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Guidelines for SST Conference Organising Committee Structure

1. The Conference Organising Committee

The conference organising committee comprises three groups of people. Firstly, there are SST professionals who will form the executive of the committee with each person having a portfolio of conference management. Secondly, there are representatives of government and industry usually appointed from the major sponsors of the conference. The second group will normally be appointed once the sponsorship situation is clear (as early as a year before the conference) and will be specifically invited to one major organising committee meeting at which the conference budget will be discussed and the plans to date explained. They will also be invited to attend any other organising committee meeting (but their apology will be automatically assumed) and will therefore receive all agenda papers and minutes. The third group comprises assistants who may be appointed to major areas where workloads are heavy, and to help with the day to day running of the conference itself.

2. Executive Formation Principles

The executive should comprise people who are respected by their peers for their SST work. They will not necessarily be high-flyers but will be organised and dependable. They should include at least one person from a previous SST conference organising committee, and one representative appointed by ASSTA's Executive Committee (the two positions may be occupied by the same person), but will be mostly drawn from workers in the city of the conference location. Overloading the committee by people from a single institution or research group should be avoided so that the conference is characterised by the city in which it is held and not by a particular institution, and certainly not reflecting a professional bias to one of the disciplines contributing to speech science.

3. A Guide To Committee Structure

CHAIR [CHR] - the chairperson will have previous experience of conference organisation and will be responsible for the smooth running of the committee both in terms of interpersonal and task processes. A broad range of SST contacts would be a distinct advantage. Attendance at every meeting is essential but local residence is not - providing easy phone, fax, and email contact.

SECRETARY [SEC] - the secretary will be a local person who is highly organised, comfortable with the use of a computer database for conference management, able to provide documentary support in the form of horizontal and vertical minutes for the whole committee, able to organise a conference secretariat at their place of work.

TREASURER [TRE] - will be a local person with an interest in financial detail, comfortable with budget management and computer-based record keeping. It is highly advantageous if they can work closely with the secretary, probably using the same computer system.

PUBLICITY [PUB] - will be a local person who can manage the production of posters, media releases, PR mailing lists (integrated in the ASSTA database), and liaison with local media representatives of the institution which hosts the conference venue. This person will be motivated constantly to attend to detail in all these areas and keep the "image" of the conference before the committee.

LOCAL ARRANGEMENTS [LA] - will be a local person with a social flair who will coordinate plans for accommodation of delegates, the provision of social events each evening, catering for a reception, dinner (or similar), lunches, morning/afternoon teas and continuous coffee in reception area. They will also manage the signposting of the venue (internal and external).

SCIENTIFIC PROGRAMME COORDINATOR [SPC] - will not necessarily be local. They will arrange for the content of calls for papers, paper/abstract submission procedures and documentation, reviewing of abstracts, shaping the technical programme, instructions to authors on oral and written presentation, and assembly of proceedings, printing, and delivery to the conference on time. They will also organise the chairpeople for sessions, and the technical staff for audio/visual projection.

SPONSORSHIP/EXHIBITION COORDINATOR [S/E] - will be comfortable with approaching a wide range of potential sponsors from major government departments, and large corporations, to small companies. They will be sensitive to the historical relationships with certain sponsors and try to cultivate continuing good relations with all without selling out to any one. They will be innovative in using any special opportunities to raise finance but, wherever possible, linking this to technical input to the conference. They will organise an exhibition by companies with SST products and services (including publishers). They will manage financial arrangements with exhibitors.

4. Alternate Responsibilities

In order to achieve a robust and failsafe committee organisation, it is desirable for each committee member to "cover" another related committee task. This will involve keeping in touch with all aspects of another person's portfolio - give them personal and maybe task support, and stand in for them if they are unable to attend a meeting or if they fall ill. In case of longterm disability of a member, their 'shadow' can take up the responsibility prior to a replacement being found, and then help to induct the replacement person. Suggested 'shadowing arrangements' from past experience are [SEC] shadows [CHR]; [CHR] and [TRE] shadow [SEC]; [LA] and [SEC] shadow [TRE]; [PUB] shadows [S/E]; [S/E] shadows [PUB]; [CHR] shadows [SPC]; and [SEC] shadows [LA].

Adopted by Executive - 8 May 1997

These guidelines supersede those adopted by the Association following recommendation by the secretary J. Bruce Millar - 26 May 1989

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