Preparing for a Conference: Being a Chair of a Section

Okay, I thought I knew what to expect going in to this, because I have been a reader for different panels before.

But this was a lot more work.

1. I had to receive all the proposals. (Those very early, just in time, and late.)

2. I had to decide whether to accept the late proposals.

3. I had to organize the proposals and papers, sending the no-name versions out to the other committee members and making sure they actually got them. (One set I sent out to one committee member about six times. I still don’t know why it didn’t go through most of the time.)

4. I had to decide if we had a yes-no-maybe vote whether to accept or reject them.

5. I had to decide if a proposal that MIGHT be interesting actually would be when the paper came in. (I still don’t know on some of those.)

6. I had to figure out how to organize all the accepted papers/proposals into three-person panels.

7. I had to determine who was going to chair which sessions when–and decide what to do when two people were asked to chair sessions. (One of the committee members was not able to attend. She arranged substitutes, but I had also done the same.)

8. I had to keep emailing the presenters reminding them that they needed to pay for the conference and their dues if they wanted to be on the program.

9. I had to go through and take out all the presenters who didn’t pay. (Not just mine, either, because I was the one making the brochure.)

10. I had to email folks who ended up being moved around due to no-shows in the program.

11. I had to email all the presenters and remind them that I needed their forms and papers in order to be considered for publication (not in proceedings, but in our journal).

12. I had to explain to folks that a powerpoint did not count as a paper for publication.

13. I had to decide whether to take the papers that I received late and send them on for publication.

14. I am fairly sure that we have awards. I have to decide who gets those–along with the other committee members. That will be really interesting, since I won’t be able to attend everyone’s presentations…

15. I need to send this list to next year’s chair, so she will know what to expect.

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