The Final Days Before the Forum

This is intended to be a check-off of things to do and oversee within one or two days of the Forum. It is a guide to assist the Local Arrangements Subcommittee if the Forum is being organized without the assistance of an office of events and conferences.

Lodging

Call the hotel and determine that the rooms for the recruiters, Planning Committee, California Pre-Doctoral Program students, and other guests are ready. (All guests are responsible for their own bills; the Forum does not pay directly for any accommodations except for the Keynote Speaker; the Forum may decide to reimburse hotel expenses for students who arrive the night before from far-away campuses.)

Finalize the hotel arrangements for the Friday evening Pre-Doctoral Program Reception:

  • Food is being prepared according to the planned menu.
  • Separate table areas in the room will be devoted to distribution of the food.
  • A separate area for wine will be set-up. The Planning Committee should determine to what extent this is a no-host bar.
  • A separate area for soft drinks and water will be set-up.
  • Confirm how the hotel will send the invoice for this event and how the Forum will pay it.

Transportation to campus from the hotel is scheduled for Saturday morning at half-hour intervals. Guests will be able to register for a seat on the shuttle at check-in/front desk. (This is to be verified only if the host hotel provides a shuttle service.)

If the Local Arrangements Subcommittee is using a different hotel for the "long-distance" students, call and verify that they are ready to receive the guests. Also confirm how the hotel will send the invoice and how the Forum will pay it.

Confirm that a traditional breakfast (not continental) is available at the hotel. Determine what time the restaurant is open. If no facility exists, ask the hotel for recommendations of places in the vicinity. If there is a restaurant, determine what hours it is open for dinner. Those attending the reception may want to have dinner after the event. Again, if there is no restaurant on the premises, find out what may be available for dinner within walking distance or a short drive. Prepare a one-page list of choices for distribution at the hotel's check-in/front desk and at the reception.

Transportation and Parking

Contact campus security or the campus office responsible for parking to be sure that the information kiosks have:

  • A copy of the event Program;
  • Directions to the plenary session and the buildings where the workshops will be held;
  • Directions to the parking lots for (a) buses, (b) students who provide their own transportation, (c) Planning Committee, workshop leaders, recruiters, and other guests;
  • Directions to the location where the recruiters can drop off materials and the room or area where they will be seated;
  • Directions to the hospitality suite for the workshop leaders, recruiters, and other guests;
  • Guide to Graduate Institutions represented at the Forum.

Contact the campus office that will assist disabled individuals with shuttle services to determine if they need additional information. Be sure this office has a copy of the Program and that each person assigned to drive a shuttle cart also has a copy of the Program. If the registration area is not adjacent to the location of the plenary session, a shuttle should be on hand in case individuals need assistance to get to the plenary session.

Be sure that student workers who will be at the various parking lots are aware of the significance of their responsibilities. They are the official greeters of the host campus. These workers will be the first individuals that buses and other attendees will meet. Give them another copy of their duties. Be sure to remind them that no one should leave the post unless there is another person on duty. People come and go throughout the day; someone needs to be there at all times - from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It is suggested that the student workers bring a book to read and CD player to listen to during the "down time."

Review the drop-off area for the buses. Are there adequate signs to guide the bus drivers through the campus to this location? Are there adequate signs to guide the drivers to a location where they will park the buses for the day? Will it be clear to the drivers where they should go to pick-up the students at the end of the event?

Review the drop-off area for the recruiters. Are there adequate signs to guide the recruiters to: (1) where they can leave their materials; (2) where they can park their cars; (3) where they will be located for the day; (4) how to return to the parking lot at the end of the event?

Review the campus map and determine if there are adequate signs for the workshop panelists: (1) to show them where to park; (2) to find the path from the parking area to the registration table; (3) to show the path from the registration table to the hospitality suite and workshop venues; (4) show the path from the workshop area back to the parking lot?

Logistics - Final Preparations

Student Registration

Be sure that:

6 to 8 tables for student registration are on hand in the immediate area for a quick set-up on the morning of the Forum. There are chairs for the workers who will distribute the packets.

The student packets are stored in a room(s) close to the registration area for ease in setting up on the morning of the Forum.

There is sufficient student help to move the boxes of student packets from the locked area to the registration area.

There is sufficient student/staff help (a dozen people may not be enough for the big rush!) to distribute the registration packets to over 1,000 students.

There is adequate signage to lead the students from this area to the plenary session.

There are signs indicating where the nearest rest rooms are (as many students will have been on buses for hours).

If it is raining, there is a contingency plan for distribution of the registration packets. There is adequate signage to direct the students to this location. There is adequate signage to direct the students from this location to the plenary session.

Recruiter and Workshop Leader Registration

The 2 to 4 tables for recruiter and workshop leader registration are in the immediate area for a quick set-up on the morning of the Forum. There are chairs for the workers who will distribute the packets.

The recruiter and workshop leader packets and nametags are stored in a room close to this registration area for ease in setting up on the morning of the Forum.

There is sufficient student help to move the boxes of recruiter/workshop leader packets and nametags from the locked area to the registration area?

There is sufficient student/staff help to distribute the registration packets throughout the day.

There is adequate signage to lead the recruiters from the registration area to the tables where they will be located.

There is adequate signage to lead the workshop leaders to the buildings and rooms where they will make their presentations.

If it is raining, there is a contingency plan for distribution of the registration packets. There is adequate signage to direct the recruiters and workshop leaders to this location. There is adequate signage to direct them from this location to the place they need to go.

Be sure to have extra plastic name badges and blank Forum name cards available at the recruiter/workshop leader registration table.

Plenary Session

The lectern or podium is in place.

Check the amplification to be sure it is functioning.

There are flowers and/or balloons on the stage/platform to create a welcoming atmosphere.

There are sufficient chairs on the stage/platform for the plenary session presenters (often this will include the President/Chancellor of the University, Keynote Speaker, representative of the Local Arrangements Subcommittee (the person who gives the logistical information for the day), the chair of the Planning Committee, and/or one or two members of the Program Subcommittee).

The platform party seating is on either side of the podium so that no one sits directly behind the speakers.

The Program Committee representative who introduces the Keynote Speaker will also shepherd the questions and answers period or, if there is not sufficient time, he/she will dismiss the students to the first workshop sessions.

The facilities crew has set up the chairs for 1,200 students and guests of the Forum.

There is staff (8 to 10 people depending on the size of this venue) to direct the students to fill up the front of the room, row by row, first so that late comers can be seated later with minimum disturbance There are signs to assist the staff.

Tables are set up outside the plenary facility to distribute a light breakfast to the students as they arrive. (See also the section on food. This may be moot if the Planning Committee did not authorize the distribution of a continental breakfast.)

Workshops

There are adequate and frequent signs and balloons leading students from the plenary to the buildings where the workshops will be held.

There are adequate and frequent signs and balloons leading workshop leaders from their registration table to the buildings where the workshops will be held.

There are bold directional signs at each entrance to the buildings being used.

There are bold identifying signs outside of each classroom. Signs provided by the Program Subcommittee, listing that room's workshop participants, are posted on or near each room entrance.

There signs leading to the rest rooms in each building.

The audio-visual or Power Point equipment is ready for delivery to the appropriate classroom(s) on the day of the event.

There are at least 4 chairs at the front of each room (preferably at a table) for the moderator and panelists.

There is a lectern or podium at the front of the room.

Arrangements have been made to have bottles of water delivered by 9:00 a.m. on the day of the event. The delivery team has been asked to open the carton or shrink wrapped package and placed the water bottles on the table at the front of the classroom.

The students who will collect the evaluations have had a tour of each classroom where they have been assigned to work. They are familiar with the entrances/exits to the classroom.

Food - Students

Check with food services to be sure the continental breakfast for the students is being prepared: coffee, hot water, tea, juice, mini bagels, cream cheese and jams, and sweet rolls. (The Planning Committee has not always provided this snack. It has been done when the host campus is a long distance from most universities and colleges attending the Forum - UCSC and CSU San Bernardino but not at USF or CSU Long Beach.)

Check the location where the student's continental breakfast is to be set up. There are enough tables for the food and beverages. The tables are spread far enough apart to accommodate the rush of students,

Staff (2 for each table) has been assigned to guide the students and encourage them to leave "some for others."

There is a rain contingency plan if the student continental breakfast is being distributed outside.

Food services is preparing the boxed student lunches.

Food services can/cannot increase the number of lunches on short notice on Saturday morning.

If a debit card is being used, staff will help be distributed it to the students. Instructions on how to use it will be included in the student packets.

There is information in the student registration packet to tell them where to find lunch.

There is information in the student registration packet to tell them where to eat lunch.

Food - Recruiters, Workshop Leaders, and Planning Committee

Check with food services to be sure the continental breakfast is being prepared for the hospitality suite (recruiters, workshop leaders, and Planning Committee): coffee, including decaf, hot water, tea bags, juice, cold bottled water, sweet rolls, muffins, mini bagels, butter, cream cheese, and honey/jam.

Check with food services to be sure they will change from the breakfast mode to afternoon refreshments around noon or 1:00 p.m.: coffee, including decaf, hot water, tea bags, cold bottled water, cold sodas (regular and diet), and 2 or 3 kinds of bakery cookies.

There is staff assigned to work all day in the hospitality suite. There is a telephone and campus directory in the hospitality suite that can be used to reach food services in case there is a need to replenish any of the items.

The buffet or boxed lunches are being prepared by food services for the recruiters, workshop leaders and Planning Committee.

Confirm with food services that they are preparing the menu the Local Arrangements Subcommittee previously selected. It should be different from (i.e. more "upscale") that being prepared for the students.

The food will be set up at a convenient location for the recruiters.

Instructions about the location of the food have been included in the registration materials of the recruiters and workshop leaders.

If a debit card is being used, the recruiters and workshop leaders have been give written information about the options and how the card works.

Staffing the Event

Students have been recruited to work the event from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., with noon to 1:00 p.m. designated as the lunch hour.

Students have been recruited to work the event from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with 11:00 to 12:00 designated as the lunch hour.

Students, with hand trucks, are needed to move the student registrations packets from the locked room to the distribution area (between 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.)

Students need to be deployed to three kiosks or parking areas, two to each. This assumes that there are separate entrances to the campus and/or parking areas.

Students, with hand trucks, are needed to move the recruiter and workshop panelist packets from the locked room to the distribution area (8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.)

Staff or students should be assigned to the Information Table (9:00 a.m. to noon).

Students should be assigned to classrooms where workshops are being held (One student is needed to every entrance/exit door of each classroom to collect the evaluation forms at the end of the session.)

Staff and/or students are needed to help with the distribution of student packets (7:15 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.).

Students should be assigned to key areas of congestion on the campus to help answer questions and give directions.

Staff and/or students should be assigned to the continental breakfast tables adjacent to the plenary session (7:15 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.)

Students should be given an orientation session the week of the event. It is important that they understand their roles and where they should be throughout the day. Students are given a job description that includes the hours and location where they are assigned. Students are given a walking tour so they will know where they are expected to be at any given time during their scheduled work period.

The day before the Forum, the students are expected to attend a brief meeting to once again review what is expected. The Chair of the Evaluations Subcommittee will meet with the students who are assigned to workshops to collect evaluation forms.

Preparing the Registration Packets - The Day Before

It typically takes 20 people about six hours to organize and stuff the packets.

Student Packets

Each student packet includes the following:

  • Program
  • Guide to Graduate Institutions represented at the Forum
  • Instruction Sheet for Registration and Evaluation Forms
  • Registration Form (lunch ticket)
  • Five Workshop Evaluation Forms
  • Overall Evaluation Form (end of the day)
  • Continue the Journey
  • A Student's Guide to Graduate Study in the California State University Brochure from the Independent Colleges and Universities
  • Sharpened #2 pencil
  • Plastic campus bookstore bag
  • CD ROM if one is made available

Recruiter Packets

  • Program
  • Guide to Graduate Institutions represented at the Forum
  • Map of the relevant and immediate area of the campus
  • Location of the Hospitality Suite
  • Instructions for and location of lunch
  • Lunch ticket/debit card
  • Evaluation Form
  • Announcement of the date of and Reservation Form for next Forum; [note that this will become more complicated as we move to two a year, since we want the recruiters to come to both.]
  • CD ROM if one is made available

Workshop Panelist Packets

  • Program
  • Guide to Graduate Institutions represented at the Forum
  • Map of the relevant and immediate area of the campus
  • Location of the Hospitality Suite
  • Instructions for and location of lunch
  • Announcement of the date and location of next year's Forum
  • Lunch ticket/debit card

Staffing the Information Table, the Hospitality Suite, Student Registration Table, and the Recruiter and Workshop Panelist Registration Table, and the identified area or areas where the overall Evaluation Forms are collected and Cracking the GRE is distributed

If the Information Table, the Student Registration Table, and the Recruiter and Workshop Panelist Registration Table are outside, each must have umbrellas or a canopy to protect the workers.

Each venue must be equipped with:

  • Program
  • Guide to Graduate Institutions represented at the Forum
  • Map of the relevant and immediate area of the campus
  • Directions to the parking areas
  • Location of nearest rest rooms
  • Blank plastic badges and blank Forum name cards available at the Hospitality Suite and at the Recruiter and Workshop Panelist Registration Table
  • Campus telephone directory
  • Instructions on what to do if there is an emergency
  • Walkie-talkie radios to communicate with campus personnel and Local Arrangements Subcommittee