Becoming involved with the Annual Conference is a great way to learn more about the expertise of researchers and practitioners in our fields, network with colleagues, and further engage with the CRLA organization! The Conference Sessions Evaluator works collaboratively with the Conference Chair (President-Elect) to distribute evaluation forms and to ensure that there are session chairs for all of the concurrent sessions and institutes at the Annual Conference.
The Conference Sessions Evaluator finds chairpersons for each conference session and institute, informs them of their duties, makes certain each session at the conference is well-chaired, and after the conference thanks chairs for their service. In addition, the Conference Sessions Evaluator is responsible for providing and distributing the evaluation forms used at the conference for assessing each breakout session and institute.
The Conference Sessions Evaluator writes a conference sessions evaluation report after each annual conference. Included in this report is a tabulation and analysis of all returned session evaluation forms.
The report is due to the President (Past Conference Chair) by the February Board meeting.
The term of office is three years and may be renewed.
Maintain current membership in CRLA throughout term of appointment.
- Initiate preliminary consultation with President-Elect for revisions in session assessment process and format for the upcoming conference (changes to evaluation form, anticipated number of concurrent sessions, and number of presentations within each session).
- Contact the previous Conference Sessions Evaluator for his/her list of volunteers from the previous conference so you can begin building a list of contacts to email in the fall.
- Contact the Public Relations Director to submit an article in any of the late spring or summer NewsNotes e-blasts regarding the need for Session Chairs (this can be done in as many monthly e-blasts as deemed appropriate).
- Check with President-Elect to make certain that a Chairperson Orientation Session has been scheduled for early each day, starting with the Institute day, and possibly the evening before pre-conference Institutes.
By June 1st:
- Send preliminary items and format of Session Evaluation form to President-Elect for review by Board.
- Once format is approved, send format to CRLA’s Executive Director at the management company to order copies for upcoming conference.
- Session Evaluation forms are prepared in NCR duplicate form and are shrink-wrapped in packets of 40.
- Consult with the President-Elect about how many usable packets of session evaluation forms are needed for the upcoming conference. (Spacing)
- Calculate the number of registered attendees (as of September or the total number allowed by occupancy) multiplied by the number of concurrent session timeslots. For example, 600 attendees X 9 concurrent session timeslots = 5,400 evaluations. Do not forget to calculate the pre-conference institutes, when determining how many forms to order.
- If no changes are being made to the previous year’s evaluation form, check with the Executive Director at the management company before ordering to see how many are left from the previous conference.
- Ask the President-Elect to include in the Acceptance of Proposal email to Presenters a copy of or a link to the Invitation to Chair Sessions to all those who will be presenting at the conference, along with a note to remind them that all presenters are asked to volunteer as chairs.
- Contact the President-Elect to find out when the session schedule will be available. This will be sent to session chair volunteers to they can request specific sessions.
- Have the Executive Director post an “Invitation to be a Session Chair” on the conference website. Ask volunteers to email you to be added to the volunteer list. Let them know that they will be contacted as the conference gets closer, to sign up for specific sessions.
- Ask Executive Director to check “Session Chair” ribbons that will be included in the volunteers’ registration packets. If needed, have the Executive Director order more for the conference.
- Contact the Public Relations Director to submit an article for any of the summer and/or fall NewsNotes e-blasts regarding the need for Session Chairs.
- Request a copy of spreadsheet “Final Session List” from President-Elect or Executive Director at the management company.
- Contact via email the Session Chair volunteers from the previous conference to ask if they would like to chair sessions again.
- Once you receive responses from members that are willing to Chair, send an e-mail with a short letter thanking them for volunteering. Confirm that they will be contacted closer to the conference with specific session information. Ask them to mark dates on their calendars and make travel plans accordingly.
- Keep spreadsheet of volunteers so that you will know how many volunteers you have and who to contact once the session list is ready. This information can be used to develop a contact list for the following year and for sending them an email after the conference thanking them for their service.
- Once the Session List is ready, email all of your volunteers with the following: an overview of their role as Session Chair, instructions about how to complete the attached volunteer sign-up form and the complete session list so they can request specific sessions to chair.
- Note that traditional concurrent session chairs have a slightly different role than roundtable session chairs. You will need fewer chairs for roundtable session times.
- Have two or three collectors for the roundtables depending on how many discussions will be happening concurrently.
- Keep track of all of the requested sessions in your volunteer spreadsheet. You will likely have multiple volunteers for the same session. You will use this spreadsheet to assign chairs to sessions, see how many sessions still need a chair, etc.
- When assigning Session Chairs, pay attention to the specific sessions that people requested, as well as how many sessions they indicated they were willing to chair.
- Update the Instructions for Chairs with specific conference information from President-Elect and On-Site Chair, if any specific instructions are necessary.
- If you need more chairpersons, send e-mails to your CRLA friends, personal contacts, and current officers to ask them to volunteer. Ask President-Elect for e-mail addresses of all persons participating on the on-site committees. Ask them to volunteer and to forward the message to others who may be interested to volunteer. If all else fails, e-mail volunteers and ask them if they are willing to chair multiple sessions.
- Create for yourself an alphabetized, finalized spreadsheet of chairpersons, noting which sessions each person will be chairing.
Two weeks before conference:
- Once the Program information is ready (usually by mid-October), prepare mailing labels to affix to manila envelopes once you arrive at the conference hotel. Include on the label: chair’s name, session number, date and time of session, room location, title of presentation, presenter’s name(s). Get the program information from the President-Elect or Executive Director – it may be a PDF of the program.
- Create instructions labels to be placed on the back of the session envelopes.
- Create separate instruction labels for the roundtable sessions.
- Create informational table tents for roundtable tables so attendees know which number to put on the form and presenters know where to pick up their copy of the evaluations.
- Make extra labels and make sure to order extra envelopes.
Week before conference:
- E-mail all chair volunteers thanking them again for agreeing to chair. Let them know which session(s) they are chairing, and encourage them to view the session abstract in the program.
- Stress the importance of attending a chairperson orientation; even if they have chaired before, they need to attend and pick up their packets. If they are unable to attend an orientation session, ask them to let you know how they want to get the information they need.
- Email the full list of session chair volunteers to Executive Director so session chair ribbons are placed in their registration packets.
- Remind Executive Director to save a shipping box to be used for the Evaluations Return Box.
At the Annual Conference:
- Designate a packing box as the Return Box; place a sign on the box and put at Registration so Session Chairs know where to return their envelopes.
- Place session labels on the front of manila envelopes and place instruction labels on the back of the envelope.
- Put enough evaluation forms in each envelope (count should be equal to room occupancy).
- For roundtable sessions, you can put 10 evaluations in each roundtable envelopes or put 20 evaluations on each table before the roundtable sessions begin.
- Conduct the Chairpersons’ Orientations each morning. Arrive at orientation sessions early. As people enter, ask their name and find their packets for them. Go through the instruction sheet with the chairs, drawing their attention to any changes from previous years and giving them any last-minute updates. Be sure to emphasize the instructions on immediate (or very soon) return of packets after each session. Give each volunteer their Session Chair ribbon, if it was not placed in their registration folder.
- Let chairs know that you will try to come around to every room at the beginning of each session, to see if they need assistance or more evaluation forms.
- Make sure that session chairs for pre-conference institutes collect tickets, so we can ensure that only registered, paid attendees are in the sessions.
- Have the roundtable collectors announce to each table that attendees should leave evaluations on the tables and that presenters can pick up their copies after the last session of the day (and through the on-to brunch) at Registration.
- Roundtable collectors should go around to each table at the end of the session to collect all of the completed evaluations and put them in the provided envelope, and bring to Registration returns box.
- If you see that chairs have not picked up packets for that day’s first session, take the packet to the room and “draft” someone there to be the chair. If no one is available or willing, give the packet and instructions to the presenter.
- If you have unclaimed packets for sessions later in the day: Ask President-Elect to make an announcement at the morning general session, place a sign-up sheet at the volunteer table, and/or recruit other board members to help chair sessions. Alert any “extra” chairs to check the sign-up sheet for sessions they may be willing to chair. If they can chair a session, they should take the packet (located at registration desk with Management Company) and sign up by the session they are going to chair.
- Check returned packets for extra forms and any sessions that may not have given the presenter their evaluation copy. If a presenter did not get his evaluation copies, call their room and leave a message for them to pick up their evaluations at the front desk.
- At the end of every day, go through each session room to make sure that no evaluations have been left behind.
- Arrange for all session evaluation forms to be shipped back to you. Coordinate shipping with the Executive Director from the management company.
- Fill out a CRLA Reimbursement Form, obtainable from the Treasurer. All costs that you paid for personally and that were not already paid for by CRLA or your institution (i.e. shipping costs, manila envelopes, labels, etc.) should be listed on the form with all confirming receipts stapled to it. Note: Treasurer cannot reimburse expenses without receipts.
- After the conference, send letters/emails of thanks to each session chair volunteer.
- Write your report for the new President (previous President-Elect).
- Update job information in the Job Timeline you received, and include suggestions for improvements.
- Prepare the Conference Sessions Evaluation Report by tabulating and analyzing all returned Session Assessment Forms by breakout session.
- Prepare a summary report noting ranges of ratings, number of highly rated sessions, number of poorly rated sessions, etc.
- Prepare a detailed report of ratings by presentation and presenter name. (This report will be used by President-Elect to make decisions regarding presentation proposal and will not be distributed outside the Board.)
- Make suggestions regarding any changes in the session assessment process.
- Send reports to the President by early February for discussion by the Board at the February Board meeting. President will distribute to Board.
- Maintain a database of session chairs, organized by year they volunteer. Reach out to them when beginning to recruit session chairs.
- Ask the incoming President-Elect to include a notice about volunteering to chair a session in the upcoming Call for Proposals and on the new conference website.
- If this is the end of your term, copy your report to the new Conference Sessions Evaluator and send your electronic materials to this person when he or she is appointed. Volunteer to chair several sessions at the following conference, if possible.
- Attend annual conference (notify President-Elect as soon as possible if unable to attend).
- Send copies of appropriate correspondence to the President (former President-Elect) annually, including summary reports by January 1st.
- Submit a projected budget of expenses to the Treasurer prior to December 15th annually.
- Maintain current membership in CRLA throughout term of office.
- Work with the Board one year before end of term to identify and mentor a successor.
- Contact Board to suggest minor changes to this job description during term and update this job description at end of term. Submit substantive changes to job description to President for review by the Board.
Reimbursement for non-board members (updated May 2015)
The CRLA Executive Board establishes a travel funding policy for CRLA leaders who are not members of the Board but may be required to perform some of their responsibilities at the annual CRLA conference. Funding requests will be funded by the Board up to $1200 depending on the total award amount available each year. The Leader Travel Request Form should be submitted in writing to the President of CRLA by June 15 to be considered for that year’s conference. Proposals will be evaluated by the Board on the basis of benefit to the Association and the members of CRLA, the extent to which they demonstrate CRLA’s Mission and Guiding Principles, and on a “funds available” basis. Proposals should include an explanation of the reasons for the request, the purpose of travel, benefits to CRLA, and an itemized list of expenses. For additional information, please see the “Travel Funding Policy for Committee Chairs, Coordinators, and Other Leaders” and Leader Travel Request Form available on the CRLA website at Leadership/Leader Forms/ Committee Chairs and Coordinators.
Accepting this position allows CRLA to publish name, work address, and work telephone number.
(Revised August 2005; November 2008; Combined Conference Evaluations Chair and Conference Chairs Coordinator positions in 2012; Position renamed and job description revised 2015)