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1995 Summer conference
Published
1995, October (July 02, 2007)
by Marilyn Hanson

[This is the first in a series of articles about the chapter 1995 Summer Conference, held in July at the Marriott Hotel in RTP.]

The 1995 Summer Conference, held in July, was a resounding success. Over 100 people came, with attendees from NJ, PA, OH, VA, GA, and all three NC chapters. "The Carolina Chapter really has a good thing going" was the comment of most participants. Several said they planned to attend next year's conference because of the quality of this year's.

Even if the Board hadn't subsidized it, the 1995 Summer Conference was self-supporting. Marilyn Hanson, Summer Conference Chairman, reports, "We made enough to buy gift certificates for presenters and also prepay the hotel for next year's conference. That, of course, was due to the number of conference registrants and our budgeting. When reading brochures from other STC conferences, you'll notice we offer the same high-quality programs for less." She added, "We don't charge our presenters a registration fee, and our fee includes the luncheon with a keynote speaker." This year, the keynote speaker was Jane Patterson Smith, who is the Advisor to the Governor on Policy, Budget, and Technology and specializes in the Information Highway.

Many attendees found the conference first-rate. They felt the sessions themselves were useful, and the Marriott Hotel facilities very convenient and pleasant. A few people expressed dissatisfaction with the luncheon and some noted that a couple rooms needed more seating to accommodate all attendees in that session. Marilyn Hanson said she learned a lot: "We'll anticipate these problems in the future by asking people to choose their lunch and indicate the presentations they want to attend right on the registration form."

Marilyn also admitted that, "The conference wasn't the chore it has been in the past." This year she drew on the experience of Patricia Tierney, who has nine years of experience managing conferences and has handled tasks for several Chapter conferences in the past three years. They used a new approach, a conference chairman-conference manager team, to manage the conference. As conference manager, Pat created the budget, negotiated for hotel and audiovisual services, and handled speaker arrangements. "Working with the Conference Chair-Conference Manager system greatly facilitated chairing the Summer Conference," Marilyn said. "Because of a death in my family in June, I had to delegate everything to Patricia for about three weeks. Upon my return, I got a report from Patricia, and carried on as chairman."

In her view, Marilyn's biggest job though was chairing the Program Committee. They developed the program slate, from the initial brainstorming to confirming the final program. The committee members were Wanda Clark, Donna Zimmer, Diane Feldman, Ven Carver, and Patricia Tierney (in her other hat as Chapter member). The compliments on the program are a tribute to this committees creativity and hard work.

Next month we'll begin reviewing specific sessions that occurred as part of the 1995 Summer Conference. End of article.


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