Program Planning Guidelines

Successful programs sponsored by the Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers (CLAG) are planned carefully. Such planning involves extensive communication among Board members and with the general membership. Program committee members and related personnel are encouraged to follow this guide as they prepare for the next convention. See the CLAG Committees section of the CLAG Board Handbook for further details.

Program Personnel:

  1. Local Arrangements Co-Chair. The Local Arrangements Co-Chair is a member of the Board of Directors or a person designated by the Chair of the Board to be responsible for on-site arrangements and facilities, including rooms for sessions, planning meal events, ordering audio-visual equipment, organizing local transportation, hosting special guests, planning field study tours, and handling local publicity. This person is also responsible for opening and maintaining a bank account to receive registration fees and for paying convention costs, in consultation with the Presentations Co-Chair.
  2. Presentations Co-Chair. The Presentations Co-Chair is a member of the Board of Directors or a person designated by the Chair of the Board to be responsible for soliciting, processing, and scheduling presentations at the meeting, acknowledging paper abstracts, arranging special speakers and/or major presentations, organizing regular paper and poster sessions, handling national/international publicity, and conducting meeting evaluation.
  3. The Local Arrangements and Presentations Co-Chairs may designate other persons to conduct some of the foregoing activities if the Board is advised of these appointments. Ideally, the Board should be consulted in advance of the appointments.
  4. The Executive Director commonly is the point of contact between program planners and the Board. All program planning personnel are expected to communicate regularly (at least monthly) with the Executive Director to report their progress in planning the meeting and to submit required materials.
  5. The Publications Officer will publish general information, pre-registration forms, and related program materials in the CLAG Communication and other designated publications as directed by the Board.
  6. All Board members will assist in publicity for the meeting in their local areas and encourage members and friends to attend the meeting.

Model Calendar for Convention Planning:

  1. Twelve to ten months before the meeting:
    • Board of Directors receives, evaluates, and chooses site and theme for the next meeting.
    • Convention hotel and caterers are booked; meeting room and meal arrangements are made.
    • Local checking account is opened to receive registration fees and plans made for regular deposits of money.
    • Special speakers are invited and arrangements made for their hospitality.
    • Preliminary announcement and call for papers are published in the CLAG Newsleter, on the CLAG webpage, and other designated media.
  2. Ten to eight months before the meeting:
    • Meeting announcement and call for papers continue to be published in the CLAG Newsletter and other designated media.
    • Receive and acknowledge paper and poster session abstracts and pre-registration materials.
    • Respond to requests for information concerning the program.
    • Arrange for audio/visual recording of sessions (if appropriate).
    • Arrange field study tours and solicit tour leaders.
  3. Eight to six months before the meeting:
    • Meeting announcements and calls for papers continue to be published in the CLAG Newsletter and other designated media.
    • Paper and poster session abstracts and pre-registration materials continue to be acknowledged.
    • Requests for information concerning the program continue to be serviced.
    • Local arrangements are re-confirmed with on-site providers.
  4. Six to four months before the meeting:
    • Meeting announcements and calls for papers continue to be published in the CLAG Newsletter and other designated media.
    • Paper and poster session abstracts and pre-registration materials continue to be acknowledged.
    • Requests for information concerning the program continue to be serviced
    • Additional publicity concerning the meeting is distributed to organization members and others.
  5. Four to two months before the meeting:
    • Meeting announcements and calls for papers continue to be published in the CLAG Newsletter, on the CLAG webpage and other designated media.
    • Paper and poster session abstracts and pre-registration materials continue to be acknowledged.
    • Requests for information concerning the program continue to be serviced.
    • Additional publicity concerning the meeting is distributed to organization members and others.
    • Appoint and notify paper and poster session chairs.
  6. Two to zero months before the meeting:
    • Meeting announcements and calls for papers continue to be published in the CLAG Newsletter, webpage and other designated media.
    • Paper and poster session abstracts and pre-registration materials continue to be acknowledged.
    • Requests for information concerning the program continue to be serviced.
    • Additional publicity concerning the meeting is distributed to organization members and others.
    • Prepare program copy and send to the printer.
    • Design and print or acquire tickets, receipts, name tags, and the like.
    • Prepare registration packets for participants (packets contain paper abstracts folder, registration receipts, name tag, evaluation form, and other like materials).
    • Develop on-site registration procedures and arrange for registration desk personnel.
    • Submit publicity to local news media.
  7. At the meeting:
    • Coordinate on-site registration.
    • Ensure that paper and poster sessions, meals, field study tours, special hospitality, and other meeting events proceed as planned.
  8. Zero to two months after the meeting:
    • Send "thank you" letters to program personnel, presenters, and special guests.
    • Pay all convention expenses, complete all financial transactions, and send final financial statement to the CLAG Treasurer.
    • Review evaluation information and submit to the Board any suggestions for organizing the next meeting.