Tuesday, June 19, 2007

How to Create Your Own Conference Organizer

Last year I mentioned the notebook I assemble for each CGOA Conference I attend.  Since then many have inquired about the specifics so I thought with just some 23 days left before the Summer Conference start, I'd share how I put mine together.  The prices listed with the materials I used are approximate; I purchased my supplies from Staples.com.

Shopping List:
____2"-4" D-ring Presentation Binder: the more classes/homework samples, the larger the binder ($13)
____Top-Load Sheet Protectors ($9)
____Avery Slash Pocket Insertable tab Dividers, 8-tab ($5)
____Avery Untabbed Business Card Pages ($3)
____#6 or #10 envelopes (one for each class with a materials fee)
____Money (cash)
____Business Card stock paper (or Greeting Card paper) ($12)
____3-hole punched Copy Paper (about 20 sheets) ($4 a ream)
____Rubbermaid Plastic Edge Magazine Holders ($4)

Visit CGOA website to view Class Offerings. Click onto class title to view additional information about the class (supply list, material fees, homework); print a copy for each class you'll be taking. Insert each into it's own sheet protector.

Place dividers into notebook; label based upon the order your class selections will take place. On envelope write the name of the class and the amount due for materials fee. Insert cash; seal envelope; place in divider. Repeat for each class requiring a materials fee. Also place any homework assignments (that will neatly fit) into divider pocket (larger pieces can be inserted into a page protector). After the class, insert your class handouts here.

Behind each divider insert 2-3 sheets of copypaper. This will be used for class note taking. Then add the print out of the class information that should already be in a sheet protector.

After the above has been done for each class, in the back of the notebook add 2-3 pages of the Business Card holder. Print out several cards for yourself using the Business Card paper, or Card Stock if you already have it on hand (just cut to size); then insert them into one of the pages; you'll be handing these out at the Conference to people you would like to stay in touch with. For those cards you collect, insert them into the holder. See how many you can collect!  Add 2-3 empty sheet protectors to the very back for any other handouts you'd like to save.

In the very front section of the binder add a print out of your Conference receipt (just in case you should need it), your hotel confirmation, your flight/transportation information, and any other documents/information you might need -- just in case. Be sure they are all in a sheet protector.  DON'T FORGET YOUR PACKET THAT CONTAINS YOUR BADGE  -- There will be a $20 replacement fee for lost or forgotten badges - no exceptions!

On your computer, create a schedule that includes when you arrive & leave, when your classes are, any special events, lunches, dinners, gatherings, you'll be attending. (If there is contact information, add that too) Print it out and insert it on the outside FRONT pocket of the binder.   If your binder has a window on the back cover, keep it available for the map; this will help you find your class locations quicker.

Should you want to add the brochure from the Conference, use a plastic edge magazine holder; this way you can flip through the pages without having to remove it from your binder. If one of your class materials is to bring a magazine, use a plastic edge holder!

The Benefits:
Having all your class materials organized, including your material fees, helps save time!  No more digging through your wallet hoping you didn't spend all your money at the Vendors Market; no more wasting time gathering up your class materials.  Everything will be right at your fingertips -- AND, after the Conference you'll have a great souvenir that you can easily reference later on.
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Anonymous said...

Oh Haley will be loving this entry today.  I can see her car on two wheels burning rubber into the Staples parking lot for supplies.  Yes, maam.  I guess this means I should also get ready for some note taking and memory saving as well.  Just had to chuckle for a second.....  SEE YOU THERE.  Lori

Anonymous said...

Very funny Lori!  I made my purchase online! heehee.  Thanks Dee for the info - as I am only taking one class my notebook won't be that large but will be well equipped!  I wonder how many other readers are going to the conference?  I look forward to meeting everyone.  Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

On my schedule I included "free" time in a bright color. That helped with deciding when to go to the market, when I could get together with the CAL groups, and other things to be scheduled later.

The first conference I attended, I put this binder together after I got home.  The second conference, I assembled it & took it with me, it made things so much easier in getting to classes with everything I needed.  It also kept my hotel room much neater, with class notes, projects, etc filed in the binder.  I also recommend an extra tote bag for class items that are too big for the binder.
Dee has a great tote bag available at CafePress:

Grendy05 said...

VERY HELPFUL!! Buffalo is my first Knit and Crochet conference and I'm feeling pretty out of sorts.

Andrea Graciarena said...

Keep these helps coming! It's much appreciated, Thanks. It's going to be my very first Chain Link Conference and I'm very excited!!

crochetgal said...

What a wonderful way to keep everything organized! No more digging in the tote bag... its all in the binder.

Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

Karen said...

Thank you very much, Dee. I can't wait for the show... as it gets closer I get more hyped up (hopefully not too hyped). I'm going to try to get lots of rest before I goh; last time I went I was exausted when I got there... not this time! Thank you for helping us be organized and ready for a great time... Yeah! Karen in OH

pamela's patterns said...

2011 CGOA Conference Greensboro,NC

Dee, thank you for all these great tips! I thought I was well organized already until I read this post from you.

Did you find a backpack worked for all the supplies you have to bring for the classes? A big bag or what works for that...I have a lot to bring!