Do You Have What it Takes to Host a Regional Conference?

Hosting a PRSSA Regional Conference can seem like a daunting task; however, with time, organization and dedicated members, a Chapter of any size – new or old – can have the capability to submit a bid.

Fresno State PRSSA members and regional conference volunteers Sarina Hernandez, Yocelin Gallardo and Juana Piceno registering attendees as they arrive for the event's welcome dinner.  Image courtesy of Reginae Smith-Love
Fresno State PRSSA members and 2013 “The Heartbeat of PR” Regional Conference volunteers Sarina Hernandez, Yocelin Gallardo and Juana Piceno register attendees as they arrive for the event’s welcome dinner.
Image courtesy of Reganie Smith-Love.

By using your Chapter members’ talents and skills to plan a Regional Conference, your Chapter has the chance to network on a more intimate level with professionals and other PRSSA members from around the region.

With a little less than two months left until bid applications are due, here are some tips on how to put together a great Regional Conference bid.

Brainstorm Together

Find your core group of leaders right away and set up times to meet over the summer to brainstorm ideas. You will need to discuss a theme, possible speakers and topics, sponsorship possibilities, how you will promote the Conference to members and more. The best way to make sure you hit everything is to use the questions asked on the bid form as a template. Do not forget to include your Faculty and/or Professional Adviser(s) in the planning process!

Be Organized, Clear and Concise

Make sure you review the entire bid form and understand the different pieces of the puzzle. You will need to be able to clearly demonstrate your ideas on the bid form prior to the interview conference call with the vice president of Regional Conferences. The more organized your form is, the more time you will be able to spend going into detail during the call.

Use the Regional Conference Handbook

If you need to read some supporting material, the Regional Conference Handbook is a great resource (the 2012 edition of the handbook is currently available; look for the 2013 edition to be posted on the PRSSA website in August). You will find an example timeline, a variety of program ideas and even a basic timeline of when your committee should complete tasks as your Regional Conference nears. The handbook provides plenty of tips from budgeting to speaker outreach.

If you have additional questions, contact vice president of Regional Conferences Erica N. Brown.

Has your Chapter ever hosted a Regional Conference? Share your planning tips in the comments below.

This is a guest post by PRSSA vice president of Regional Conferences Erica N. Brown. Follow her on Twitter @hi_ericabrown.

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