The conference committee is the team that runs the event. Without a good team, there won’t be an event.


You can’t do this alone. It will be damaging for you, and extremely risky for the event.

You need to find ways to build collaboration into the working process early on. If you’re not good at that - for example if your natural inclination is to find it easier to do everything yourself - you need to start learning how to do it.

Committee roles

Why defined roles are important

You should establish clear roles and responsibilities as soon as possible.

These roles aren’t just unnecessary structure, they are needed because they help people get involved and work with you and each other; they tell people what they are getting into and what needs to be done.

If people don’t know what is expected of them and what they are supposed to be doing, they often won’t do it.

Having named, defined roles allows people to understand the scale and scope of the various tasks that need to be undertaken, and allows them to have confidence to act and do things.

The sooner you can do this the better.

Suggested roles

Your committe should have a formal:

  • Chair - the person leading the event
  • Treasurer - to handle money: banking, invoicing, payments
  • Secretary - to maintain an official record of meetings, and note who has agreed to do what

There are also other roles that need to be allocated; one person can take on more than one of these, and people can be jointly responsible:

  • Communications - publicity, news
  • Designer - print and web, posters, banners, t-shirts, badges
  • Webmaster - web content and updates
  • Sponsorship