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 recruits and orients chairpersons for each concurrent session and pre-conference institute, informs them of their duties, ensures that 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 familiarizing chairpersons with the method by which session attendees will complete evaluations.
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 completed session evaluations.
The report is due to the President (Past Conference Chair) by the February Board meeting.
Term of office is three years and is renewable.
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 process, anticipated number of concurrent sessions, and number of presentations within each session).
If appropriate, 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 any preliminary items and format of session evaluation to President-Elect for review by Board.
Once evaluation content/format is approved, send to CRLA’s Mobile Event App Coordinator to design/make changes to the app as needed.
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 made available to session chair volunteers so 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 volunteer to chair 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 and contact information 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.
a. Note that traditional concurrent session chairs have a slightly different role than roundtable session chairs. You will need fewer chairs for roundtable session times.
b. Recruit 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:
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 to be briefed on their specific duties and the details of how session attendees will complete their evaluations. If they are unable to attend an orientation session, follow up with them individually to get them the information they will need.
Email the full list of session chair volunteers to Executive Director so session chair ribbons are placed in their registration packets.
At the Annual Conference:
Make sure that all important people with the Management Company as well as the President-Elect and on-site chair have your mobile phone number and can get in touch with you.
- 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 and plan to stay a few minutes late. 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 importance of completing session evaluations while attendees’ memories of them are fresh; the more information they can share about the session, the better. Be sure all volunteers have their Session Chair ribbons.
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.
Make sure that session chairs for pre-conference institutes collect tickets, so we can ensure that only registered, paid attendees are in the sessions.
- 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, 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; revised May 2018)