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  • 9 Months Before
    • Seek co-sponsorship.
    • Prepare a planning calendar.
    • Recruit volunteers.
    • Check budget and provide a cost projection sheet.
    • Determine publicity/advertising schedule and call for papers.
    • Determine which hotel your guests will be staying during the conference.
    • Create a website for your conference.
    • Set-up the registration link on the conference website.
    • Create advertising brochures and call for papers.
    • Advertise conference to potential exhibitors of interest.
  • 6 Months Before
    • Begin to finalize the Program Schedule.
    • Determine number of brochures needed for handouts and mailing.
    • Contact speakers and request vita, address and phone number, biography and head shot photo for publicity of.
  • 4 Months Before
    • Meet with catering, facilities, media services, and conference services to go over the final details.
    • Consider hiring students to staff your events.
    • Finalize the Program Schedule.
    • Draft Conference Program.
    • Update budget.
    • Finalize A/V equipment needs with media services.
    • Announce the conference.
    • Go live for online registration and payment.
    • Determine the types of giveaways if any.
    • Order your gifts.
  • 2 Months Before
    • Finalize guest list.
    • Confirm needs for registered exhibitors.
    • Produce printed program and get schedule to PR.
    • Produce conference poster, if appropriate.
    • Schedule all table and chairs needed.
  • 1 Month Before
    • Finalize details and administrative responsibilities for the conference.
    • Obtain local maps and information.
    • Confirm catering, facilities, and media.
    • Request honorarium for speakers.
  • 2 Weeks Before
    • For main speakers – email/letter should include complete, specific schedule of the speaker(s).
    • For registered participants – include map, shuttle schedule, and registration times for the participant’s arrival at the conference.
    • For session chairs/introducers – include time of session, CV of presenter(s).
  • 1 Week Before
    • Assemble name tags.
    • Assemble registration listing of participants.
    • Consider sending welcome letters and agenda to the hotel for distribution upon check-in.
    • Double check arrangements: confirm room reservations, particularly for afterhours or weekend times.
  • After the Conference
    • Send thank you notes to all who helped with the conference.
    • Finalize financial settlements for all speakers.
Conference Planning Checklist
  Jake R Brady


on December 27, 2011

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