One or more of you have attended conventions and enjoyed them – it’s been burning in the back of your mind that you feel you have a capable group of people within your astronomical organization that could hold a convention of your own. You have done some preliminary research by talking to people who have actually hosted conventions, and have a good idea of the work involved and what has to be done. With approval from your club, you:
- Make the Decision to Commit to Hosting a Convention.
- Regionals are a good starting point. If you have experience in attending conventions and planning events, go for a National! If you choose to co-host your convention with another group such as A.L.P.O., coordinate your efforts and schedule with them.
- Form a Convention Committee.
– Elect a Chair. The Chair should be someone who is not only eager and willing, but capable of planning, organizing, dealing with money and people and delegating tasks. The Chair should then. . .
– Choose a Vice-Chair. This person should be able to work closely with the Chair and help to delegate, authorize, and help guide the rest of the committee.
– Choose Committee Members. With luck, you’ll have several up-front volunteers who will be eager to choose certain jobs for which they would like to be responsible. Don’t forget about special abilities which spouses may be willing to offer! BUT . . . If someone proves unable to handle their job as things go along, replace them. This is serious business, with no time to waste!
– Committee Organization. Each convention committee member chairs a subcommittee and only the Chairs of the subcommittees and the General Chair and Vice-Chair are on the convention committee. These subcommittees should include: registrar, food services, housing, papers, and tours/excursions. See separate mini-checklist for these and other areas of concentration. Fix areas of responsibility among committee members. Each subcommittee Chair should prepare a schedule for their respective areas.
– Make Detailed Lists of Goals. At your first committee meeting, make note of everything that will need to be done, and set up a timetable for doing it. Allow plenty of time!
– Meet Monthly at first, then more often as things get more hectic. Keep accurate records about eveything that has been discussed and who has volunteered to do what. Set a method for recording revenues and expenditures. Keep accurate financial records! A financial statement must be turned in to the Region/League when the convention is over.