[TTU Musicology recently (Oct 2010) hosted the regional chapter meeting of AMS-SW for the first time in our history. Due to the hard work of a lot of TTU Musicology staff, students, and faculty, led by Dr Thomas Cimarusti, the conference was a resounding success: both the Plenary Speaker and the Chapter President, independently, volunteered "this is the best regional chapter meeting we have ever had...Texas Tech has set the new standard for what is possible." Below, Dr C explains how it was done]

Checklist for Planning a Regional Conference


Preliminary Actions (6 months prior to conference)
  • Organize a planning committee (delegate specific tasks for each member of the committee)
  • Research/attend previous conference
  • Select a date for the conference (avoid major holidays, events – e.g., football, National Conference, etc.)
  • Identify a keynote speaker
  • Create a call for papers – themes/deadline/technology needed (allow 1 month for response)
  • Block and contract local hotel, preferably one closest to the conference center (conference rates)
  • Post all materials (call for papers, maps, local restaurant options, local hotel options, cultural activities; include links of all this information)
  • Following deadline, send out acceptance letters (include poster sessions); chance to revise abstract; deadline
  • Select and reserve venues for meetings, reception, and registration (on-campus organizations to reserve rooms)
  • Contact chapter president regarding number of participants in previous meetings
Budget:
  • Draw up a budget for the conference (be generous/honest in your numbers)
  • Determine sources of income (contact chapter president, director of school, other on/off-campus organizations)
  • Keep all receipts (all should be itemized and tax deductible)
  • Contact business manager (paperwork for all financial transactions, including plenary speaker)
  • Keep a financial cushion
Conference Rooms
  • Inspect site (check for number of seats, accessibility, available technology, cleanliness)
  • Phone number of contact person for the venue (rooms are open at least one hour prior to events)
  • Double/Triple check with conference room coordinator regarding availability of room

Materials/Technology
  • Prepare conference program/booklet (conference schedule, abstracts, local restaurants, map, advertisements)
  • Prepare conference packet (cultural activities in the area, brochures, campus map, pen)
  • Review abstracts for technology needs
  • Assign technology guru (ensure all technology will be available in conference room; extra adaptors, contact tech person for that venue; technology check)
  • Poster boards for poster sessions (available on campus)
Registration:
  • Pre- and post-conference activities
  • Contact secretary of the organization (registration materials and fees)
  • Registration table with lanyards, conference packets
Dining:
  • Local catering or university dining (lite snacks throughout the day – morning, afternoon, evening)
  • How much to order?
  • Arrange for pre-paid box lunches to be picked up or delivered to event
  • Choose a variety of different items/drinks (keep it simple AND within budget)
Post Conference
· Letter to plenary speaker and to chapter webpage (with photos?)
· Confirmation that all financial matters are in check
Other Items
  • Plan Early – problems WILL arise
  • Committee gofer?
  • Be mindful of the details