBs should delegate representatives to work with the local organizers. Generally speaking it is the conference host that should be responsible.

7.3 Program Planning:

The end result of program planning is to have a conference programme built around the theme agreed upon by the conference hosts and the EB. The lead for organizing the programme will be taken by the Vice-President in charge of the conference program. He or she should have a contact person or persons from the local organizers with whom to discuss local programme needs, training sessions, and programme organization. The Conference VP may also call for assistance from other members of the EB, particularly the President and the Secretary-General, as required. This group may adopt a formal committee structure or may exist only a consultation group connected via e-mail. The Conference VP will be responsible for the Call for Papers, the development of the preliminary programme, a second Call for Papers (if required), the final programme, coordinating session chairs, and arrangement of any audiovisual needs for the speakers. See IASA Guidelines for Chairpersons and Speakers (Guidelines for Chairpersons or Speakers).

7.4 Publicity:

The EB, through the Editor, undertakes to promote the conference through the Journal, Bulletin, listserv, and web site. Announcement of the conference, printing and mailings, and other promotional activities should be coordinated with the publication schedule. IASA’s Editor will make the conference hosts aware of these deadlines to maximize the opportunities to promote the conference. Local organizers should be active in promoting the conference to their local constituencies. It is important that the conference hosts advise the EB on the best method of doing this. In doing publicity for the conference, it should be remembered that not all IASA members have access to the internet. Mail-outs to all members are still a valuable and useful form of communication.