Arranging local support, registration, etc.

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Registration and Local Support

Conference Handbook - Arranging local support, registration, etc.

The Local Arrangements Committee should arrange a team to help the ACL Secretariat (Priscilla Rasmussen) set up and perform registration, contact the AV specialists, handle emergencies, sell t-shirts, etc. Contact Priscilla for details.

Often, this team consists of (around 30) students who volunteer to help in exchange for free conference registration. In the past, these students have been local to the conference site. Other times, student recipients of grants from the Walker Fund, or of other travel money, are volunteers.

It is important to clarify who is required to register and on what terms. Local student and faculty volunteers play a crucial role in most ACLs, both before and during the conference. Some student volunteers will be non-local, and will do all their work during the conference. Others will be local, and may do some substantial proportion of their volunteer work before the conference (for example by helping with the preparation of booklets and similar, handling aspects of general planning, creating logos, and so on. Local staff or faculty other than the arrangements chair may also be substantially involved in various tasks, and should be clearly told whether to register, whether their registration will be paid, and so on.

There is a need for a Volunteer co-ordinator who is responsible for planning the staffing of the conference. This involves substantial responsibility and is suitable for a mentally strong and socially confident senior local student or for a local faculty or staff member other than the local chair. Identifying this person should be done early, since the job involves working closely with the local chair and with the ACL secretary.

Freebies and Sale Items such as T-Shirts

If you have items to be sold, such as t-shirts/polo shirts, etc., put them out for sale on the very first day of the conference. Have people walk around in these shirts early on, if you want others to buy them. People might buy such items on the last day, but they need some lead time to think about the purchase.

Freebies (conference tote bags, umbrellas, sunglasses, pens, etc.) are available from specialty houses. Generally, you cannot pay them less than a certain minimum amount, for which you can get many small things or a few big ones. There are specialty companies that offer catalogues full of gifts, upon which logos etc. can be imprinted.

Author: Eduard Hovy, 2000, from notes by Rick Wojcik and others.