The Director's Desk

 

GWTA Education Program Ė Planning the Event 

All right!  Youíve decided you want to put on an educational seminar in your area!   Now the decision's been made, hereís what you need to do. 

         Select a date thatís compatible for the majority of those you want to attend.  The date should be far enough in advance to allow you time to publicize the event and the people to plan their schedules to attend. 

         Avoid booking a seminar in the heavy riding months or on dates with conflicting events. 

         Select a location that can be reached within a reasonable driving distance of your members. 

         Secure a meeting room of adequate size.  Request the room be set up in classroom style or U shape with a podium/mike at the front.   Facility costs are borne by the hostís treasury. 

         Secure an overhead projector, VCR or whatever equipment needs are required.  The cost is borne by the hostís treasury. 

         Ensure water service will be available for the seminar.   Negotiate with the facility for whatever food services your budget allows. 

         Negotiate with a hotel for a group rate on rooms.   Some hotels will give you free meeting space if your event books 25 or more hotel rooms. 

         When possible, include a no-host dinner for the first night of the seminar.  This works out best if it can be accomplished at the seminar site rather than traveling to another facility. 

         Prepare a registration form and include the dinner information on it.  There is no cost for the seminar, however you can request a non-refundable payment of the dinner fee so you can coordinate with the facility and also have an accurate count for the manuals and materials you have to provide.  Include a realistic deadline for registration. 

         Reproduce the registration form and distribute where you will receive the most exposure to members.  Example:  Send to state directors and chapter directors and request they publicize it in their newsletters. 

         Reproduce the Education Program manual in the quantity youíll need.  Put the pages in three ring binders.   One binder will be shared by a couple; each single gets his own binder.  This cost is borne by the hostís treasury. 

         Ensure the education program lapel pins and certificates from the national education and retention director will be available at the seminar. 

         Whenever possible, provide paid hotel accommodations for a GWTA national staff representative also.

         Obtain the assistance of up to ten other GWTA members (regional officers, state officers, former GWTA officers, current officers and members) who are willing to present a five minute presentation on a portion of the manual.   The outlines for the presentations are in the manual and they assist by presenting it in their own words.   Send the volunteers copies of the outlines you wish them to speak on. 

         Prior to the event date, follow up with the facility, hotel, and dining arrangements to ensure everything is in order. 

         Prepare an attendance roster from the registration forms.  Use it to check people in and distribute the manuals, etc. 

         Prepare a seminar agenda and include the names of the presenters with the topics they will present. 

         On the day of the seminar, arrive at the facility several hours in advance to check the arrangements and set up. 

         Greet people as they arrive and thank them for coming. 

         Start the seminar on time! 

         Do introductions as required.  Give a general overview of how the seminar will be conducted.  Specify a certain time for questions. 

         Keep the seminar times and topics on track. 

         At the end of the first day remind people about the dining arrangements and times. 

         Begin day two of the seminar on time and keep it running smoothly.  Keep the afternoon session on time so people arenít held too late. 

         Distribute the pins and completion certificates prior to the end of the day. 

         Have a question and answer period at the end of the day. 

         At the end of the session, thank everyone for taking time to attend.  Encourage them to hold similar sessions or encourage others to attend when they have an opportunity.  Wish them a safe trip home. 

         Thank the volunteers who helped you throughout the two days. 

         Collect the survey sheets (a copy is in each manual).  Review them with the national representative after everyone has gone. 

         Pack up the remaining materials and relax.  Give yourself a pat on the back. 

         Congratulations! 

 

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