Presentation on theme: "HOSTING A CONFERENCE Margit Böck Verena Gangle Ulla-Britt Persson."— Presentation transcript:
HOSTING A CONFERENCE Margit Böck Verena Gangle Ulla-Britt Persson
European Conference on Reading Time and location is typically discussed at an IDEC meeting 2-2 ½ years in advance, applications have been made before. Final decision is taken so that time and venue can be announced at the conference 2 years ahead. Early announcement on your own website as well as that of IDEC and FELA. First and foremost: Form a group with reliable co-workers (incl. one who is responsible for your website). Look for sponsors (lucky if one in the group is good at finding money). Find a ‘catchy’ main theme for the conference and contact plenary speakers as early as possible (recommended: one local/national, one from Europe, one from the rest of the world) A preliminary budget is to be presented to IDEC and approved at an early stage (consider local currency outside euro-zone).
Early preparations (practical) Venue: inexpensive (or free of charge) as close as possible to public transport accommodation facilities not too far away access to one large room and smaller lecture rooms for parallel sessions access to room for IDEC/FELA meetings before or after the conference set up a (small) group that is responsible for the venue and has good contacts ‘on location’
Early preparations (programme) Set a deadline for submission of proposals and for letter of acceptance (8-9 months & 5-6 months before conference). Inform speakers about deadline for registration for them to be included in the programme. Decide what type of sessions that will be available; making the timetable is easier if there are less options. Form a separate (small) group for dealing with the proposals. A special e-mail address for this purpose is advisable. Make sure that all proposals are collected in a special folder to which the whole programme group has access.
Early preparations (registration) It could be wise to contact a conference bureau or agency for managing registration, but make sure it is really professional. (This issue is debatable, give it a proper thought.) Handling registration with transfer of international money is not easy, so find out what kind of deal the agency has with the bank (or what deal your association can get). Hotel booking is done easily online, but a local agency knows the best options and might offer a good price (find out about prices and compare). Think carefully about the information on the registration form. Make it clear that sending in a proposal is not the same as being registered!
Programme (professional) Do not allow more than one proposal per person. If people are in 2 or 3 sessions in different group constellations, making up the programme is very time consuming. Decide on a format for the abstract to be stated on the registration form – it makes it easier when you are setting up the book of abstracts. Try to limit the number of parallel sessions (also a debatable issue). Ambition to arrange sessions according to subthemes is good but can be difficult to accomplish. Ask IDEC members and colleagues to review the proposals before accepting. Programme and abstracts can be printed in the same book. (It’s nice with a book but today some conference programmes are only published on the website).
Programme (social) Reception the first evening is the most important social event. People meet and get to know each other, it’s normally included in the registration fee – most delegates are present. A central area at the venue is desirable, where coffee and refreshments are available; it becomes a natural meeting point. If restaurants are close, no lunch arrangements are necessary. Conference dinner and other social events are optional but nice, of course.
Other points Announce the conference on IRA website and in Reading Today. Arrange for announcing the conference at IRA Annual Conference the year before the conference. Keep continuous contact with IDEC chair and members who will be glad to assist (several have valuable experiences). A ‘modus operandi’ is worked out by the Irish Reading Association, with a lot of useful ideas and details, which can be adapted to local circumstances. Each conference will have its own national flavour!