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Conference Planning

Summarized Planning Guide

Presented below is a month-by-month guide specifying the most important tasks/activities associated with conference planning. This guide is based on a 12-month timeline. To see a detailed guide, divided by each volunteer’s specific duties, visit the Conference-in-a-Box planning guide (

  • Develop your event planning team and set a meeting schedule
  • Choose your conference date and location
  • Contact Science Atlantic to inform us of your conference’s date and contact information for your team members
  • Look into conference venues and hotels for accommodations (availability, cost, etc.)
  • Connect with campus catering and conference services
  • Identify fundraising/sponsorship goals and develop a list of potential sponsors
  • Request university financial account for conference through the Dean or department office
  • Select a hotel and reserve a block of rooms
  • Get confirmation from chosen speakers
  • Decide on meals, breaks and banquets
  • Begin the first draft of your budget
  • Create website
  • Six months before: Submit draft budget to Science Atlantic
  • Arrange travel and accommodations with speakers
  • Set up registration and abstract submission
  • Three months before: Announce open registration
  • Consider increasing meeting frequency
  • Finalize the conference program
  • Order attendee materials
  • Month 12
  • Close online registration
  • Confirm awards and review award criteria
  • Obtain OAS login information; review and test printing certificates
  • Ensure that there are adequate volunteers for the event (registration desk, judges, photographer, etc.)
  • Finalize program
  • Within 48 hours: Provide award winner information and photos to Science Atlantic
  • Reconcile finances; ensure all invoices are paid and all sponsorship is received
  • One month after: Submit your preliminary financial report to Science Atlantic
  • Three months after: Submit your final financial and written conference reports

Conference Planning Timeline

This timeline indicates the important conference deliverables and deadlines which impact the Science Atlantic office. The deliverables can be executed prior to the identified deadline. If a deadline is missed, the Committee Chair and/or the Institutional Representative will be apprised of the stalled progress.