Chapter 11: Conferences, Institutes, Preconferences

11.1 Preconference programming procedures

11.1.1 Planning committee
11.1.2 General procedures
11.1.3 Planning committee chair
11.1.4 Program format
11.1.5 Program schedule
11.1.6 Letters of agreement
11.1.7 Honoraria and expenses
11.1.8 Transportation
11.1.9 Lodging
11.1.10 Site selection

11.2 Budget

11.2.1 Budget guidelines
11.2.2 Budget elements

11.3 Reimbursement requests
11.4 Program contracts
11.5 Corporate sponsorship
11.6 Program brochure

11.6.1 Program Web Page

11.7 Cosponsorships

11.7.1 Cosponsorships—In Name Only of ALA programs
11.7.2 Cosponsorships—In Name Only for programs offered by non-ALA organizations

11.8 Publicity
11.9 Preconference planning schedule
11.10 International Conference Planning Guidelines

   11.1 Preconference programming procedures

ACRL supports the efforts of its units to provide conference or preconference programming for the ACRL membership. The following procedures are intended to assist ACRL units in their planning for preconferences.

   11.1.1 Planning committee

As soon as it is decided that a preconference, institute, or workshop will be held, the committee, section, or division identifies a program planning committee. The planning committee can consist of 3 to 9 members. The chair is appointed by the committee chair, section chair, or vice-chair, or, if a divisional event, by the division vice-president or president. The ACRL appointment process should be followed (see Chapter 7, ACRL Guide to Policies and Procedures).

Committee members must be members of ACRL.

Each planning committee will have an ACRL staff member assigned to it as an ex officio member.

   11.1.2 General procedures

The first responsibility of the committee is to develop the preconference or institute proposal. The proposal should announce the intent to hold the event; its general purpose, goals, or objectives; the probable time and place; an estimate of the number of attendees expected; and a rationale within ACRL's Strategic Plan and current priorities. (Refer to Section 11.2 for detailed descriptions of budget items.) The proposal should come to the Board (or ACRL Executive Committee) at the latest at the Midwinter Meeting occurring 18 months before the date the preconference is scheduled. The ACRL Board (or Executive Committee) is asked to approve the activity in principle, advise the unit of any matters the Board believes need further consideration, and give permission to continue with planning and to seek funding (if requested).

   11.1.3 Planning committee chair

The chair of a preconference, institute, or workshop planning committee must have prior experience in ACRL at the chapter, committee, or section level, or as a board member.

The chair must also have adequate support for time, assistance, and other needs that might arise in the planning process.

Chair responsibilities:

  • With the sponsoring unit chair, select committee members
  • Schedule and chair Program Planning Committee meetings
  • Serve as principal contact with ACRL staff
  • Assign tasks to committee members
  • Develop and monitor program planning timetable
  • Issue initial invitation to program presenters and provide ACRL staff with contact information for confirmed presenters
  • Approve program announcement text
  • Review all program materials
  • Direct the activities of the committee
  • Develop and refine the budget, and monitor expenses
  • Copy ACRL staff liaison on all correspondence related to the event

Duties of the Program Planning Committee:

  • Define and develop program scope, goals, and objectives
  • Identify target audiences
  • Develop program format
  • Determine length of program
  • Define scope of program content
  • Develop program title
  • Identify and approach potential presenters
  • Identify potential corporate sponsors and, after consultation with staff, approach potential sponsors
  • Develop and implement publicity strategy (press release, news articles, advertisements, listservs and Web postings, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
  • Identify presenters needs (e.g., AV requirements) in consultation with ACRL staff
  • Develop and implement evaluation form
  • Tabulate ACRL evaluations and prepare report of results
  • Define conference space, location, and technology needs

ACRL staff responsibilities:

  • Recommend program proposals to ACRL Board
  • Prepare final budget
  • Participate in site visit, if applicable, and assist with the recommendation of venues
  • Negotiate contracts (facilities, food, services, speakers)
  • Secure ALA approval of all contracts and maintain files
  • Issue electronic agreement to all presenters
  • Review promotional materials to include list announcements, printed materials, and Web content
  • Provide advisory support for the planning committee
  • Implement and oversee registration process
  • Monitor budget
  • Review and clear potential sponsors
  • Acknowledge all donations and maintain records
  • Serve as resource for Program Planning Committee
  • Confirm program planning timetable
  • Publicize program
  • Mail brochures, if produced
  • Duplicate program handouts provided they are received four weeks prior to program
  • Provide onsite management for program
  • Announce event on ACRL homepage and listservs
  • Work with Program Planning Committee to secure conference site
  • Work with Program Planning Committee to specify room set-ups, AV needs, and food function needs
  • Prepare final preconference summary and report

   11.1.4 Program format

Programs may be planned for a half day, or one, two, or three days. The key to planning an exciting event is variety. Programs may include plenary sessions, panel presentations, seminar sessions, roundtable discussions, hands-on demonstrations, and interactive activities. Variety in activities is a requirement for larger programs as a strategy for maintaining participants' interest. Also consider the various learning styles when conceptualizing your program. Active learning is encouraged.

   11.1.5 Program schedule

The program should begin with a registration period. Time should be allocated based on the number of registrants and the start time of the program. One to two hours is usually adequate for registration.

The schedule should be arranged so that there is a break or meal function every two hours. Breaks should be planned for a minimum of 20 minutes. Allow approximately two hours for "lunch on your own."

   11.1.6 Letters of agreement

An invitation is extended to potential program speakers and presenters by the planning committee. Once the presenters are confirmed, the committee should send the following information to ACRL staff: complete contact information, presentation title, presentation format, date/time/location, any terms of presentstion (if applicable), AV requirements, etc.

The ACRL office confirms speakers' participation by issuing an electronic letter of agreement that includes dates and deadlines, appropriate release forms, and details any remuneration. Speakers must return a completed and signed agreement in order to validate the agreement.

   11.1.7 Honoraria and expenses

Honoraria can be offered only to nonlibrarian speakers except through special arrangements where the participation is critical to the success of the program. Requests for such consideration must be justified and well documented in order to be reviewed and approved by the ACRL Executive Director. ACRL staff must be consulted prior to agreeing to an honorarium.

Reimbursable expenses include air fare, car mileage, ground transportation (taxi, trains, etc.), tips, meals, hotel, and other related expenses. Original receipts are required, along with a completed reimbursement form.

   11.1.8 Transportation

All travel expenses incurred on behalf of the program must be incurred in accordance with ALA policies and guidelines. Speakers are reimbursed for airline travel at coach rate or actual fare, whichever is lower. Speakers who travel by car will be reimbursed for mileage at the prevailing IRS rate, and not to exceed the lowest coach fare. Speakers should work with Program Officer to make travel arrangements.

   11.1.9 Lodging

Each speaker will be reimbursed by ACRL for a single night at the single room rate at an ALA conference hotel for a one day, or two nights for a two-day preconference or institute. Speakers should be informed that ALA pays for room and tax only. Incidentals (movies, telephone, etc.) must be paid by the speaker. Room service or minibar service will be deducted from the per diem of $50 per day.

   11.1.10 Site selection

Site selection for preconferences, institutes, workshops, etc., not held in conjunction with an ALA Midwinter Meeting or Annual Conference will be made in conformity with Section VIII of the ALA Policy Manual, "Division National Conferences, Preconferences, and Related Activities." Cities will not be selected where there are any state laws requiring libraries in the city to conduct business in any manner that violates approved policies of the American Library Association at the time the site selection is made.

A host site for a preconference or institute is generally chosen by the Program Planning Committee in consultation with the ACRL staff about 18 months in advance of the event. Planning committees may recommend conference facilities, but only ACRL staff can enter into agreement and negotiate contracts for the facility on behalf of ALA.

Every effort should be made to hold preconferences in the same city as the ALA Annual Conference or Midwinter Meeting, and in facilities under contract by ALA Conference Services. College campuses may be considered as preconference locations if use of such facilities provide the necessary services, audiovisual, computer, etc., at the same or lower costs as the ALA facility, provide access to specialized facilities or collections, or is predicted to increase registrations. Such sites must provide for housing on campus or in close proximity that will not require busing unless offered by the campus.

   11.2 Budget

Staff will work with the chair of the Program Planning Committee to develop a budget. The budget should be presented for preliminary approval at the Midwinter Meeting 18 months before the preconference or conference is scheduled. A budget must be submitted by December 1 preceding the Midwinter Meeting at which the budget is to be presented. It would therefore be possible to submit a request to hold the event and a budget at the same Midwinter Meeting, since only preliminary budget review takes place at Midwinter. In that case, the Board could have a preliminary report from the Budget and Finance Committee to take into consideration.

   11.2.1 Budget guidelines

  • ALA policy states that "all institutes, workshops, etc., sponsored by ALA and/or its units shall be self-supporting and shall include provision for ALA administrative costs." The ALA indirect cost charge is determined annually. It is calculated on revenues, exclusive of donations and money for separately ticketed events. (ACRL staff will compute this figure.)
  • All preconference costs are borne by participants and not membership funds since only a small number of members may benefit. Consequently, registration fees for each preconference must be set at a level to meet all costs of each conference, including direct staff costs.
  • To keep registration costs at a reasonable level, a guiding principle of ALA/ACRL conference planning is to rely on local committees for conference planning arrangements and thereby avoid travel expenses and personal expenses for nonlocal members. The same principle applies to staff time.
  • Because ACRL is held responsible for conference costs, the ACRL executive director and the ACRL Budget and Finance Committee must give final approval to a budget and registration fee. The registration fee can be set only after the budget is prepared.
  • For preconferences, institutes, etc., not held in conjunction with an ALA Conference, it is the responsibility of the planning committee to inform ACRL staff of the exact meeting room and function space needs as determined by program requirements prior to the drafting of the budget.
  • Only 90% of the total registration revenue may be included in the budget to afford ACRL financial protection. All costs being reimbursed must be budgeted to include total revenue (including donations) and total expenses. In-kind services cannot be budgeted. Source: ACRL Board, January 2008.
  • The budget must include staff salary and benefit amounts based upon ACRL staff time studies for the most recent fiscal year. (ACRL staff supply this figure.)
  • For any ACRL program registration, the difference in the registration fee between non-ACRL members and ACRL members must be at least the amount of the cost of ACRL membership fees.
  • A minimum processing fee of $50 is assessed for registration cancellations and each preconference or institute registration materials must include a statement of this policy. After a stated cut-off date, no refunds will be issued.
  • ACRL sections that offer their own section-sponsored preconference, share equally with ACRL in the net proceeds from their preconference held in conjunction with ALA Annual Conference. Such shared proceeds must be used by an individual section in a manner which supports its goals and activities, supports the ACRL Strategic Plan, and complies with ACRL and ALA fiscal policies and procedures. Source: ACRL Board, June 2001.

   11.2.2 Budget elements

  • ACRL staff costs. This covers staff time spent working with the committee on the program. (Staff provide this figure.)
  • ACRL staff travel. Include here estimated costs for staff travel to planning committee meetings and travel to programs at sites other than ALA conferences.
  • Printing. (a) Preconference brochure (as appropriate). (b) Registration materials (handouts and list of registrants). (c) Meal tickets and invitations (as appropriate). (d) Registration folder and materials (as appropriate). (e) Printed stock for personalized name badges (if desired).
  • Postage. (a) Cost of mailing brochure (as appropriate). (b) Cost of mailing registration confirmation. (if electronic confirmations are not used) (c) Miscellaneous correspondence with committee, speakers, etc.
  • Speaker's expenses. (a) Housing and meals. (b) Travel (if the speaker would not otherwise be attending the meeting). For example, travel would not be paid for an ALA member if the preconference were being held in or near the same city as the ALA conference and the person would normally be attending the ALA conference. Any difference in fares may be budgeted. (c) Honoraria. Based on ALA practice, no honoraria will be paid to librarians except under unusual circumstances and approved by the ACRL Executive Director.
  • Equipment. Audiovisual equipment rental and installation labor.
  • Facilities Rental. Meeting or special function space if program is not held prior to the Annual Conference in conference hotel and/or if some events are held in other locations (e.g., reception at a museum).
  • The incurred expenses of free registrants (such as food function expenses, registration packets, name badges, etc.).
  • Meal functions (include tax and gratuities) (a) Meals (b) Receptions (c) Coffee breaks (d) Speakers' meetings (e) Banquets.
  • ACRL office expenses. (a) Photocopies (in-house), including duplicating such items as: confirmation memo, the rooming list, and the registration list. (b) Postage (in-house). (c) Telephone and fax charges. (d) Conference operating supplies (speaker ribbons, badge holders, inserts, etc.). (e) ACRL indirect costs calculated on all expenditures excluding meal functions, salaries, and interunit charges, e.g., in-house photocopying, mailing, etc.
  • ALA overhead. Add approximately 26.4% of estimated revenue from registration fees.
  • Other expenses. Add 10% of estimated expenses to cover such things as mail list rental, telephone, etc.

After the budget has been approved no additional funds may be allocated unless approved by the ACRL executive director in concert with the chair of the ACRL Budget and Finance Committee. This is to ensure the integrity of the budgetary procedures.

   11.3 Reimbursement requests

Requests for reimbursement for expenses incurred should be submitted within two weeks from the date of the event. Expect to receive a check in three to four weeks from the time the request is mailed to ACRL. All requests should be submitted with original receipts, bills, tickets, etc. (See Reimbursement Request form)

Expenses normally are not reimbursed for:

  • planning, and local arrangements committee members, personal conference registration and travel expenses (see also section 11.6 regarding waiver of registration);
  • section chair and section executive committees members' personal conference registration and travel expenses;
  • section chair travel expenses to attend preconference planning committee meetings (unless also the chair of the committee);
  • personal registration and travel expenses for ALA members who attend preconference and also serve as discussion leaders.

   11.4 Program contracts

The ACRL headquarters staff is responsible for contractual arrangements with the preconference hotel for room rates, arrangements for, food functions, function space allocation, complimentary room assignments, and, in consultation with the program committee, meeting room requirements. The chair should contact the ACRL executive director as soon as possible following the chair's appointment so that headquarters staff will be able to provide the needed support for planning a successful preconference.

ALA is the legal and financial entity with respect to financial and contractual obligations incurred by ACRL as a division of ALA. The ACRL executive director is accountable to ALA for compliance with financial and other policies and guidelines. All contracts must be approved by the ACRL executive director and signed by an ALA associate executive director.

   11.5 Corporate sponsorship

Sometimes there may be a need to seek funding beyond that which is allocated through ACRL to support programs. The ACRL Colleagues Program, created by the Board in 1992, generates non-dues revenue to allow ACRL to expand programs and services to members and potential donors, and to do more in the area of promoting the profession. The Board believes that it is important to coordinate all requests to potential donors and other outside funders through a centralized program. ACRL members may not make any formal requests for contributions on behalf of the division to potential donors without first clearing the request with the ACRL executive director.

ACRL units seeking financial support from vendors, corporations, foundations, and governmental agencies should submit a plan to the ACRL executive director prior to approaching the above named groups. The plan should include the following elements:

  • name of sponsoring unit;
  • name or title of event;
  • date and place of event;
  • brief statement of purpose;
  • budget for the event, and;
  • identification of funding source(s).

The ACRL executive director will review the plan with the ALA Development Office and, upon receipt of notice from the executive director, the unit may contact the potential funders identified in the plan. (For detailed procedures on soliciting funds to support your program, read ACRL Tip Sheet # 10.)

   11.6 Program brochure and/or Web site

The preconference brochure or Web site should include the following information: title; sponsorship information; dates; location; general introduction and program information; schedule of events including registration time; list of speakers and topics; list of workshops; accommodation information, guest information, and transportation information. If producing a printed piece, the brochure should be a self-mailer if possible.

The registration form should have the following: title, sponsorship, dates, places, registrant's name, registrant's title, registrant's mailing address, registrant's daytime phone number, registrant's e-mail address, registrant's institutional affiliation, workshop interests, a place to request special assistance as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, limits on attendance, fees and what is offered for the fees, price differential for members and non-ACRL members, price of extra events if appropriate, deadline for registration, registrations accepted after deadline if space is available and subject to prescribed late fee, fee for cancelation, and cancellation policy.

The brochure should also include the following: "Preconferences are offered on a cost-recovery basis and may be canceled if there is insufficient registration. If an activity is canceled, ACRL cannot be responsible for cancellation charges assessed by airlines or travel agencies." Include the deadline for written cancelations and changes (15 working days before the first day of the event) and the handling fee.

In order to allow the staff to guarantee that the finished product will include all necessary registration and program information and will conform to ALA guidelines, such as those regarding sexist terminology and differentiation of cost based on membership status, the brochure must be submitted in the final design stage to headquarters no less than six months prior to the preconference dates.

Source: ACRL Board, January 1989

   11.6.1 Program Web Page

A web page may be mounted in addition to or in lieu of a printed brochure. Items identified in 11.7 should be included on the web page.

    11.7 Cosponsorships

ACRL encourages cosponsorship of preconferences, institutes, or workshops, but planners need to consider carefully the fiscal and legal implications of cosponsorship. When ACRL receives a request for cosponsorship from an outside organization, another ALA division or unit, or an individual or group, the following procedures should be followed. Requests for cosponsorship could be for workshops, institutes, conferences and preconferences, or research projects. All cosponsorships that commit ACRL resources require Board approval. Cosponsorships “in name only” of programs/events offered by outside organizations require Board approval. All activities which involve ACRL cosponsorship shall be reviewed and approved by the ACRL Board of Directors or the Executive Committee (depending on time constraints).

If you are in doubt regarding any requests for cosponsorship from an outside organization, another ALA division or unit, or an individual group, please call your staff liaison.
Proposals for cosponsorship must be submitted in writing and should contain the following information about the proposed activity:

  • a statement of the purposes and objectives;
  • a description of the program content and level;
  • an indication of the educational methods of materials to be used;
  • the qualifications of the individuals presenting the program; and
  • identification of other organizations involved in the program and the nature of their responsibilities, the anticipated benefits to ACRL, a proposed mechanism for evaluating program effectiveness, and a timetable for submission of evaluation to ACRL Board of Directors.

   11.7.1 Cosponsorships—In Name Only of ALA programs

ACRL units may cosponsor “in name only” programs offered by other units of the American Library Association at the Annual Conference, Midwinter Meeting, or virtually. For these “in name only” sponsorships of ALA programs, Board approval is not required.  "In name only" is defined as meaning that no ACRL resources, including staff time or space in ACRL publications, would be requested. "In name only" means simply that the ACRL name will be used in conjunction with the hosting unit's promotions.

   11.7.2 Cosponsorships—In Name Only for programs offered by non-ALA organizations

For “in name only” cosponsorships of programs/events offered by outside organizations, a full proposal as outlined in 11.8 must be submitted to the ACRL Board of Directors. Permitting another entity to show ACRL as a cosponsor of an event can make ACRL and ALA legally liable for claims arising from the event. Claims could range from defamation and infringement to personal injury claims to disabilities act claims. If ACRL’s name is used as a sponsor of the event, ALA/ACRL could be a co-defendant.

Because of this potential for liability should the Board wish to approve the cosponsorship of a program offered by an outside organization ACRL should obtain the following from the conference sponsors:

  • an indemnification from the main sponsor, in which the main sponsor agrees to pay any claims arising from the conference.
  • a written agreement which confirms that ALA has no responsibility for the costs and expenses of the conference.

   11.8 Publicity

ALA and ACRL provide a number of opportunities to help you reach your targeted audience of ACRL members and academic librarians. You will want to be sure to use the following opportunities to promote your program:

  • ALA Conference Preliminary Program.
  • Press releases to non-ACRL publications. Members submit information to ACRL staff, who forward to the Public Information Office at ALA.
  • Announcements in College & Research Libraries News. These may include brief alerts such as to save dates and get full information on the web and fuller descriptions of the programs and registration information. Submit your items to the editor of C&RL News.
  • ALA Cognotes, the daily conference newspaper.
  • Listservs and the Web.
  • Twitter and Facebook announcements

Additional sources are:

  • Publicize the program locally in chapter mailings and your institution's newsletters.
  • Sections should use their newsletters and Web pages to promote their events.

   11.9 Preconference planning schedule

(Note: Numbers after each statement refer to the responsibility key.)

Responsibility Key
1. Headquarters staff
2. Program Committee chair
3. Program Planning Committee

24 months before preconference

  • Select site (city and hotel) and dates of preconference based on ALA
  • Annual Conference location and dates. (3) with (1)
  • Begin preparation of tentative budget. This is an ongoing process as information is collected and clarified. (1), (2)

21 months before

  • Appoint preconference, program, and local arrangements committee chairs from region in which preconference is to be held. (2)
  • Prepare outline of the program and the needs for meeting and sleeping rooms. (3)

18 months before

  • Submit detailed draft of program and all other preconference activities. (3) with (1)
  • Submit request to hold preconference to the ACRL Board of Directors. (3)
  • Sign contracts for preconference when hotel or other non-ALA conference facility is used. (1)

12 months before

  • Finalize all facilities and services (hotel, audiovisual, conference center, etc.) costs. (3) with (1)
  • Make final selection of speakers and session moderators. (2)
  • Final budget approved by the ACRL Budget and Finance Committee and the ACRL Board of Directors. (1) with (2)
  • If appropriate, develop a plan for soliciting gifts. Refer to "Preconference programming procedures" in this chapter. (3) with (1)
  • Get verbal commitments from speakers. (3)

9 months before

  • Prepare final draft of program; prepare draft of preconference brochure. (2) with (1)
  • Submit program and contact information to ACRL staff. (2)

7 months before

  • Prepare and distribute national news releases on the meeting. (3) with (1)

6 months before

  • Obtain instructions for housing reservations. (1)
  • Finalize all social and general program activities, meal functions, tours, excursions, etc. (1) with (3)
  • Make meeting room assignments. (3)

4 months before

  • Mail preconference brochure to members and/or previously selected special mailing lists. (1)

3 months before

  • Finalize all AV arrangements. (3) with (1)
  • Identify and obtain local and other inserts for registration kit. Ship to ACRL if appropriate. (3)

2 months before

  • Collect and account for all money received prior to and during the meeting. (1)
  • Prepare final program and/or agenda if appropriate. (3) Submit to ACRL.

1 month before

  • Prepare list of preregistrants. (1)
  • Finalize local arrangements, i.e., buses, volunteer help, signs, hotel/campus liaison, etc. (1) with (3)
  • Prepare name badges. (1)

3 weeks before

  • Print preconference badges, tickets, etc. (1)
  • Finalize seating arrangements and other protocol associated with conference if appropriate. (3)
  • Arrange for stuffing of registration kits. (3) with (1)
  • Prepare list of preregistrants (1)

During the preconference

  • Staff registration area. (1) with (3)



11.10 ACRL International Conference Planning Guidelines

The intent of this document is to inform member groups on how to submit a proposal for an international conference so that the ACRL Board of Directors has complete information to make decisions. Following these guidelines does not guarantee Board approval of the conference.

Proposed Dates: International conferences should be proposed to be held only in even years so as to not compete with ACRL Conference held every odd year. The ACRL Board of Directors may occasionally put a hiatus on planning international meetings that are not held in conjunction with the ALA Annual Conference or Midwinter Meeting, due to circumstances such as economic factors. If that is currently the case, proposals for international conferences should not be submitted until the hiatus period is over.

2 Years or More from Proposed Conference Dates: Members should submit a Board Action Form on or before the appropriate due date for the ACRL Board to review at an ALA Annual Conference or Midwinter Meeting.  It should include the following: 

  • Proposed dates and location of the meeting 
  • Rationale for holding an international conference, i.e., why should the conference be held outside of the U.S., purpose, etc. What need is this conference meeting that is not met by other conferences?
  • Estimated interest in the conference and projected attendance (U.S. and outside the U.S.). Any data from member interest surveys that may have been conducted would be particularly useful in demonstrating interest/projected attendance. 
  • A tentative schedule of events including opening session, breakouts, social events and closing session.
  • Names of proposed Chair of the conference, proposed Fundraising/Finance Chair and proposed Local Arrangements Chair
  • Current hotel rates for at least two feasible hotel options for sleeping rooms. Information should be included to show that these hotels can provide enough sleeping rooms for the group, are in a safe location that is convenient for travelers, and have adequate amenities and service level.
  • Proposed meeting space (at hotel or other location) and current costs of that meeting space. Information should be provided on the exact size and capacity of rooms available and there must be enough space to adequately support the tentative schedule of events. If meeting space is proposed at location other than hotel, include information on how people will get to the meeting location. If social events are included as part of the schedule, also include current cost information for those venues.
  • Potential sponsors that group would like to approach for support. Please note: No sponsors may actually be approached for support until after this initial Board Action Form is approved. 
  • Board Action Form should request that the Board approve the group’s intention to continue planning the meeting with the help of an ACRL-approved conference planner consultant and/or ACRL Staff, and submit a formal proposal at the next upcoming ALA Annual or Midwinter Meeting to officially approve the meeting.

If this initial Board Action item is approved, ACRL Staff will work with the group to hire a contracted Conference Planner consultant or provide the necessary staff support to submit the formal proposal 6 months later.
6 Months Later (minimum of 18 months out from proposed meeting dates): At the subsequent ALA Annual or Midwinter Meeting, group should submit a Board Action Form to officially approve the meeting. It should include the following:

  • Dates, location, and conference theme
  • Schedule of events including opening session, breakouts, social events and closing session
  • Names of Chair of the Conference, Fundraising/Finance Chair and Local Arrangements Chair, as well as any other committee members or program planners who may have agreed to work on the event
  • Budget reflecting actual (not estimated) costs using ACRL’s template that includes a detailed account of all conference income (registration, sponsorships, etc.) and expenses (facility rental, audiovisual, food and beverage, speaker fees, insurance, staff costs, overhead, etc). This budget should be developed with the help of ACRL Staff and/or a contracted Conference Planner. The budget should be shown in US dollars (with a positive net of at least $1,000 USD) and also converted to local currency of proposed city.
  • Official pledge letters on letterhead for any institutions that may have agreed to provide financial or other types of in-kind support (meeting space, food and beverage, etc.)
  • Fundraising Plan with specific dated benchmarks and including what companies will be targeted for further support
  • Planning Timeline with specific dated benchmarks developed with ACRL Staff and/or contracted Conference Planner
  • Marketing Plan with specific dated benchmarks for promotion of the conference in the United States as well as abroad
  • A proposal for how to handle translation of contracts for hotel (and other venues/vendors as may be applicable) as well as live translation at the event (if necessary). Please note; these costs must also be included in the budget.
  • A sample contract from the proposed hotel (current year’s contract terms and hotel rates over equivalent dates is fine if future rates are not yet available). If the Board approves this action item, the contract will be translated (if necessary) and reviewed by ALA’s lawyer.
  • Board Action Form should request that the ACRL Board officially approve this event.

If this Board Action Item is approved, the ACRL Board will expect that members of the conference planning committee will maintain regular, timely communication with the contracted Conference Planner and/or ACRL Staff as well as any assigned ACRL Board and Budget and Finance Committee Chairs. 

Every 6 Months until Meeting Dates: At every Annual and Midwinter meeting the Board will expect a formal status report. Status reports should include:

  • Current budget with additional column showing actual amount accrued and spent to date in U.S. Dollars and local currency (using current currency conversion)
  • Update on any adjustments that may need to be made to the budget based on how much the dollar will currently purchase
  • Update on sponsorships and Fundraising Plan with progress report on benchmarks to date
  • Updated Planning Timeline with progress report on benchmarks to date
  • Update on Marketing plan and promotion with progress reported on benchmarks to date
  • Registration report (once registration is open)
  • Housing report (once housing is open) including status as to any attrition or penalties that may come due of housing shortfall
  • Any further information as may be requested by the ACRL Board at previous Board meetings 

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