Global Conference: Co-Chair

The conference co-chairs work in close collaboration with the Executive Director and Board Liaison to co-lead the execution of the Global Conference.
Skills set: Ideally, conference co-chairs will be individuals with strong leadership capabilities who have served on the conference committee in the past. Other desired qualifications include: comfortability with collaborative decision-making and input and direction from staff and the Board as needed, a history of involvement in and commitment to the organization, 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 and make difficult decisions if necessary, experience leading and motivating large teams, experience managing complex, multifaceted events, organizational skills, attention to detail, flexibility, creativity.

Committee Management

  • Work with the Executive Director and Board Liaison to select conference subcommittee leadership and volunteers.
  • 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.
  • Provide support for and maintain regular communication with conference subcommittee chairs. Coordinate and lead regular conference calls with subcommittee chairs. Maintain communication with the Executive Director and Board Liaison regarding subcommittee progress. Ensure that an agenda is distributed prior to all conference committee meetings, and that minutes are taken during meetings and distributed in a timely manner.
  • Keep track of the committee roster, making changes and updates as needed.
  • Ensure subcommittee chairs are fulfilling responsibilities as outlined in the SOP's. Manage issues that arise with subcommittee leadership and/or volunteers, notifying the ED as soon as possible when an issue arises. Work with the Executive Director to ensure conference subcommittees are utilized, a manageable workload is maintained, and the conference timeline is followed.
  • Along with the Board Liaison and Executive Director, ensure Conference Policies are followed. 
  • Establish a list of committee travel info to and from the conference. 
  • Establish a way for committee to communicate during the event (instant message program).

Overall/Conference Schedule

  • Along with the ED and Board Liaison, develop goals for the conference, including any suggested major changes. 
  • Review evaluations from previous years' conference with the conference committee to identify key topics and new ideas.
  • If feasible, visit the conference hotel in advance of the conference planning in order to tour the space and take pictures. The ED will coordinate the tour, and the representative from Connections will lead the tour, along with the hotel representative.The ED will provide a list of items to consider during the tour. 
  • Develop the conference theme (along with conference subcommittee chairs). Send the drat theme to the board liaison for board review.
  • 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).
  • Maintain a positive relationship with Connections, the conference planning assistant. 
  • Maintain regular communication with the Board Liaison and Executive Director to make sure conference planning is aligned with the strategic direction of the organization.
  • Assist with overal review of conference printed program. Create co-chairs welcome letter. 
  • Create the on-site minute by minute schedule of announcements and volunteer assignments. Send the information to the ED for review/approval, and then communicate it to the subcommittee chairs. The information should be added to the master schedule (in Smartsheet), which should be kept updated with all conference information (no separate schedules should be utilized). The schedule should not be printed for on-site use until the final version is approved by the ED (typically the week before the conference).


  • Provide input into the conference budget before it's approved by the board. Work closely with the Executive Director and Board Liaison to ensure the budget is adhered to and expense targets are not exceeded. Communicate all conference expenditures to the Executive Director for approval (before contracts or agreements are confirmed with speakers, venues, etc.). The committee has some flexibility to work within the approved budget, provided approval is received from the Executive Director (and Board Liaison, if needed). 

On-site Responsibilities

  • Work with the Executive Director to manage the 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 should open the conference at the first session. The Executive Director manages the speaking schedule during the Business Meeting. 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. 
  • Manage pre-conference committee meeting.

Post-conference Responsibilities

  • Provide feedback into conference evaluation.