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Assembling Your Team

The officers of the host chapter should appoint one student member to chair the conference. It is recommended that the conference chair be someone other than the chapter president, due to the president's other responsibilities. The chair designates specific responsibilities to the committee members. Committees should include, but are not limited to the following:

Programming

This committee is responsible for organizing the undergraduate student technical paper competition and social events, contacting and selecting speakers, and overall scheduling of the conference.

Facilities

This committee arranges for meeting rooms, tour transportation, meal planning, and lodging arrangements. This committee is not responsible for matters related to the transportation of the attendees to the conference. Those arrangements are the responsibility of each individual chapter's officers. The host committee must make this clear in the pre-conference information packet.

Marketing and communication

This committee conducts publicity on your campus as well as other campuses in the region. Conducting publicity with all professional chapters within the region and maintaining good public relations with local newspapers and all local media are recommended. Maintain e-mail contact with as many chapter officers as possible. Prepare a pre-conference information packet, so that the officers of other chapters may address their own constituency. This committee also prepares a conference packet to be distributed onsite to all conference attendees. Creating and maintaining a Web site is also a great way to publicize your conference. One practice that seems to work well is to have each committee member take responsibility for communicating with one or two schools.

Every chapter in the region should receive at least one promotional mailing which provides the conference details (dates, location, costs, and special features) and registration information. Upon registering, each attendee should receive a confirmation and information packet including a program schedule, speaker profiles, topic descriptions, information on local restaurants, hotels and entertainment, and any other pertinent information. Some host schools like to include a profile of their university as well.

Make extensive use of e-mail and the Internet. A Web page is inexpensive because it only requires that one of the conference committee members write the page and keep it updated. The Web site will reduce the mailing costs and you can post the registration form on it, so that participating chapters print it out directly from the Web site. Contact Bonnie Cameron, IIE headquarters operations administrator, to obtain a list of chapter contacts with e-mail addresses within your region.

Conference announcement letter templatesSample press release 

Registration

This committee is responsible for registering all attendees, confirming and handling payments, assembling conference packets, and name tags. This committee must maintain a basic database of all students who have submitted their registration forms so that revenue reports can be easily generated and name tags can easily be produced. This committee should also contact other chapters' officers as the deadline for registration approaches to encourage them to get all students pre-registered. This committee is also responsible for greeting attendees at the conference site.

Registration form

A registration form should be sent to each chapter, along with information about student presentation/paper/tours, etc. You should also send a registration form to any professional chapter member or NLC member interested in attending the conference.

At a minimum, the registration form should include the following items:

  • Instructions for registering
  • Meeting dates
  • Timing of first and last sessions (to enable students to plan for travel time)
  • Registration fee
  • Registration deadline
  • Registration cancellation policy
  • Request for special needs such as dietary requirements, special ability access, etc. If you have any questions about meeting special needs for your attendees, please contact your region vice president
  • Hotel information, rates, and terms (number per room, cancellation policy, deadline for meeting rate, etc.), and telephone number
  • Sample registration form

Conference arrival

When attendees arrive, they should receive a final program schedule with the most up-to-date information. Many host chapters assemble folders or packets to hand out when attendees check in, including pens and note pads, and other small gift items. You should establish a headquarters office, so that attendees know where to go for information throughout the conference. All host committee members should wear tags clearly identifying them as hosts.

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