European Conference: Co-Chair
With guidance and direction from the Executive Director and Board Liaison, the conference co-chairs lead the conference subcommittees in the execution of the annual European Conference.
Skills sets: Ideally, conference co-chairs will be individuals with strong leadership capabilities who have served on the European Conference committee and attended the conference in the past. Other desired skills sets include: comfortable with collaborative decision-making and input from the Executive Director and Board, a firm understanding and demonstration of the organization’s mission, vision and values, a commitment to the success of the organization and the conference, ability to think and act strategically, experience leading and motivating volunteer teams, organizational skills, attention to detail, flexibility, creativity.
- With guidance and direction from the Executive Director and Board Liaison, select conference subcommittee leadership and provide input into subcommittee volunteers.
- Send initial email to interested volunteers.
- Review evaluations from previous years' conference to identify key topics and new ideas.
- Host regular planning meetings with subcommittee chairs to provide updates on progress and answer questions. Ensure that an agenda is distributed prior to meetings, and that minutes are taken during meetings and distributed in a timely manner.
- Assist the Executive Director with reviewing the SOP's and other reference documents with the committee. Ensure subcommittees communicate the resources and SOP's with their subcommittees.
- Work with the Executive Director to ensure committees have the quantity and quality of volunteers needed to be successful.
- Keep track of the committee roster throughout the conference planning, including updating the roster as volunteers and contact information changes.
- Create a Whatsapp group for the committee to use for on-site communications.
- Add travel details and on-site contact information to committee roster.
- Provide support for and maintain regular communication with conference subcommittee chairs. Ensure subcommittee chairs are fulfilling responsibilities as outlined in these SOP's and that a manageable workload is kept.
- Visit hotel to discuss layout and logistics.
- Review and test registration web site.
- Develop conference theme (along with subcommittee chairs).
- With assistance from the Executive Director, manage the overall conference timeline and make sure projects are on schedule.
- Work with the Executive Director and Board Liaison to create the overall conference schedule, (Note: the schedule is approved by the ED before finalizing, and all changes require approval).
- Along with the Board Liaison and Executive Director, ensure Conference Policies are followed.
- Provide content needed for conference registration web site.
- Review conference printed program draft prior to printing.
- Create a master list of items being shipped to the hotel.
- Secure on-site volunteers for bag stuffing, registration, programs and other needs (see 2019 on-site schedule for an example)
- Create on-site minute by minute schedule of announcements and volunteer assignments. The information should be added to the master schedule (in Smartsheet). One document should be kept updated with all conference information. Changed will be made until the last day before the conference. The schedule should not be printed for on-site use until the final copy is approved by the ED.
- Create and maintain a conference budget. Work closely with the Executive Director to ensure the budget is adhered to and expense targets are not exceeded. Review all expenses and provide to the Executive Director for approval. Provide the Board Liaison with a regular update of conference revenue and expenditures. Note: the overall expense, profit and registration fees are approved by the board based on recommendations by the conference committee. The conference chairs have the flexibility to manage specific line items within the budget. Approval is needed from the Executive Director of an expense or line item is expected to go significantly over what was anticipated, or to move items around within the budget once it has been approved.
- Manage conference on-site speaking schedule and announcements, including which members of the board and conference committee will address the full audience and when. Note: The President or his/her representative (i.e. the ED) should open the conference at the first session. A schedule of announcements should be distributed to all conference subcommittee leaders in advance of the conference. A master copy should be printed and kept on the podium for reference, with on-site edits written on the master copy to ensure that all announcements are made.
- Ensure conference schedule stays on time.
- Manage on-site volunteers, including registration, with assistance of the Event Assistant or other contracted assistants as needed.
- Provide feedback into conference evaluation.