Conference Organizing Committee Roles and Responsibilities

Who sits on a conference organizing committee?

Every successful conference needs a dynamic conference organizing committee. But who’s in charge of doing what?

Establishing a conference organizing committee is among the first tasks for each conference organizer. For a little, straightforward academic or research event, a conference organizing committee could be comprised of just several people. Larger conferences, however, tend to be organized by way of a team of people with specific roles and responsibilities. And to be able to deliver an effective event, you’ll have to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each conference organizing committee member.

But first, an instant note on diversity in your committee. Ensure that your conference committee reflects the diversity of one’s field with representation across: gender, career level, ethnicity and geographic location.

Ok, now who ought to be in charge of what? Let’s dive.

General chair

The overall chair makes all final decisions concerning the conference, including how roles and responsibilities are divided. They’re often in charge of selecting where in fact the conference is held. Because so many of individuals in a conference organizing committee aren’t being paid to be there (and also have busy full-time jobs) it’s important the chair can inspire them from the top. So, the chair can clearly define goals, and also highlight that everyone includes a stake in the success of a conference.

Programme chair

The programme chair means that a well-balanced, high-quality technical programme is organized and presented at the conference. Alongside the general chair, they develop the conference’s demand papers (aka demand abstracts) and source suitable online conference software . In addition they take responsibility for the peer review process and the conference schedule.

Programme committee

In conferences where you can find 100 submissions or even more, managing the complete peer review process could be too much for just one person. With regards to the size of the conference, the programme chair may appoint visitors to a programme committee to greatly help manage it. Programme committee members take responsibility for distinct elements of the peer review process or tracks within the conference.

If your programme is broad in scope, you might separate it into thematic areas or tracks. Each track might have its chair, deadlines and reviewers.

Publicity chair

The publicity chair takes responsibility for promoting the conference to potential authors, delegates and wider media. They’re usually in charge of developing media releases and communicating key messages concerning the conference. They manage the conference’s social media marketing accounts, and may use the programme chair to build up the decision for papers. They could also take ownership of conference branding , and could oversee the creation of the conference book of proceedings .

Local chair

The neighborhood chair manages the practical side of conference arrangements. They find and suggest venues, often manage the delegate registration system , and make certain suppliers and logistics have already been taken care of. They could also lead to the conference website .

Finance chair

The finance chair takes charge of fabricating a conference bank-account, arranging conference insurance and deposits, developing a conference budget , managing expenses and creating financial reports.

The next people don’t take a seat on your committee, but they’re often section of an effective conference.

Steering committee

The steering committee is in charge of the entire organization and financial planning of the conference. This committee is going to be in charge of appointing the conference’s general chair and could need to approve who’ll be appointed as programme chair. This team collates the main element ideas of the conference, steers its strategic direction, and could decide where in fact the conference takes place every year . The committee advises the overall chair and programme chair, and assists them to make decisions, especially round the conference venue and date, the budget and the entire technical content of the conference.

Session chairs

Conference session chairs manage the Q&A session after every presentation and make certain sessions operate on time. They’re usually recruited a couple of months prior to the event.

Other chairs

Some conferences appoint additional chairs with their conference organizing committee. They are given specific responsibilities such as for example caring for publications (e.g. timetables and the book of proceedings).

Professional conference organizer

Though not strictly speaking an associate of the conference organizing committee, a specialist conference organizer manages the admin and logistics of planning for a conference. They could also undertake tasks like managing the abstract management software or the keynote speakers. Most professional conference organizers will charge a set fee, and some could also add a fee per delegate. (From what our customers reveal, they’re worth their weight in gold.)

Conference organizing committee roles and responsibilities

An email on the list above: Although they are the most frequent conference organizing committee roles we’ve seen, academics and researchers often do things differently. We’ve run into so many permutations of the roles over time, that we’d never state confidently “this is one way a conference organizing committee should look”.

You’ll also discover that different organizations often call these roles by different names. (We still get surprised sometimes.)

Dee moved back from London to greatly help Ex Ordo tell their story. Although she finds it tough to get turmeric lattes along with other hipster nonsense in Galway, she enjoys authoring the weird and wonderful world of research conferences.

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