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Hello Brian, Chris, Leanne, Leonard, Mark, Paul, Rich, Sadie and Tina,

We've established this space to facilitate our discussion about our roles for the 2008 conference. As a starting point, below is the information from the minutes of our January 30 meeting.

So ... jump in! Just click on "edit" at right, and add your thoughts.

-Cheers, Lois, 25 Apr 2007

Hi, I was asked at that last meeting to write activities that I did as program chair for the 06 conference.'s a list that I put together:

NEGH Conference Program Chair Responsibilities

• Conduct minimum of 3 program planning meetings: June, Oct. (year before conference), Jan. (year of conf.) • Work within budget guidelines for speakers and moderators • Delegate 1st contact with speaker • Follow up contacts with speaker (set time, topic, description, honorarium, AV needs, distribute information for travel including airports and limousine service) • Contact moderators • Compile topics, descriptions and speakers for printed brochure and web • Prepare list of hotel needs for speakers, moderators (overlaps with board members, so included) • Obtain, print and distribute handouts • Prepare and distribute speaker and moderator guidelines • Prepare, distribute and collect reimbursement forms for speakers, moderators and board members • Prepare evaluations, print, distribute, collect, compile and report at follow-up meeting • Distribute and collect audio-taping approval forms • Work with house committee on AV needs, room arrangements, pesticide credits • Prepare information for signage • Prepare packets for speakers and moderators for registration and Reserve speaker ready room • Thank you notes to speakers and moderators

Lois, Len and Rich - if you think of anything else, just include it.


Lois added the following on 31 May 2007:

Thanks, Tina. That's a great summary. I think this workload should be distributed among more people because it can be overwhelming to keep on top of it, but there are also good reasons for grouping everything under this committee's charge: much of it is integrated/connected, and it makes a lot of sense for one person to manage the process to keep things from slipping through the cracks undone.

My suggestions are things we've already tried in the past, with varying success:

1-The program evaluation process could be taken out of this list, because it is quite independent from the rest of the process. It could be moved to the House Committee, or to an entirely new committee. This committee could also do the thank you letters: once the evaluation process is complete, a "form thank you note" could be developed and sent to all speakers, indicating the number of people who attended the conference, and a brief summary of the high points of the evaluation.

2-More of the workload could be distributed among committee members. At the committee meeting, a complete program could be developed, including tracks, presentation topics, speakers. All initial contacts with speakers could be made by committee members other than the chairperson. In that initial contact, perhaps more could be accomplished than just determining a speaker's interest in speaking at the conference: the initial contact could include asking each speaker for complete personal contact information (like job title, affiliation, email and mail addresses, etc); determining honorarium/fee rate for the speaker; asking if the speaker will need help with travel plans; advising the speaker of the need to develop and submit a handout on time; advising exactly what expenses we reimburse; maybe other things? If the speaker says yes to the opportunity to speak at the conference, then the committee person could immediately email a form to be completed and returned to the committee chairperson, to include the exact title of the presentation plus a 2-sentence description of the presentation. At that point, the committee chairperson could take over, and would be entering the process knowing that the speaker is committed to topic/date/time/title/description. The chairperson could send a brief email stating the upcoming deadlines, so that each speaker is alerted to the need to stay on track.

3-There may be other things that the committee chairperson could delegate to committee members ... any thoughts?

Brian is logged in. I think if the above are removed from the Program Chair responsibilities it makes it much more reasonable. I think House and Program should be working closely together, but be two separate people - the PC needs to tend to speakers during the event, and the HC will be busy with the house.

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