Every Annual Conference we have organised since 1993 has been led by Co-Chairs and their Conference Committee. In this blog post we invite you to take a peak beyond the scenes, into the work of the committee. You can find out more about this year’s Annual Conference Committee and Co-Chairs on the conference website.
It all starts with an open call…
We issue an open call to get involved in ALT at least once a year, advertising all opportunities to join committees, including the Conference Committee for the Annual Conference and usually also for Co-Chairs for the Conference.
You can see an example of last year’s call on the website.
The ALT Annual Conference Committee plays a vital role and our volunteers contribute their time and expertise including undertaking peer review, chairing sessions and organising local and social activities during the conference.
The time commitment to join the Committee depends on how involved you get, but if you attend every meeting and take part in the peer review process or chair a conference session, you might commit up to 10 hours over a period of six to nine months.
Committee Members bring a range of expertise to the conference, from mentoring first time authors to writing feedback as part of the peer review process to helping connect us with potential sponsors and organising social activities. Here is a summery of the key activities:
A key focus of the Conference Committee is to conduct the peer review of all proposals submitted to the conference once the Call for Proposals has been closed. Guidance for Reviewers will be available soon and we also provide support at committee meetings.
Committee Members are invited to write guest posts for publication on the conference platform, sharing their perspective on the event, looking back at past years or sharing advice and guidance for new authors and participants.
Promoting the conference
Help us spread the word about the conference and upcoming deadlines, keynote speakers and the social programme.
Conference Committee Members volunteer to chair all sessions during the event. We’ll be publishing details of how to volunteer together with guidance in due course.
The Committee usually meets online once a month, and the meetings are chaired by the Co-Chairs. Each meeting has a practical focus, depending on when it takes place, and Committee Members and staff share progress reports. The first meetings focus on promoting the Call for Proposals and encouraging submissions, timetable for peer review and guidance for reviewers and provide support for using the submission and review system. The later meetings are about the draft programme for the conference, plans for the delivery of the event and social programme.
Local expertise and social activities
Most year’s the Committee has Members that are based near the conference venue, and they provide much needed local know-how, information about local venues and attractions as well as fun activities for the conference participants. ALT’s conference has moved around to different UK cities including Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Sheffield, Warwick and many more, and we rely on our Committees to help bring the best local character to the conference planning.
Committee Members also often organise activities online, including pre-conference workshops, radio shows, playful interventions or treasure hunts. Online activities, particularly on social media, have been a long-standing feature of ALT’s conferences and Committee Members often lead on these alongside the organising team.
Recognition for Committee Members
We value our Committee Members and all the work Committee Members do as reviewers, shaping the programme and helping with the delivery. As part of our strategy for recognising the important role they play for the conference, we issue Open Badges for all Committee Members. Committee Members also receive discounted registration for the Conference.
Keen to get involved?
Each year’s Conference Committees are different. Depending on the conference location, format, Co-Chairs and themes, you might be interested to get involved in future years. Look out for our open call, which will open soon and remain open until after this year’s Annual Conference ends.