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Conference Planning Services and Beyond

Feature Story
Posted on Sep, 20 2011

Have you ever attended a conference and thought about all that goes into the planning and hosting of an event of that caliber and thought your organization would never have the time, staff, or other resources to put all of that together? With the help of NDSU Distance and Continuing Education conference planning services, all of this can become a reality, enabling you to bring together your staff or members of your field to educate and share information to prepare for the future of your discipline, organization, or business.
 

Justin Wageman, Director of the North Dakota Curriculum Initiative (NDCI) and Associate Professor of Education at North Dakota State University had similar feelings about staff and other resources being spread thin when it came time to plan a NDCI conference . That’s when he came across the services available through NDSU Distance and Continuing Education (NDSU DCE) to aid in the coordination of many of the behind the scenes duties of the NDCI, such as conference planning, meeting facilitation, creation of an electronic database of records, and web site maintenance. The partnership started out solely with conference planning and over the years has since branched out to many other services NDSU DCE has to offer, which Wageman said is one of the main benefits of working with NDSU DCE.
 

The process began with Wageman giving Lisa McNamara, Associate Director and Noncredit Program and Data Management Coordinator for NDSU Distance and Continuing Education the dates for his conference. From there, they were able to negotiate a budget and timeline. McNamara secured a location for the conference and the planning began. A few of the duties taken care of through the planning service included: taking care of all of the printing of materials needed for conference attendees, securing all of the necessary equipment such as computers, projectors, and microphones for conference presenters, and choosing the food for meals served at the conference. Wageman noted among other services done that one of the most noteworthy was that NDSU DCE provided a knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful staff on-site at the conference to check in attendees and take care of any logistical problems that arose during the conference so he and others could participate in the conference without having to worry about the small details. NDSU DCE also continued to help after the conference had wrapped up by gathering and analyzing feedback from conference participants in order to prepare and improve for the next conference.
 

After many years working together successfully planning these NDCI conferences, Wageman brought up other services that would help to make the NDCI even more successful. The NDCI is a significant long-term professional development program for the state’s public and private schools and their administrators and educators. Wageman had shelves full of binders containing documents from previous NDCI conference sessions. NDSU DCE was able to scan all of these documents to create an electronic library of this information.The web site for the NDCI is also maintained through NDSU DCE. Previously, an outside company was in charge of the site. When Wageman found out DCE could help with this also, he brought the site back to campus services, and now all Wageman has to do is contact DCE to get something updated or posted to the web site. “This extension of the conference planning services is yet another example of how McNamara and the staff of NDSU DCE do such a great job and are willing to expand the parameters of their service for any organization,” said Wageman.
 

For more information about conference planning or tradeshow staffing services, please contact NDSU Distance and Continuing Education at 1-800-726-1724 or locally at 701-231-5376, email Lisa McNamara at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or visit our web site http://www.ndsu.edu/dce/non-credit/conference_planning
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