I was lucky enough to be chosen to coordinate Mid-America Region’s Spring Regional Convention this year. I’d served as an Administrative Assistant for previous conventions, typically overseeing registration and promotional committees, but I’d always wanted to coordinate a convention for my region. Before I applied, I talked to a few of my friends who had held this position before and they all pretty much said the same thing, it was a ton of fun, but there are a million little things you would never think of doing until you were coordinating. Honestly, I didn’t really believe them. That was, until I began coordinating a convention of my own.
There are a few obvious things you need to take care of when planning a convention. You need to have excellent programming for every day of convention. If you’re going to write a program, you need a detailed outline that will provide a solid structure to ensure that your steering team and participants are set up for success. Of course, you’ll need materials, you may need to print out scripts or get some art supplies for an interactive activity. But there are even more intricate pieces. Do you need a microphone? If so, what kind of microphone do you need? Is a guest speaker coming, and have they seen the outline? What size room will you need? Every tiny aspect of a program must be thought out for the day to be as smooth as possible, but to a member simply attending, it might not seem as complex as it truly is.
Every member from every chapter in every city needs to get to convention somehow. Most of the time, they arrive by bus. It may seem easy to just call up a company, ask for a bus to show up and then they will. I assure you, that is not the case. There are way more factors than I would ever consider when planning out transportation. Everyone needs a seat on the bus, but if you are brining shirts, materials, food, etc., then that needs a “seat” on the bus, as well. The bus company needs to know how many buses, how many people, when to show up, where to show up and where they are going. Every detail matters.
If chapters are selling items at Shuk, they need to report what they are selling and how much they are selling it for. Hotel accommodations need to be made. Everyone must have a meal, and if there are allergies or restrictions, those must be taken into consideration. Everyone needs to be placed into a room, preferably on the same few floors and security may need to be hired.
Countless hours have been dedicated to this convention and it’s still two weeks away. My friends were right -- there have been so many minuscule things to think about. But from every late-night Zoom call to last-minute program edits, I’ve loved every single minute of it.
Ethan Fine is an Aleph from Mid-America Region: St. Louis Council in Esperanto AZA #2486. He is incredibly excited to share his love for both BBYO and journalism.More Stories
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