A Chairpersons Event Handbook

Jun 23, 2017

If you are organising an event, you must organise yourself first, especially, when you are the chairperson at the centre and on the stage of an event like a chief of a philharmonic orchestra, otherwise, everything may turn into a chaos easily. Keep in mind that, when you push the start button of an event, you can hardly change things. So, you must plan things well before the event and have a check list to keep track with your plans. Off course, there are many people, responsible for different aspects of an event organisation, but they also need a compass to find the right direction sometimes; that's to say a leader and a chairperson in event business for sure.

But who will guide the chairperson and how will he find his way?

Definitely, there are so many steps to follow and so many action items to be done for chairing an event as a chairperson. Even though chairpersons are selected from senior experienced members, they still need a check list to be sure if they are doing fine. So, an experienced chairperson should always keep his "Chairperson's Event Handbook" in his pocket and make a check sign for each item when it was completed, so that, he keeps track of ongoing preparations easily and takes necessary precautions before the storm comes.

Here is a sample Handbook for Chairpersons; off course the details may vary according to the event you are supposed to organise . But the main structor and the philosophy behind the scene is usually same and you may personalise given list below according to your needs as well.


Three years before the event.

  1. Contact event board and prepare BIDs
  2. Set up local organising committee
  3. Contact event organisation agency if their services are going to be used
  4. Reserve event venue and hotel rooms.
  1. First meeting of LOC:

Establish time plan for LOC meetings;

    1. Establish dates for monthly meetings with event organisation agency, if their services will be used.
    2. Establish date for draft list of plenary & invited speakers; establish dates for selection of abstracts.

One year before the event


Prepare mailing list for announcement of the event to potential participants. Immediately after this meeting: mail out invitations to IAC and PC members specifying tasks and timing of tasks.

  • Invite plenary and invited speakers.
  • Decide upon following item in the first meeting of committee:

& Distribution of operation team and committee duties,

& Setting up of communication channels,

& Preparing draft program at a glance,& Choosing congress destination & venue,

& Information about congress general description of registration and destination,

& Registering web domain and create congress web site,

& Prepare fundamental information about congress,

& Establishing and organising committees,

& Choosing invited speakers,


– Selecting person(s) responsible for sponsoring and for exhibition,

– Establishing list of possible exhibitors,– Preparing brochure for exhibitors,

– Mailing of brochure to possible exhibitors,

– Establishing list of possible other sponsors (local authorities, national science foundation, national physical/chemical societies, academy…),

– Gathering potential participants database

– Collecting sponsorship database


– Determining important dates for participants

– Setting up of registration fee and conditions

– Preparing and anouncing a wellcome letter

– Editing event management software records and additional datas

– Constructing event management software system of hotel, transfer, tour, reservation etc.

– Opening registration system of congress– Sending call for paper script

– Preparing detailed program at a glance

Nine Months Before The Event.


– Announcement of event by mail

– Opening abstract submissions on website

– Opening registration on Website.

– Announcing 2 weeks extension of abstract submission deadline to all potential participants.

– Fixing all of the programs and prices ( technical, excursion, pre & post)

– Deciding on prices of social activities, transfers, courses etc.

Eight Months Before The Event.


– Contacting exhibitors, distribute brochure for the exhibition at your event, negotiate their participation and possible sponsoring activities.

– Mailing to possible sponsors (local authorities, national science foundation, national physical/chemical societies, academies etc.)

– Ouitlining of congress stand area– Writting sponsorhip invitations

– Deciding strategy of sponsorship– Concluding sponsorship packages and prices

– Designing of sponsorship file

– Preparing plan of master marketing

– Executing master marketing plan

– Choosing trade fairs and conferences

– Spesifying promotion and printed materials and applications

– Running sponsorship negotiations Four Months Before The Event.


– Opening online travel services

– Managing of registrations and scientific submissions

– Announcing invited speakers and their informations.

– Making registrations, reservations of travel and accommodations for organising committee and invited speakers.

Two Months Before The Event.


– Writing personal emails to all group leaders you know who have not sent someone to the CONGRESS yet and remind them that a contribution from their group should not be missing.

– Reminding for deadline of submissions

– Reminding for deadline of early registrations

– Replying participants mailings and requests 45 Days Before The Event


– Choosing the peer-reviewers

– Setting up scientific evaluation system

– Assigning and sending submissions to peer-reviewers

– Finishing the evaluation process

– Replying for submission results to participants

– Reminding deadline for submission authors

– Including all accepted and paid submissions to the scientific programme

– Making request from invited speakers for scientific works

– Constructing scientific programme

30 Days Before The Event


– Making of the content for the book of the congress

– Setting the content of the participant kit

– Taking of the agreement of the design

– Switching to printing and publishing process


– Following the options for tours, accommodation etc…

– Promoting sales of accommodation, tours etc...

– Making of the reminder for the participant payment

– Making of the reservations in accordance with approvals or cancellations

– Specifying content of social program

– If there are assisting students who will work during the conference, notify them the details.

– Determine technical equipement and decor applications

– Conclude the transport and logistic procedure

– Determine supply and quality of service

– Determine the number of confirmed supplier

– Prepare an operation file

– Configure the tasks

– Control preparations

– Finalize registration lists

– Make preparations for mass participation

– Make last preparations for the accomodation

– Make last preparations for the tour and transfer lists

During The Conference


– Pass to the operation

– To make a meeting about the center of the congress, the comitee, and the operation staff

– Beginning of the operation

– Daily rating and reconciliation

– At the end of the operation pack up

– Making the payments and the reconciliation

– Billing After the Conference


– Completing web operations

– Projecting reports (Income and expense, participants)

– Signature of the reconciliation and the performance contracts

– Receiving of the reference letter

About the Author

Feryal ARBER

Posted by Feryal ARBER

Happily married to a father of two geniuses, which make me a genius too. Have been enjoying all the advantages of being a working mom - obviously. My two geniuses need to share their mom with my other children at work! My motto is: TAKE IT EASY