Conference organization

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Roles and responsibilities in the conference project.

Overall structure: Standard PPS.

Subprojects

  • Local organizers
    • Venue
    • Event organizers (registration etc...)
  • Program committee
    • Program reference group.
  • Room assignment
  • Website
  • Workshops.
  • Outreach
  • Sponsors
  • Reporting

Project owner

Proposal: NeIC XT representative.

Responsibilities:

  • Lead the #Steering group.
  • Monitor progress in the project, for example through weekly management meetings.

Steering group

Proposal: Only PO.

Reports to NeIC board.

Responsibilities:

  • Monitor progress in the project.
  • Ensure political support.
  • Lead conference program reference group, and recruit members to it.

Project leader

Proposal: NeIC ADM coordinator.

Reports to #Steering group, and possibly also #Project owner for higher frequency .

Responsibilities:

  • Everything.
  • Delegate management of subprojects to subproject leaders, and lead all subprojects that have not been delegated.
  • Nominate subproject leaders.
  • Decide on venue and local organizers.
  • Maintain the list of official deadlines.

Venue

Proposal: Invite from #Project leader

Criteria for selection:

  • Excellent network connectivity.
  • Many meeting rooms in a range of sizes, allowing many simultaneous workshops.

Lessons learned:

  • Stress test network connectivity in all meeting rooms, both in terms of speed and simultaneous connections.

Program committee

Proposal:

Main article: Conference program

Responsibilities:

  • Construct an excellent conference program.
  • Communicate with program reference group for input on suitable speakers.
  • Invite speakers (and alternates in case of answers in the negative) or dropouts.
  • Communicate information to speakers, including expectations, deadlines, practicalities etc.
  • Make presentations publicly available on the conference website.
  • Make presentations available to local organizers.
  • Decide on what #workshops to host.
  • Invite #workshop organizers.
  • Prioritize #workshops.
  • Do #outreach.
  • Invite #workshop organizers to join select program committee meetings, to discuss practicalities, and to help workshop organizers find synergies and overlaps between workshops.

Lessons learned:

  • Small group of doers. Smaller is better. No less than 2 people.
  • Redundancy and commitment are both important.
  • Politicogeographic coverage is useless.

Program committee chair

Proposal: invite from #Project leader

Responsibilities:

Lessons learned:

  • Assign deputy in case of absences.

Program reference group

Proposal:

  • Well-connected and verbal senior experts with a creative streak.
  • Political, geographical and expertise coverage essential.

Responsibilities:

  • Come up with wild, creative and constructive ideas for:
    • session and conference themes
    • workshop topics and organizers
    • conference speakers and chairs.
    • slogan

Lessons learned:

  • Invite #Program committee to startup meeting and closing meeting (and all other meetings?)
  • Invite a well-connected external senior expert, to provide outside perspective and new connections.

Conference session planner

Proposal: member of the program committee

Responsibilities:

  • Invite speakers and #conference session chair, and alternatives in case of dropouts, based on advice from the program reference group.
  • Communicate expectations to chair and speakers.
  • Ensure program materials are produced in time for inclusion in the program (bio, title, abstract, presentation etc).
  • Draft an agenda for a conference session with time disposition and themes, in collaboration with the session chair if possible.
  • Hand over the draft agenda to the session chair for detail planning and speaker communication.
  • Delegate suitable number of these responsibilities to the session chair.

Room assignment

Proposal: #Program committee chair

Responsibilities:

  • Assign sessions, workshops and other meetings to available rooms in the venue.

Lessons learned:

  • Do a preliminary assignment immediately; change as necessary.

Conference session chair

Proposal: invite from #Conference session planner.

Responsibilities:

  • Lead the conference session, and as delegated from conference session planner.

Workshop organizer

Proposal: invite from #Program committee

Responsibilities:

  • Plan an interesting workshop with wide appeal.
  • Engage with other workshop organizers and the program committee, for inspiration and to reduce overlap between workshops.
  • Write an inspiring workshop abstract and send to the program committee (deadline before registration opens).
  • Invite good people to participate.
  • Ensure participants are well informed about what is required from them both in order to be able to contribute to the workshop, and to get the best possible value out of it. Consider doing at least one of:
    • Send out a pre-workshop survey, in order to assess the background knowledge among the participants.
    • Invite to a pre-workshop meeting (for example a video meeting) to establish the goals and purposes of the workshop, and the requirements for participation.
  • Copyright:
    • Take the responsibility for being legally allowed to publish any workshop materials sent in to the conference to the public Internet.
    • If live streaming: take the responsibility for being legally allowed to broadcast and archive any materials shown on the workshop stream to the public Internet.
  • Lead the workshop.
  • Summarize the major findings from the workshop and send these to the #Program committee chair directly after the workshop, for presentation in the main track of the conference.
  • Produce a useful workshop report and send to conference #Project leader (deadline 3 weeks after event).

All of these tasks can of course be delegated to other people if you know of someone who is interested and especially suitable, but the responsibility that they are completed ultimately rests with the workshop organizer. For example, it can be useful to assign reporting responsibility to someone other than the workshop leader, as it can be hard to lead and report at the same time.

Conference website

Proposal: #Program committee chair

Main article: Conference program#Website

Responsibilities:

  • Develop a conference website that it is easy for project staff to keep updated.
  • Construct an excellent conference website (delegate to partner, or roll your own).

Lessons learned:

  • Getting the webpage to be always up-to-date is a community effort.
  • Assign responsibilities to keep different sections maintained.
  • Choose a webpage technology that the co-authors are/can be comfortable working in.

Reporting

Proposal: invite from #Project leader

Responsibilities:

  • Draft reports of activities in conference sessions.
  • Compile reports from workshops.
  • Orchestrate a participant survey and compile the results.
  • Delegate reporting tasks to field specialists.

Lessons learned:

Outreach

Proposal: #Project manager

Responsibilities:

  • Ensure the event is announced and visible.
  • Invite stakeholders to participate and contribute.

Lessons learned:

  • High-threshold activity that always sediments to the bottom of the todo list.
  • Draft an invitation letter, adapt to communities.
  • Make a list of what stakeholders to invite, and delegate to ACs, PMs, SF members, workshop organizers, session planners/chairs.
  • Follow up who has been invited, and who remains.
  • Do registration statistics per workshop and country and focus efforts.

Sponsors

Proposal: #Project manager

Responsibilities:

  • Enroll sponsors.

Lessons learned:

  • Do it early, do not rely on someone else.


  • Sponsors