AIUG Conference Guidelines

Background

The Australasian Innovative Users’ Group (AIUG) has an annual general meeting and two day conference, every spring. The location of the conference is determined at the group’s annual general meeting, several years in advance.

The conference facilitates the exchange of information between users of Innovative systems, and Innovative Interfaces Inc (III) staff. The success of the conference is dependent upon the continued participation and support of AIUG members and Innovative Interfaces.

Innovative staff take this opportunity to showcase developments within the company and demonstrate new features and releases of the software.

Expectations & Objectives

The role of the host agency is to plan and investigate options for the conference on behalf of the AIUG, specifically:

  • Coordinate the pre-conference meeting of site coordinators and BONUS+ sites
  • Organise physical conference facilities to accommodate keynote and breakout sessions, workshops etc.
  • Organise catering
  • Provide suggested accommodation options for delegates and maps and things to do in the area
  • Organise an evening reception
  • Arrange IT and other support to delegates and presenters at the conference
  • Registration arrangements, both prior to the conference and as delegates arrive to register, including information packs
  • Set up and staffing of Registration desk over period of conference
  • Coordinate the conference program in conjunction with the AIUG Chair and Secretary

There is no requirement to arrange travel or accommodation for guests or delegates.

What you need to know

Dates

  1. The conference is usually held in the third week in November.
  2. The actual dates are to be confirmed by the AIUG Chair with Innovative early in the year.

Costs

  1. The costs and project plan are to be approved by the AIUG committee. A budget estimate should be provided to the AIUG Chair prior to purchase of any goods and services associated with the conference (e.g., catering, room hire etc), as well as the evening reception.
  2. The host site is also responsible for sourcing and purchasing items for speaker gifts (if any).
  3. General cost estimates can be provided by the Chair

Facilities required

  1. Bookings for rooms should be made as soon as conference dates are confirmed in order to ensure that appropriate venues are available.
  2. It is the responsibility of the AIUG to bear the costs associated with the conference. On occasion the Group may receive financial support or free use of venues etc from the host institution.
  3. Rooms need to be booked for large presentations, as well as smaller groups sessions, and concurrent presentations.
  4. If venues are to be spread across different locations (i.e., separate campuses) transport and associated costs need to be taken into consideration.
  5. The host needs to ensure all conference and meeting requirements are catered for – e.g. webinar facilities, internet access, whiteboards, microphones, baggage check and storage facilities etc.
  6. Presenters should be consulted in advance to ensure that any specific needs are taken into consideration.
  7. Access to email, printing and internet facilities for delegates should be provided, at least during breaks and before and after the conference.

Catering

  1. Past experience shows that it is better to pay close attention to catering. Service and provision of food and drinks gets the most response on AIUG conference feedback forms.
  2. Delegates should be asked when they register whether they have any special dietary requirements, however, hosts should ensure that there are a variety of options available (i.e., vegetarian, gluten free etc), as this information is not always disclosed.
  3. Refreshments should be provided during all breaks and before the program commences each day.
  4. Morning and afternoon tea should be provided for the pre-conference meetings, but attendees are to make their own lunch arrangements.
  5. If offsite tours are organised, breaks may need to be scheduled and catered for.

Program

  1. The AIUG Secretary and Chair are responsible for development of the conference program, in conjunction with the AIUG and host institution.

Website

  1. The host agency is responsible for creating a conference website, which is managed and hosted by Deakin University via the AIUG website.
  2. As a guide, information should be provided to delegates on local attractions, maps, entertainment, restaurants and accommodation, as well as the conference program (when available).
  3. Registration is also to be completed via the website, however, there is currently no provision to pay online and sites are billed manually by the Chair’s Institution (Acting as Treasurer).
  4. The host agency should communicate with Deakin in advance regarding the best process for getting information onto the website.

Registration

  1. Two registrations are allocated for each AIUG membership. The cost of additional place registrations is determined at the AIUG AGM in the previous year.
  2. Sites should have the option to share registration places, but only two per registration. Usually registrations are shared by staff from the host institution and any located close enough for people to come and go throughout the day. This is with the understanding that meals, etc., will only equate to one person. The names of individuals sharing a registration should be provided.

Attendees

  1. Attendee numbers are usually between 80-120 people, depending on the location of the Conference and funding available.
  2. An attendee list should be made available to each member at the conference (delegates should have the option to not have their details published).

Innovative Interface’s contribution

  1. Traditionally, Innovative Interfaces have made very generous financial contributions to the Conference, usually towards the cost of the Reception. Each year, the Chair should ask Innovative if they wish to make a contribution to the upcoming Conference. If so, the amount and preferred use of the funds should be decided in consultation with them. This will feed into Conference planning and costing.
  2. Innovative traditionally supply III product giveaways for the conference eg. pens, mouse pads, mints etc. The Chair is responsible for organising this with their designated III representative.

Communication

  1. Constant and effective communication between the Chair and the conference Committee is required to ensure a successful conference event.
  2. The Chair will communicate with III regarding funding, III staff attendance of the conference and anything else as required eg. Webinars.

Delegates Packs

  1. The delegate pack (or equivalent) usually consists of a bag or folder, with information/flyers on products and marketing merchandise from III, and local information (i.e., maps) from the host site.
  2. What is to be included in the pack is at the discretion of the host site in discussion with the AIUG Chair, although an overall cost estimate is to be confirmed by the AIUG committee prior to any purchases.
  3. Feedback on previous packs and their contents should be taken into account.

Gifts

  1. Gifts are sometimes provided to presenters if the budget is deemed by the Chair and Conference Committee to allow this.
  2. The host institution and/or the AIUG Chair are responsible for purchasing gifts utilising AIUG funds (unless sponsorship money has been received for this purpose).
  3. In the past, gifts have had a local flavour, so it has been more convenient for the host site to purchase them, however this should be considered on a case by case basis.
  4. Gifts are sometimes provided to Innovative attendees if the budget is deemed by the Chair and Conference Committee to allow this.
  5. Gifts are sometimes provided to the organising committee if the budget is deemed by the Chair and Conference Committee to allow this and a thank you to them included at the end of the conference.

AGM

  1. The AIUG AGM is organised by the AIUG Chair and Secretary.
  2. The host site needs to ensure this is included on the program and there is an adequate venue.
  3. The host may be required to provide copies of agendas and minutes and a register of attendees.

Sponsorship

  1. Previous conferences have benefited from sponsorship contribution which has enabled the conference hosts to purchase a range of door prizes (e.g., e-book readers, digital cameras, etc.) to help make the conference fun for delegates and promote Innovative technologies. This is not always achievable.
  2. The Chair should discuss any proposed sponsorship with the Innovative representatives prior to any discussions with another vendor. The Chair and Conference Committee is responsible for this.

Social Program

  1. Some activities should be organised for visiting delegates, however, this should take into account the timing and location of the conference and expected travel arrangements.
  2. Tours of the host library/ies or other Innovative libraries is the norm and is organised for the day prior to the conference (i.e. when the Coordinators’ meetings are held).

Promotion and Marketing

  1. If possible it is a good idea to arrange for a photographer to catch moments of the conference (e.g. reception entertainment), conference speakers, III guests with host institution CEO. This is good PR for the host institution to use in the annual report or other documentation, but also a good way for delegates to be involved in the website.
  2. Social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) should be considered to generate interest in the conference, but also to enable those who can’t attend to participate.

Cost estimates/guidelines

For cost estimates contact the current Chair.

 

Suggested Timeframes

First quarter – December to February Confirm dates for conference – AIUG Chair to contact III
Book appropriate venues for meetings and seminars
Organise creation of any new accounting codes with your finance dept for accrual and recoup of associated costs
Establish a planning committee and assign general responsibilities
Develop a draft budget and have this confirmed with the AIUG Committee
Identify where there are any risks and develop a risk management plan as required
Second Quarter – March to May Confirm format/style and venue for III reception
Contact any potential sponsors
Draft website
Third Quarter – June to August Organize catering
Commence organising contents of delegate packs
Obtain marketing merchandise from III
Social program finalised
Develop website
Send initial information to site coordinators
Put out call for presenters
Draft program
Last Quarter – September to November Conference website live
Registrations open
Social registrations open
Program finalised
Confirm catering details
Delegate packs compiled
POST CONFERENCE Collate feedback forms
Thank organising committee
Meeting between host site, previous host and next host and AIUG chair to assist with planning of next conference
Post-Conference debrief/report
Recouping of costs from AIUG