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What is a conference?

­­___A conference is a gathering of people with a common interest or background, with the purpose of allowing them to meet one another and to learn about and discuss issues, ideas, and work that focus on a topic of mutual concern.

__You are aware of the different types of conferences:


___Professional association


___Issue- or problem-related

Why organize a conference?

You organize a conference because:

___There’s an issue that needs examining.

___The field needs a conference.

___Your organization or group wants to start an annual gathering.

___There’s a crisis or opportunity that should be addressed.

___You want to establish the legitimacy of the field.

___Feedback from the field or the community demands it.

___A funder requires it.

___You want to enlist people to advance the field, either through their work or through advocacy.

___It’s a matter of prestige, credibility, or credentials for you or your organization.

___It’s part of your job.

Who might organize a conference?

___Professional associations and organizations.

___Government agencies.


___Individual organizations.

___Educational institutions.

___Advocacy or community activist groups.

___A group with a stake or interest in the subject of the conference.


When should you organize a conference?

___When you want to educate the field, a particular group, or the public about an issue.

___When you want to gather people with expertise to address an issue that needs to be addressed, or to work on a problem.

___When new work in the field needs to be publicized.

___When you want to energize or reenergize people about their work.

___Annually, to bring the field, profession, coalition, or interest group together to learn, network, celebrate successes, and work through challenges.

How do you organize a conference?

You create an infrastructure by:

___Choosing an organizing team or committee.

___Appointing a coordinator.

___Setting up a communication system.

You plan the conference by

___Agreeing on the purpose of the conference.

___Identifying your target audience.

___Setting a length and date for the conference.

___Planning the content of the conference.

___Addressing logistics.

___Clarifying coordination and troubleshooting.

___You publicize the conference.

___You register participants.

___You recruit presenters.

___You run the conference.

___You evaluate the conference.