NONTRAD RESOURCES for CTE by sanmelody


									Career Conference Planning Guide
     for Career Technical Education
    and Nontraditional Occupations

   How to Plan and Implement a
 Conference for Special Populations

Developed by the San Diego County Office of Education with the
funds governed under the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical
Education Act of 1998 (PL 105-332) administered by the California
Department of Education.
                             Table of Contents
Overview                                         3

Section A – Planning

     Purpose/Target Group/Design                 4
     Conference Theme                            5
     Core Planning Committee                     5
     Work Plan checklist/Assignment Timeline     6
     Conference work Plan Timeline               7
     Budgeting, Recordkeeping, and Funding       9
     Developing the Volunteer base               12
     Developing an Information Base              13
     Location and Date Selection                 13
     Day‟s Agenda                                15
     Conference Brochure                         16
     Developing Printed Material                 17
     Pre-registration                            18
     Publicity/Community Outreach                20
     Career/Resource Center                      21
     Keynote speaker                             26
     Workshops                                   26
     Workshop Topics                             27
     Presenters                                  29
     Conference Program                          31
     Conference Packets/Name Tags                32
     Refreshments/Lunch                          33
     Activities                                  33
     Decorations                                 34
     Evaluations/Raffle                          34
     Closing Session                             35

Section B – Implementation

     Overview                                    36
     Pre-Conference Briefing                     36
     Setup                                       36
     Pre-Registration/Check-In                   36
     Career/Resource Center                      37
     Conference Opening                          38
     Workshops                                   38
     Coordination Center                         38
     Logistics                                   39

Section C – Wrap Up                                 40

Section D – Career Technical Occupations Linkages

     Introduction                                   41
     Strategy                                       41
     Contacts                                       42
     List 0f Career Titles                          44

Appendix                                            47


This conference guide is designed to give you the practical steps for planning and
implementing a successful career/career technical education conference for secondary
students. The information in this booklet represents an update and revision of prior
works that were also funded by Carl D. Perkins legislation. Previous works include:

Planning A Multigenerational, Multipurpose Conference For Hispanas:
A Conference Model, By Carlotta Curti, 1988 Circle Project, California State University,
Sacramento, A project funded by the California State Department of Education, Career-
Vocational Preparation Division.

The Nuts and Bolts of Conference Planning: A How-To Guide By Carlotta De Leon
Curti, 1995. Harvest Project, School of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, California
State University, Fresno.

The guide has four sections: Planning, Implementation, Wrap Up and Career
Technical Occupation Linkages. The Appendix offers reproducible forms that
are may also be downloaded.

The “Experience has shown...” references are based on the evaluations of many
events and are included to emphasize the value of activities and to help
conference organizers avoid proven pitfalls and or potential problem areas.

The renewed focus on Career Technical opportunities and the continued efforts
to support Nontraditional Occupation choices has prompted more interest in
ways to encourage students to consider wider choices and to take advantage of
the wide variety of career technical training opportunities California‟s schools
and colleges offer.

To this end, the conference model supports collaboration with community
resources such as business, industry, organizations and role models. It also helps
build the link between secondary schools and California Community Colleges. All
these partners are eager to help, and they can bring a wealth of resources, often
including funding to support the event. They want to be involved because it is in
their own interest. Business and industry need motivated students who are
trained, especially in career technical occupations.

Today all students, not just those from different populations, need to focus on
their futures and to acquire the ability to become self-sufficient. The world of
work continues to change dramatically, and while an exciting, informative
conference can only provide a look into choices, it is a step towards opening up
opportunities. The old adage “You can be what you can see” holds true, and a
conference of any size is one more way to help students start to “see”.

Section A – Planning

Purpose/Target Group/Design

The purpose of the conference is to introduce secondary student populations to
the wide spectrum of career and educational opportunities available to them,
including nontraditional occupational choices, to assist them in preparing for
economic self-sufficiency. It is also meant to increase the completion rates of
students in programs that lead to high school graduation, additional career
technical training, postsecondary education, and gainful employment.

A multigenerational component may be added by including parents or other
relatives. Issues such as self-esteem, understanding one‟s heritage, substance
abuse may be included, but are not the primary focus of the conference.

“Experience has shown…”
It is important to note that these conferences have often provided the
participants with their main source of career education information, and are vital
to their transition from the educational system to the workforce. Even in today‟s
information society, students are not receiving “nuts and bolts” career
information and encouragement necessary for them to plan their future.

Each conference can focus on an ethnic minority or special student population.
The target groups have included female students, Hispanic female teens and their
mothers or other female relatives (multigenerational), African American teens,
Native American Teens, and Asian/Pacific Islander teens, to name only a few.
The multigenerational aspect has been extremely successful and is necessary
when serving particular ethnic populations such as Hispanic female teens.

The conference includes the following components:

       Career Resource Center
       Role Models/Mentors

All of these components are necessary for achieving the purpose of the
conference, and all of the planning activities in this model are based on this

“Experience has shown…”
This conference has a specific focus and cannot address all the needs of your
community, nor should it be used in an attempt to „settle‟ current
community/school system problems. It can, however, address new focus on

Career Technical and nontraditional occupations along with academic skills and

Because of the conference‟s specific career education purpose, community groups
and businesses have been very willing to lend volunteer and financial support.
Use this as an opportunity to reach out to the businesses and community groups
for participation and support.

Conference Theme

The theme of the conference should reflect its‟ purpose. Titles and themes, which
have been used successfully in the past, are: “Adelante, Mujer Hispana”, “and It
All Adds Up to a Better Future”, “Higher Paying Jobs”, and "Work Has No
Gender.” Examples of sub-themes are “Work Has No Gender” or “Occupational
Choices for the Future”. A sub-theme more specifically defines the purpose of the
conference and can assist in outreach. Remember that the theme and sub-theme
of the conference are directed towards the targeted student participants.
Remember the conference experience is new to students so the types of themes
used to attract professionals do not apply here.

“Experience has shown…”
At times planning groups have been sidetracked by, and have spent far too much
time, energy and resources on, choosing a conference title or theme, rather than
developing a solid program focusing on career and educational workshop

Core Planning Committee
How much time is needed for planning?
What level of commitment is needed by the committee members?

Your core conference planning committee should be made up of no more than
five to seven people. Additional assistance will be needed, but first, there must be
a clearly established core planning committee (CPC). The CPC must focus on a
clear conference purpose (and model). Its main responsibility is to identify the
tasks and resources necessary for implementation of the conference. Committee
members must be firmly committed to the work of the committee. By dropping
out they will slow down the planning process and create frustration for all
involved. Each committee member should be responsible for establishing sub-
committees to help with the work.

The CPC should be made up of representatives from the major sponsors – in this
case, a secondary school district and a community-based organization (CBO). A
representative from business or industry may also be included. The number of
representatives from each group should be negotiated in the early planning
stages. A student representative may be involved at this level.

In this collaboration there are tasks that are more suitable for one agency or
another. The roles and responsibilities of the sponsoring agencies must be
decided upon early in the planning stage.

“Experience has shown…”
In successful conferences it was the planning process, and not the particular
assignments, which led to the success of the conference.

This particular working relationship may be a „first‟ for those involved and may
create many unfamiliar situations.
    Everyone involved must clearly understand, and agree upon, the purpose
       and desired outcome of the conference.
    The establishment of a budget and procedures for spending and
       reimbursement should be developed early in the planning stages.
    Regular planning meetings should be held, with minutes kept on all
       decisions and assignments. Time, resources, and financial commitments
       must be clearly assessed and understood prior to the assignment of
       specific tasks.
    All assignments should have completion timelines (see examples in the
       following section).

Work Plan Checklist/Assignment Timeline

The first task of the core planning committee is to designate a Chairperson and
co-Chair. This should be followed by development of a Work Plan Checklist and
the Assignment Timeline that identifies specific tasks, duties and assignments to
be carried out by each sub-committee, with target dates for completion.

For a first conference, it is best to establish a timeline of between six months and
one year. The size of your conference, the number of participants, and the time of
year it will be held will be factors in development of the timeline.

A sample Work Plan Checklist is provided on the next page. Review it to identify
specific tasks and develop the steps for each task.

Some of the areas mentioned in this sample checklist may not apply to your
specific circumstance, and you may have concerns that are not listed.

The tasks identified on the Checklist are converted into a Timeline/Assignment
sheet that identifies who is responsible for each assignment. Target dates for
completion are developed to assist in completing multiple tasks with varying

These forms will also serve as minutes of meetings, reconfirming who is
responsible for which tasks. This information will also be useful in planning
future conferences. A Conference Work Plan Checklist and a
Timeline/Assignment Worksheet are included in the Appendix.

                      Conference Work Plan Timeline

Four To Seven Months Before The Event:
    Review conference model
    Make copies of workbook section for core committee members
    Establish core planning committee
    Designate a Chair and Co-Chair
    Designate regular meeting times/locations
    Select target population(s)
    Consider target number of participants
    Decide if it will be a multigenerational conference
    Select theme and sub-theme of conference
    Identify participants for the Resource Center
    Identify potential presenters (role models)
    Identify potential keynote speakers
    Identify potential volunteers
    Assess available resources
    Assess available funding sources
    Assess available community resources
    Consider funding sources and options
    Consider dates for conference
    Consider location
    Establish sub-committee categories

Three To Five Months Before The Event:
    Set conference date
    Confirm location and facilities
    Confirm number of participants
    Finalize funding options and establish budget
    Set registration fee (most conferences charge a minimal fee)
    Identify potential workshop topics, presenters, and keynote speaker
    Draft day‟s agenda, fliers, brochure, etc.
    Identify methods of outreach to target population
    Establish lists of businesses to invite to Career/Resource Center
    Send contact letters to potential Career/Resource Center participants
    Contact potential workshop presenters
    Contact volunteers for assistance
    Print and distribute „save the date‟ fliers with basic conference information
      and contacts

Two To Four Months Before The Event
   Finalize and confirm site arrangements
   Finalize workshop topics
   Finalize day‟s agenda
   Confirm workshop presenters, send requests for background information

      Order refreshments
      Confirm equipment needed by presenters
      Print and distribute registration brochures
      Release publicity information to news media
      Implement recruitment activities

One Month Before The Event
   Continue recruitment campaign, including radio interviews, TV talk shows
   Make presentation to student groups, parents, churches, etc.
   Finalize conference program
   Confirm volunteer workers for the day of the conference

Final two weeks
    Reconfirm presenters
    Reconfirm Career/Resource Center participants
    Print program and any other handouts for participants
    Print evaluations
    Prepare conference participant packets
    Make signs for workshops, Career Resource Center, etc.
    Give final assignments to volunteer workers
    Reconfirm volunteers
    Hold volunteer orientation session
    Arrange to photograph sessions and participants

Day Before The Event
   Set up conference site
   Set up decorations (if used)
   Place signs on restroom locations
   Place workshop topic signs at each room
   Prepare conference sign-in sheets with any required registration
     information, such as gender and ethnicity of participants
   Include permission slips to publish photos of participants.
   Set up check-in tables

Day Of Conference
   Arrive early
   Hold committee briefing
   Place directional signs in driveways and roadways near facility
   Check rooms for equipment, chairs, etc.
   Begin conference

After The Conference
    Make sure all bills are paid
    Summarize income and expenditures
    Tabulate evaluation forms
    Complete self-assessment section of model
    Complete notebook containing all conference records

    Send out thank-you notes/certificates
    Relax!

You will note that the bulk of the work is in the early planning stages. Do not
leave too many tasks for the final weeks. This later time should be used for
recruitment activities.

“Experience has shown…”
The work required for publicity and student recruitment activities is equal to that
needed for the planning activities. Several well-planned conferences have had
low student turnout because of lack of recruitment activities, not due to lack of
student interest.

After the development of your Conference Work Plan, the tasks are converted
into actual assignments and placed on the Timeline/Assignment Worksheet.
These assignments are for the core planning committee members and their sub-
committees. This worksheet confirms assignments and targeted completion
dates. A sample worksheet is included in the Appendix.

Budgeting, Recordkeeping, and Funding

Establish a basic budget and keep financial records on everything related to the
conference. Keep written records of all expenses. This information will make it
easier for you to solicit donations, send acknowledgement letters, and plan future

The fiscal agent for the conference, whether it is the secondary school district or
the community based organization, must explain to the core planning committee
its internal procedures for expenditures and reimbursement. This must be one of
the first items of business. If the school district or the community based
organization is the recipient of a grant or of donations to be used for the
conference, the parties must agree on how those funds are to be used in the

Copies of all conference materials, including budgets, receipts of purchase, key
emails, correspondence, minutes, timelines, agendas, brochures, etc., should be
organized into a permanent record file. A member of the core planning
committee should be responsible for this important task. These materials should
all be placed in a large binder, along with a copy of this conference model. Hard
copies of all letters, fliers, etc., created on a computer should also be kept.

The budget is a very important tool to be used by planning committees. A budget
not only reflects the costs of various components of your planning (and planned)

activities, it allows you to re-examine the cost of each component in both dollar
value and volunteer time. Budgets also assist in maintaining your timeline and
keeping on task. You should view it as a „reality check‟ in terms of bringing the
vision of your conference into fruition. Check to be sure that the expenditures for
the conference are allowable in any grant or donation you may be using for

Project budgets should reflect all costs associated with your conference. If you
are able to get goods and services donated, the actual cost should be included in
case these items need to be purchased in the future. Additionally, this keeps in
focus the actual cost overall, even though your committee did not have to pay for

Conference expenses can be put into three general categories: printing/postage,
food costs, and operating expenditures/services.

The biggest cost category in planning your conference is in printing and
postage. Do not underestimate in this area. This is the foundation of your broad-
based recruitment. Use email, whenever possible to minimize postage costs. Do
not be surprised if more than one-half of your costs (excluding food costs) go into
this area. This would include: Save the Date fliers, registration brochures,
posters, letters to potential Career Resource Center contacts, letters to
presenters, follow-up letters, press releases, mass mailings of materials, etc. This
initial cost is the core investment, as you want good attendance at your
conference. It is the end result of a good publicity campaign. The printing cost
for the actual conference includes program and evaluation forms.

The cost of food will be your largest single conference expense. This is one
reason it is recommended that you establish a set number of participants, require
pre-registration, and charge a fee to pay for food costs. In calculating food costs,
try to estimate if there will be a portion (up to 20%) of those who register, but do
not attend. This will help you to limit food costs.

Other costs may include: speech honorariums, cultural entertainment, facility
use fees, and raffle prizes. These are included in your operating
expenditures/services category. These costs should be less than one-half of your
printing/postage category costs.

Remember that a working budget will keep your activities focused. For example,
you won‟t want to spend time raising funds for conference tee-shirts when the
need to cover printing and postage costs are actually your greatest need. (Also,
state funding requirements do not permit paying for food and/or tee shirts for
student with state funds.)

Possible Funding Sources
Community organizations, school districts, colleges, government agencies, and
businesses can be asked to help defray the various conference expenses. A

proposal explaining in concise detail, the focus and purpose of the conference
should be developed and personally given to possible sponsors. Donations of
funds, food items, services, and/or supplies can be solicited. The following is a
list of only a few of the local contributors to conferences:

Local Funding Sources:
    Corporate business
    Newspapers
    Private businesses
    Television and radio stations
    Supermarkets
    Fast food restaurants
    Bank branches
    Utility companies

    Corporate businesses
    Universities and colleges
    Community organizations

“Experience has shown…”
Donations to conferences have been very generous. Career and educational
issues are of such great concern to businesses and communities, in general, that
they have generously donated funds and supplies for these events. Clearly
defining the purpose of the conference and communicating it effectively in
writing, and in person, will assist in generating those funds.

If the business partner involved is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, be sure
to have solicitation letters prepared with its tax identification number. Receipts
should be given so that individuals and businesses can claim donations on their
tax statements.

Charging a small registration fee to help offset costs is one method of obtaining
funds. The fee should not be expected to cover all costs, because that would
necessitate a fee too high for most of the participants that you wish to reach.

This conference is not designed to be an “add-on” to another event. Be careful in
mingling funds from other grants or purposes. It is difficult to meet additional
goals or expectations from one single conference.

“Experience has shown…”
When this career and educational conference was merged with another
conference with a similar purpose, the event was unsuccessful and caused much
confusion and frustration for all involved.

Developing the Volunteer Base

The success of the conference depends on the involvement of a broad base of
volunteers to carry out the tasks developed by the core planning committee.
Volunteers can be recruited from the school district, community-based
organizations, businesses, and the general community. A well-organized planning
committee will help to attract volunteers. Specific areas where assistance is
needed should be identified in order to attract helpers.

Personal contact, simply asking for help, is an obvious method that is often
underutilized. Another way to develop your volunteer base is to use a volunteer
request form that simply asks volunteers to sign up for specific tasks. Consider
placing the form in various community newspapers in the November, December,
and January newsletters for a March conference. Variations could be developed
for your particular situation. A sample form is included in the Appendix.

“Experience has shown…”
When volunteers are given specific tasks to accomplish, they are more willing to
assist since they can see the outcome of their efforts. It is a misconception that all
volunteers should be involved in all the planning and decision-making.
Involving too many people at this stage only confuses and slows down the
planning process.

There are many individuals in local communities who are willing to assist with
these conferences. In fact, during the past years, several core planning
committees have been overwhelmed with the number of volunteers. Having a
plan and sticking to it is essential if you wish to make the maximum use of
volunteers and resources.

“Experience has shown…”
As more people become involved, there is a tendency to begin to „add on‟ to the
basic conference plan. For example, during the planning of one particular
conference, several volunteers felt that T-shirts with the conference logo should
be given to each participant. Because this was not part of the original plan, there
was no budget for T-shirts. At this point, it was important not to „add on‟
additional tasks because many of the core tasks had not yet been completed. This
idea was, therefore, put on hold for a future conference. The following year the
T-shirt idea was part of the original timeline and budget, so it was assigned to a

The focus of the conference can be lost if some committee members begin to put
more emphasis on items like T-shirts, which look impressive, instead of the most
important function – the conference program.

Developing An Information Base

It is suggested that, during the entire planning process, an information base
(mailing list) or database be developed to keep track of contact information on:
      potential volunteers,
      business contacts for the Career/Resource Center,
      potential workshop presenters
      donors
      publicity sources.

All information should be saved under these headings:
    1. Core planning committee members
    2. Sub-committee members
    3. Volunteers
    4. Donors
    5. School district contacts
    6. Student participants
    7. Business/industry contacts
    8. Community organizations and contacts
    9. Workshop presenters and keynote speakers
    10. Publicity sources: TV/Radio stations, newspapers

Location and Date Selection

In selecting the location for your conference site, you should consider several

      Number and size of rooms available for workshops
      General session and Career/Resource Center
      Rental fees for rooms and audiovisual equipment
      Meal accommodations
      site accessibility for public transportation
      parking arrangements

Select a location that presents the least number of obstacles to attracting and
accommodating your participants. The following are recommended sites for

      University/college campuses

      Community college campuses
      Business conference center
      Convention center
      High school campus
      Hotel conference center

Look for other sites which may be specific to your community, such as:

      Memorial auditoriums and meeting facilities
      YWCA, YMCA and other youth centers
      Business centers

An advantage to having a conference on a college campus is that, many times, the
administration will want to be a co-sponsor of the event and may contribute the
use of their facilities. They also may make available, free or for a minimal fee, the
use of audio-visual equipment.

“Experience has shown…”
Most of the conferences have been held on college or university campuses. Since
they all have recruitment programs directed at secondary students, they welcome
this type of conference on their campuses. Colleges have been willing to assist
with the use of facilities, free, or for a minimal contribution towards out-of-
pocket expenses, such as janitorial fees. A church site is not recommended, since
some students and their families may feel excluded.

Transportation is a major concern because of the vast area from which students
are recruited. Many schools, as well as dedicated teachers, counselors, and aides,
provide transportation. The multigenerational conferences usually have fewer
transportation problems – parents bring students since they, too, are attending
the program. Participants are also encouraged to arrange car pools.

“Experience has shown…”
Do not view transportation as a major obstacle in your planning process. A
strong recruitment and outreach program will offset transportation problems.

The conferences have been held successfully throughout the entire year. Due to
the collaborative nature of these events, the conferences should be held on a
Saturday. Weekdays are definitely not recommended, as it would interfere with
school schedules, which is defeats the purpose of the conference. Saturdays may
appear to have a lot of competition from other activities but they have clearly
proven to be the best day. This is also the best day for participation by
representatives from businesses, industry, community organizations, parents,
and volunteers.

When selecting the date, you must remember that your conference has a specific
target and focus, and that it is highly unlikely that any one event will affect your

conference if your recruitment activities are broad based. Also, the student
population you need to serve is will be larger than one conference can handle.

Day’s Agenda

Development and implementation of the day‟s agenda are critical to the success
of your conference. Your conference MUST start on time, stay on time and end
on time!

The Day‟s Agenda is the foundation of your conference. While developing it,
consider the heavy involvement of school district personnel, community
members and business partners, community volunteers, and your business
community. Make sure the sequencing and timing of the day are correct.

The agenda should be designed to maintain interest and move at a good pace
throughout the day. A balanced format provides variety in scheduled activities.
Conference attendees should be encouraged to actively participate in the
program. Introduction speeches should be kept very brief. Breaks should be

There are various ways the agenda can be sequenced. It is important that there
be enough time for what is planned, with no lag or wasted time. Keep in mind
the number of participants, the layout of the facilities, restroom locations, and
the amount of time required to move from one building to another.

“Experience has shown…”
The pace of your day begins with good planning, no matter what the layout of the
facilities; i.e., workshops spread out among several buildings, or all held in one
building. Escorts and good use of large signs will keep you on schedule.

Sample “Day‟s Agenda,” including recommended workshop offerings, are
provided in the next section. This sample agenda has successfully served
conferences of 150-800 participants. The length of the sessions, as well as the
start and end time, varied. The major difference between small and large
conferences is the total number of volunteers needed to assist on the day of the

Use this sample as a guide in the development of your conference format.
Starting time, ending time, length of sessions, and sequencing of events may be

Sample Agenda A                                  Sample Agenda B______________
8:15 am-8:45 am   Pre-registration Check-in      8:00 am-8:30 am    Pre-registration Check-in
8:15 am-10:00 am Career/Resource Center         8:00 am-9:00 am     Career/Resource Center
                 Morning refreshments                               Morning refreshments

10 am-11:00 am    Welcome, Review of Day        9:00 am-10:00 am     Career/Resource Center
                  Keynote introduction                               Keynote introduction
                  conducted by student                               conducted by student
                  Keynote Speaker                                    Keynote Speaker
11:15 am-12 pm    Workshop Session I             10:15 am-11:15 am Workshop Session I
                  Career Selections                                  Career Selections
12:15 pm-1:15 pm Lunch                           11:30 am-12:30 pm Workshop Session II
                  Mentor of the Moment                               Career Selections
                  Mingle with role models        12:30 pm-1:30 pm    Lunch
                  Meet with business/                                Entertainment
                  educational representatives

1:15 pm-2:15 pm Workshop Session II              1:45 pm-2:45 pm    Workshop Session III
                  Career Selections                                 General Interest Selections
2:30 pm-3:15 pm   Workshop Session III           3:00 pm-3:30 pm    Closing Session
                  General Interest Selections                        Evaluations
3:15 pm-4: pm     Closing Session                                    Raffle

Conference Brochure

The conference registration brochure is the most important recruitment tool for
reaching your target group. The brochure‟s design should emphasize the purpose
of the conference, basically answering the question, “Why would I want to

The brochure should state the purpose/theme of the conference. It should be
attractive and exciting. It should include
     a sampling of the workshop topics
     a review of the day‟s agenda
     pre-registration form with procedures and deadlines.
     clearly answer the questions:
            who (should attend),
            what (is the day about),
            why (would I attend),

           when,
       how to register
       how much (if a fee is charged).
       A telephone number for additional information. (See Appendix for
        sample brochure.)
       Sponsorship information

This brochure will help attract workshop presenters and prospective donors. It
will be distributed to the general community as part of your student outreach.
(See the Publicity/Community Outreach Section.)

A few weeks, or even months, prior to developing and distributing your
conference brochure, you may want to send out a “Save the Date” flier listing
basic information such as conference theme, dates, location, cost, time, and
contact for additional information. Many conferences have created a true sense
of excitement prior to the conference through these fliers. They are extremely
useful for school districts that need advance notice to arrange for students to
attend, as well as for businesses who need time to schedule representatives to
staff the Career/Resource Center as well as schedule employees as workshop

Developing Printed Material

To start the process of developing your printed material, it is important to
develop a look or style that is consistent throughout all printed pieces. Defining a
style will help identify and promote your event, communicate a well-organized
effort, and allow the reader to quickly identify the event so as to focus on the
message of each printed piece. For these reasons, it is important that all printed
pieces tie together for a uniform look.

There are several ways to create a uniform look. To begin, choose no more than
two type fonts (styles) to work with. Create emphasis within the typefaces you
are using by utilizing the bold, italic, and bold italic options of the chosen type
fonts. Develop a graphic element – a logo, an illustration, border treatment,
photograph, which is incorporated into the design. Use a specific kind, or color,
of paper. Use the same color(s) of ink.

When developing a specific printed piece, start by identifying the message you
want to communicate. (Examples: a poster to excite new participants about a
conference; a brochure to cover business – such as announcing a keynote
speaker, day‟s agenda, and registration form; a conference program to inform
participants of day‟s events and locations, scheduling, maps and choice of
workshops. Often people try to communicate too much information in a single
printed piece that ends up overwhelming the reader and communicating

Once you have identified the message for a particular piece, you must now
prioritize the information. Be well organized and logical in the design of your
information so the reader‟s eyes flow smoothly across the page, instead of
jumping around. Have a sense of white space - do not crowd the information on
the page. And remember, keep it simple.

To help simplify, limit yourself to two type fonts. Be consistent with the size of
the type within a printed piece, i.e. body text 10 or 12 pt; headlines 24 pt. bold,
subheads 18pt bold or italic. Put emphasis on key information only. Do not
overuse boxes, bullets or graphic elements. Avoid emphasizing everything
because you do not want your information competing with itself. Use a lot of
white space because less is more If the budget allows, consult a professional
graphic designer or, better yet, offer a workshop in this career area and ask for
assistance with your conference materials.

Today many “save the date” and final event brochures are sent via email. Email
can also be used to forward the agenda to those involved. All of these cut down
on printing expenses.

When using printed materials, here are recommended quantities to have printed
for different pieces:

      For conferences of 125-300 participants – use 1500-2000 brochures
      For conferences of 300-800 participants – use 2500-4500 brochures
      “Save the Date” fliers for all conferences - use a minimum of 500 fliers


Part of the conference brochure should include a pre-registration form. There
should clearly be an indicated deadline for pre-registration. Information on
where to return completed forms (with fee, if required) must be included. Most
important, a contact telephone number and email address should be provided.

“Experience has shown…”
It is best for students to complete the pre-registration form themselves.
Completion of this form is part of what the conference is about. Registering
builds a mental commitment and promotes self-efficacy. In the past, when
teachers or counselors pre-registered groups, there was a significantly higher
incidence of no-shows.

The pre-registration brochures should be distributed to all the schools that are
invited to the conference. Include an introductory cover letter. Since the students
being invited to the conference will be in several school districts, it is important
that a contact person for each school be designated. This will ensure proper

distribution of the brochures. Online registration can greatly simplify this
process and often leads greater participation.

The total number of participants whom the conference can accommodate should
be noted with the pre-registration deadline. Statements such as “limited to the
first 300 participants: “no on-site registration accepted,” or something similar, is
also very important.

“Experience has shown…”
No matter what the size of the conference, it must be limited to that designated
number. For one conference, the pre-registration number was reached three-
weeks before the conference. Pre-pre-registration forms and fees received after
closure were returned with a letter stating that the conference registration was
closed. More than 100 forms were returned! If pre-registration had not been
required, the conference leaders would have experienced major problems the day
of the conference.

This pre-registration procedure is designed to confirm conference attendance.
It is not designed for registration in specific workshops. Selection of workshops
should be done on the day of the conference, using one of two methods:

1) A table specifically for workshop selection can be set up, where tickets for each
workshop are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
2) A more common method is to use a workshop selection worksheet. Students
are asked to select their first, second, and third choices for each session. When
they arrive at their first choice and the workshop is full, the immediately go to
their second or third choice. This method has been very successful for
conferences of up to 800 participants. This method need not be time consuming
if students have maps of the facilities, if the buildings and classrooms are well
marked, and if guides are available to help students find the workshops. It is
important that this workshop selection process be reviewed during the morning
general session. Very few problems have been experienced with this method.

It is important that workshops not be assigned to students. Part of the value of
this conference is to teach the student participants to make selections, follow
through with them while making necessary adjustments. The following is a
sample of the form used:

Publicity/Community Outreach

A comprehensive public relations/community outreach program will help ensure
a well-attended conference. Outreach activities should include:

      Use of all mass media
      Distribution of fliers and posters
      Letters, newsletters, emails and mass mailings
      Meetings with the school, community, and business organizations.

Be creative in your community outreach. You particularly want to teach and
motivate students (and their parents, if the conference is multigenerational),
many of whom have never before attended a conference. (See Appendix for
sample publicity formats.)

The following are public relations/community outreach activities which have
been effective in reaching target student populations in both urban and rural

      Send news releases to radio stations and television stations containing all
       basic conference information (what, where, who, etc.) to be incorporated
       into their Public Service Announcements (PSA‟s) which are provided at no
       cost. Submit six weeks in advance.

      Schedule appointments for volunteers to participate in public service
       interviews and talk shows for both radio and television. Invite students
       who previously attended a conference to participate.

      Send brochures to every high school; include private schools, adult
       schools, ROP‟s, continuation school, teen parent programs, principals,
       counselors, and activities directors. (Use interschool mailing systems).

      Send brochures to community churches, especially those with active youth

      Send announcements to be printed in newsletters of various community
       agencies. Focus on those which serve your target group.

      Send announcements to be printed in community service newsletters such
       as those published by libraries, the Chamber of Commerce, etc.

      Send announcements to community youth groups, such as scouts and
       community centers.

      Submit profile information on your keynote speaker and local presenters
       to be incorporated into newspaper articles.

      Place a newspaper ad (Get it donated or purchase it, if funds allow.)

      Submit information to local government agencies which serve youth – the
       Department of Social Services, for instance.

      Have fliers posted at the county/city libraries.

      Submit mass (bulk) mailings to the database via email and regular mail.
       (See Section on Developing a Database)

      Set up a Website if possible.

      Have volunteers speak at school classes and clubs.

All of these publicity methods should be used for your conference. Methods will
vary according to the group you are targeting.

“Experience has shown…”
It takes a lot of community outreach to get through to targeted populations. The
outreach and recruitment process is as much work as the development of the
conference itself. Only half of the work is in planning the conference; the other
half lies in outreach and recruitment. Outreach must be continued until the
registration goals are met.

Career/Resource Center

The purpose of the Career/Resource Center is to bring together a cross-section of
your community to the student participants. This part of the conference
enhances the day and reinforces its purpose. There should be representation
from service agencies
    community organizations
    educational institutions
    apprenticeship groups
    student organizations
    employers

Do not underestimate the value and impact of the Career/Resource Center! Be
creative in selecting the various agencies and organizations to be invited.
Remember that you are introducing the participants to opportunities they may
never have the chance to see if you don‟t provide it. Don‟t assume that because
you are aware of these organizations, everyone else is. Do not limit yourself, or
the student participants.

“Experience has shown…”
Some conference sponsors call it the Career/Resource Center because many
students have indicated that they were not sure what a “Resource Center” was.

Using the longer title not only made the meaning clearer, but also indicated the
tie-in to the purpose of the conference.

The Career/Resource Center is powerful and has been life-changing for many
students. It truly serves those students who may have little career information
and/or no future plans. Many students (and families) have received services from
agency representatives whom they met through the Career/Resource Center.
Those services have included summer or part-time employment, scholarships,
and acceptance to education and training programs. The Career/Resource
Center provides many students with their only opportunity to speak directly
with representatives from agencies and businesses of which they may not have
been aware.

Conference participants will attend only three workshops, but will have the
opportunity to obtain a broad range of information by visiting many information
tables at the Career/Resource Center. There should be 20-80 information tables
(depending on the size of the conference). Remember that this is an important
component of your conference!

The following is the minimum number of information tables to be offered at the
Career/Resource Center:

      For conferences of 125 to 150 participants: 20-25 information tables
      For conferences of 150 to 300 participants: 30-35 information tables
      For conferences of 300 to 500 participants: 40-45 information tables
      For conferences of 500 to 800 participants: 60+ information tables

You will find that representatives from these agencies will be available to conduct
workshops on opportunities in their career areas for future conferences. Have
the representatives put a sign-in sheet on their table to track how many students
they speak to at the conference. It might be interesting to see who they hear from
again. They also may be available as classroom speakers.

Contact your local Chamber of Commerce, library, and/or convention centers
for lists of businesses and agencies to invite. Don‟t forget to use your local
telephone book as well. Include organizations which provide services
specifically to your targeted group.

“Experience has shown…”
You should first direct your requests for agency and career representatives by
mail. This mailing should include a letter of introduction and an application
form. Also, include a contact name and phone number. This letter can be
followed up with another letter or telephone call. To truly develop a
Career/Resource Center, a first mailing of no fewer than 100 letters must be
sent to a wide cross-section in your community. (See Appendix for sample
contact letters and applications.)

The following categories should be included in developing your Career/Resource

A. Local Employers

Local employers should be included. Do not limit yourself even if the
employment opportunities in your community are limited. Conference
participants should be exposed to a large array of employment opportunities. The
students may not stay in the local community and it is important that they be
given an opportunity to explore and compare career opportunities. Don‟t forget
that local employers can also include major corporations such as banks, utility
companies, McDonald‟s, The Gap, etc.

B. County/City Employers

Look up the personnel office of your local city and county government agencies.
You can also contact individual departments, such as the police department,
affirmative action offices, etc., which conduct specialized recruitment.

C. State/Federal Employment Opportunities

You will want to invite representatives from state and federal employment
agencies. Check your local phone book. Use the internet to “Google” local
agencies. Get a copy of the State Telephone Directory at your library for
information on regional offices throughout the state. Don‟t let the location of
these job opportunities limit the agencies you invite. Below is a list of main
offices which you may contact to obtain information on the regional office in your

      California Trade and Commerce Agency
      Department of Rehabilitation
      Department of Justice
      Department of Economic Opportunity
      Department of Fish and Game
      Department of Toxic Substance Control
      Department of Real Estate
      Department of Consumer Affairs
      Department of Conservation
      Department of Health Services
      Department of Motor Vehicles
      California Conservation Corps
      Department of Food and Agriculture
      Telecommunications Div./General Services
      Department of Pesticide Regulation
      Environmental Health hazard Assessment
      California Coastal Conservancy

      Water Resource Control Board
      Boating and Waterways
      Forestry and Fire Protection
      Office of Emergency Services
      Public Utilities Commission
      Department of Water Resources
      Department of Aging
      California Energy Commission
      Department of Industrial Relations
      Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs
      California State lottery
      California Highway Patrol
      Department of Corrections
      Department of Transportation
      Parks and Recreation Department
      Department of General Services
      Equal Employment Opportunity
      United States Department of Agriculture
      Agriculture Commissioner‟s Office
      Department of Housing and Community Development

Remember, many of the state and federal employment programs offer student
internships and on-the-job-training programs.

D. Education/Job Training Opportunities
Adult education programs, Regional Occupational Program/Center, union and
trade organizations, individual departments of local or nearby colleges,
universities, community colleges, private colleges and universities.

E. Community and Professional Organizations

      Soroptimist Clubs
      Women in Agriculture
      American Association of University Women
      100 Black Men, Inc.
      League of United Latin American Citizens
      LINKS, Inc.
      Kiwanis
      Delta Sigma Theta
      Latina Leadership Network
      Girl Scouts
      YWCA
      YMCA
      Business and Professional Women

      Boys and Girls Clubs
      Rotary
      American Red Cross
      Girls Incorporated®
      Society of Women Engineers
      Association of Women in Construction
      Women in Information Technology International
      National Association of Women Business Owners

It is important to include those community organizations in your area that may
be unique to your community, without state or national affiliation. For example,
the League of Mexican American Women is a local group in Fresno with no state
or national affiliation.

F. Student Organizations

    Future Teachers of Tomorrow
    MEChA clubs
    Maya clubs
    Black Student Unions
Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts

See: for more information about the following
student organizations related to career technical education:
    Career Technical Clubs of America
    Future Business Leaders of America
    Future Farmers of America
    Health Occupations Students of America
    Home Economics-Related Occupations

G. Service Providers

      Literacy Council
      Department of Social Services
      Cancer Society
      Planned Parenthood
      County Library
      Shelter for Battered Women

Keynote Speaker

The keynote speaker should be an effective motivational speaker who can present
on a topic related to the overall theme of the conference. His, or her,
presentation should be exciting and include time for questions from the
participants. It must be short and upbeat.

Compensation for a featured keynote speaker should be included in your budget.
Since a keynote speaker enhances your conference, you will find this money well
spent. It is customary to offer to pay a minimum speaker‟s fee and, if necessary,
travel. However, don‟t overlook local resources. Be sure to confirm in writing the
terms of your agreement. Request a photo and background information to be
used in the program and in news releases.

“Experience has shown…”
It is important that the keynote speaker be experienced with presenting to
students. Do not focus on getting a „famous‟ name, but a person who, again, can
be highly motivational to your target group. A few well-established conferences
have begun to use students or former students to share in presenting a keynote
address. Whoever the keynote speaker is, the best rule to follow is to “keep it

It is important to note that “more is not necessarily better” in keynote
presentations. Other than a highly motivational morning „kick off‟, it is not
necessary to have additional (keynote) speakers throughout the day.


Workshop topics must reflect the purpose of the conference. Individual
workshops will usually consist of one or two presenters or a panel of no more
than three people. Each workshop should focus on a specific topic or issue, not
on a general area. This specificity will help you select presenters.

It is suggested that workshops be from 45 minutes to one hour long. They should
not last longer. Workshops are designed to introduce a topic, give some specifics,
and motivate participants to seek out more information on their own. It is
essential that resource information be included in the presentation. Workshops
should be as interactive as possible since hands-on experiences are the most

“Experience has shown…”
Addressing too many issues distracts from the overall purpose of the conference
and decreases its value to the participants.

Workshops should not exceed 40 participants, unless the specific topic can
accommodate a larger group. Again, the total number of workshops offered at
your conference must be based on the total number of participants.

If the conference is multigenerational, workshops specifically for parents should
be offered. Workshops can also be offered for counselors and teachers. Make
sure that this information is included as part of your conference brochure.
Involving parents, teachers, and counselors will enhance your overall

“Experience has shown…”
Students who attend the conference become highly motivated, and their
classroom performance improves. This fact has encouraged parents, teachers,
and counselors to recruit and/or take students to the conference.

The following are suggested topics for workshop sessions which are aligned with
the purpose of the conference. They are grouped, as recommended, by areas of
focus – career and general interest areas. To reinforce the purpose of the
conference, it is critical that at least two sessions offer career workshops only.

Depending on your targeted group, you may have to conduct some of the
workshops in a language other than English, or workshops in both English and
another language. This is especially important for multigenerational
conferences. Also, it should be noted that workshops targeted to parent/student,
mother/daughter, etc. were not as effective as those which were developed
specifically for parents or mothers, only.

Workshop Topics

Based on the purpose of the conference, below is a listing of workshop topics
areas which should be used as a basis for developing individual career
workshops. The workshop areas listed under “Career Workshop” are just that:
career areas from which a specific workshop is to be derived. The conference
organizers and/or the presenter(s) can more specifically determine which aspect
of each topic area is to be addressed. Those workshop selections under “General
Interest” are more likely to be used as specific workshop titles.

Career Workshop Topic Area Selections

      Health/Medical Careers*
      Industrial/Technology Careers*
      Entrepreneurship*
      Careers in Business Management *
      Nontraditional High Wage/High Demand Careers*
      Apprenticeship Opportunities

      Careers in Corrections
      Careers in Law Enforcement
      Careers in Law and Paralegal
      Careers in Alcohol and Drug Counseling
      Careers in Financial Planning
      Careers in Education
      Careers in Engineering
      Careers in Science
      Careers in the Media/Journalism Careers in Computer Science
      Careers in Management

General Interest Workshop Topic Selections

      Surviving College – Student Panel
      College Financial Aid
      Career and Life Planning
      How to Get into College
      Planning your Future Through Education
      Who Gets Hired? – Panel of Employers
      How to Interview for a Job
      Employees of the 21st Century
      Goal Setting
      Cost of Living Today
      Nontraditional Opportunities for Males and Females
      Understanding Our Heritage
      Surviving Adolescence
      Money Management
      Relationships
      Job Search Skills
      How To Keep And Get Ahead On The Job
      Chemical Dependency
      Career and Life Planning

The following is an example of specific workshop titles for a conference serving
500 participants.

Workshop Session I - Careers in YOUR Future

      Medical Careers for You
      Careers in Mental Health/Psychology
      Short-term Training Opportunities for Medical Careers
      Careers in Management
      Owning Your Own Business: What Does it REALLY Take?*
      Careers in Design and Technology*

      Careers in Engineering*
      Law Enforcement, Careers in Corrections
      Careers in the Media
      Careers in Education
      Helping Your Daughter To Become Successful
      Teacher/Counselor Resource Workshop

Workshop Session II Careers in YOUR Future
Same workshops are offered from workshop from Session I so each participant
can take two workshops

Workshop Session III - General Interest

      Surviving College – a Student Panel
      College Financial Aid/How to Get into College
      Planning Your Future Through Education
      Who Gets Hired – Panel of Employers
      Your Rights in the Workplace
      How to Interview for A Job
      Understanding Our Heritage
      Surviving Adolescence
      Money Management
      Building/Sustaining Meaningful Relationships
      Don‟t Put Your future on Hold: The Heartaches of Teen Pregnancy
      Chemical Dependency
      Career and Life Planning
      Networking for Hispanic Women
      Teacher/Counselor Resource Workshop
      Helping Your Daughter to Become Successful (English/Spanish)

* Core workshop offerings


Since workshop presenters will serve as role models and participants, every effort
should be made to identify and select presenters from throughout the local and
surrounding communities. You can include presenters who were originally from
your area but are now living elsewhere. Make sure that presenters are
knowledgeable about the topic they are being asked to address and are aware of
the purpose of the conference and the age range of the participants. It is critical
that they are able to appropriately address the targeted audience – students.
(See Appendix)

Use this opportunity to encourage „up and coming‟ role models to be presenters
or co-presenters. Be sure to include college/university seniors or graduate
students to serve as presenters. Make sure that your presenters represent a
variety of ages. The conference setting will provide younger presenters an
opportunity to develop new skills. You will then have a larger selection of
experienced presenters in the future and mentors for follow-up activities.

Be sure to inform the presenters that you are asking them to donate their time.
If you are able to pay them, tell them the amount allowed by the budget. It is
critical that this information be included in the initial contact. Some individuals,
because of their many professional demands, will not be in a position to donate
their services.

Since every effort must be made to keep your conference on its planned
schedule, it is important that you inform the presenters of exactly how much
time they will have. They should be aware of the timeframe of their workshop
and the format to be used (who will introduce them, time for questions and
answers, etc.). You should also stress the importance of participants having an
opportunity to ask questions, and perhaps, to have a dialogue directly with the
presenter. Assign a volunteer to each room to keep time and to inform the
presenter when it is time to end the session.

After your initial contact with a presenter, it is best to confirm all information
in writing. As a follow-up to your initial contact, send a form asking for an
overview of the workshop topic they will present and personal background
information, which can be used in the program and news releases. (See Appendix
for sample letter and form.)

It is important that presenters be given specific information, in writing,
confirming arrival time and check-in procedure. You should have a Presenter‟s
Table set aside for check-in upon arrival. That is where you give out room
assignments and where you can confirm that all presenters have arrived.

“Experience has shown…”
It is important that most of your presenters represent the ethnic group of your
target population. When approaching community businesses and organizations
for leads on presenters, be sure to share with them the purpose and focus of the

Conference Program

A program should be developed for use the day of the conference. It should be
part of the conference packet that is given to participants, presenters, and
Career/Resource Center participants when they check in the day of the
conference. The program should contain the following:

      Theme/logo of the conference on the front page
      List of major sponsors
      Day‟s agenda
      Brief profile and photo of the keynote speaker
      Titles and locations of all workshops
      Brief explanation of workshop topics
      Name and title/position of all presenters
      Brief background information on all presenters
      Map of the facilities
      Names of the planning committee and sub-committee members
      Lists of donors/supporters
      Thank-you to volunteers and donors

The conference program can range from four to 20 pages. Some programs which
have been used previously contained all of the information listed above, plus a
paragraph (six to ten sentences) on the focus of each workshop. (See Appendix
for sample format). Other times that may be included:

      Advertisements from sponsors/donors
      Letters from sponsors/donors
      Photos or background information on the conference chairperson and/or
       committee background information on sponsoring organizations

“Experience has shown…”
The conference program can have a long-term impact on the participants. Many
of the students have obtained autographs of keynote speakers and phone
numbers of persons who were willing to serve as role models. Many school
districts have used the programs as a source of speakers and mentors for follow-
up activities.

Conference Packets/Name Tags

Each participant should receive a conference packet and a name tag when he/she
checks in the day of the conference. (Remember, participants should already have
been pre-registered.) This packet can be as simple as a paper pocket folder or
carrying bag or as elaborate as a portfolio or three-ring binder. Some of these
folders have the theme and logo pre-printed on them, while others have stickers
with this information on them.

The conference packet must contain the following:

      Name tag
      Conference program
      Writing tablet or paper
      Pen or pencil
      Conference evaluation form

Other ideas for the packet include:
    workshop selection worksheet
    goal-setting worksheet
    suggested reading lists
    brochures or booklets on such issues as college financial aid, how to apply
       for a state job, etc.
    An “Ask Lots of questions” worksheet can also be added to encourage
       students to ask probing questions about specific careers
    A workshop assessment sheet can be used to help the student determine if
       this particular career area was what they expected (see Appendix).

Parents, teachers, and counselors should each receive a packet. You may want to
add other booklets or articles to these particular packets.

Separate packets should be made for workshop presenters and for the
Career/Resource Center representatives. These packets should include a
program and an evaluation form asking for their comments about their
participation and set up.

Announce to all conference participants that they must wear their name tags at
all times to show that they have checked in. (The morning program is a good
time to do this.). The name tags should be required for admission to workshops
and to lunch. Name tags of different colors can be used to identify conference
participants, Career/Resource Center staff and workshop presenters.


Morning refreshments and lunch should be offered as part of your conference.
Depending on the length of your conference, afternoon refreshments may also be
included. Morning refreshments can be as simple as juice or as complete as a
continental breakfast. Ethnic food items may be offered. Lunches can range
from a typical sack or box lunch (sandwich, chips, soda) to a full-course hot lunch
or buffet. The lunch may also be a traditional meal of the targeted cultural group.

You do not need to limit yourself to a traditional luncheon speaker. It may be
difficult to keep students quiet for long periods of time. Remember that this can
be an excellent opportunity to offer unique and creative activities and
interactions among participants and role models.


Activities that have proven successful include:

Mentor for A Moment:
College students invited to have lunch with conference participants served as
mentors during this time. Each was assigned only two or three participants who
shared their hopes, dreams, and plans with their mentor. Phone
numbers/contact details were exchanged so that ongoing contact could take

On-Site mentoring:
Role models lunched before students so they could sit at each table for about ten
minutes. Every 10 minutes, they‟d rotate. During their stays at each table they
asked participants what type of assistance they needed to accomplish their goals,
gave suggestions, and discussed strategies.

Who Gets Hired/Educational Opportunities:
Representatives from local employers and educational institutions set up
information tables to conduct mock employment interviews of students
discussing requirements for jobs, etc. College personnel distributed application
forms, financial forms, and assisted in their completion.

Cultural Linkages:
Cultural linkages through traditional entertainment are excellent for tying
together the theme of a conference and target group, reinforcing cultural pride.
When using cultural entertainment, it should be specifically focused on
introducing and linking with past traditions, not on entertainment for
entertainment‟s sake.

This should be scheduled as part of the agenda. It can be part of the lunchtime
program, during a transition from one conference section to another, or as an
ending program. Entertainment is not part of the conference design. It is only a
component if there is cultural significance in introducing, teaching, and
promoting pride in cultural heritage.

“Experience has shown…”
Cultural entertainment complements the overall purpose of the conference. It is
important to note that other types of contemporary activities, such as fashion
shows, teen dances, and contemporary rock music, distract from, and are even
counter-productive to the overall purpose of the conference.


Decorations can add a nice touch and can be helpful for marking trails leading to
buildings. Colorful balloons and ribbons can mark the way from parking lots to
the registration site. This was extremely useful when conferences were held on
large college or university campuses.

Table centerpieces have been used, such as fresh flower arrangements made by a
district‟s ROP class and used as raffle prizes at the end. Decorations can take on a
cultural theme introducing students to artistic aspects of their heritage.

“Experience has shown…”
When decorations are used, they should be kept simple, and at a minimal cost, so
as not to place a burden on the planning committee. It is a good way to involve
students and student organizations.


Evaluation forms are essential for collecting data on the impact of the conference.
The forms should be simple to complete, using a check-off system with space for
comments. Make certain participants know how to complete the forms and
provide assistance where required. Depending on your target group, you may
need bilingual evaluations.

Forms must be included in every participant packet, a separate one for each
workshop (half pages suggested); one for the morning presentation, one for the
Career/Resource Center. It is recommended that participants complete a
personal profile sheet (without names), suggestions for future workshops,
conferences, and feedback on what they liked most. (See Appendix for samples).

A successful method for collecting evaluations it to provide one raffle ticket for
each form turned in during the last workshop or conference session. The raffle
can be developed into an exciting event using donated books, posters, and other
materials which reinforce the career/educational or cultural aspect of the
conference as raffle prizes.

“Experience has shown…”
Feedback from participants will assist in future planning. It has also
demonstrated, beyond a doubt, that this conference format is on target.

Closing Session

The conference should have a brief closing session. This gives participants an
opportunity to come together one last time. Encourage participants to exchange
phone numbers with new friends, including role models. Make the closure
exciting. You can draw the raffle prize as a closing activity.

“Experience has shown…”
Coming together, even for an afternoon snack, has been a simple way to bring
„closure‟ to the day.

                      Section B – Implementation

A well-planned conference will come together smoothly and will be a rewarding
experience for all. It will provide information on career and educational
opportunities while introducing students to role models from their ethnic group.
Cooperation among all constituents is crucial for keeping the conference running

Pre-conference Briefing

All staff and presenters must have all information about arrival times and check
in procedures in writing several weeks prior to the conference.

A pre-conference briefing of all community members and volunteers should be
held a week or two prior to the conference. At this meeting you should review
assignments and announce last-minute concerns, cancellations, or changes. This
is critical and will eliminate confusion on the day of the conference. Make every
effort to keep your conference on its planned schedule.

The core planning committee should have a brief meeting early in the morning of
the conference day for a last minute review.


Arrangements for chairs, tables, microphones, podiums, etc., should enable set-
up on the evening prior to the conference. Refreshment tables should be kept
well away from all registration tables. Also, be sure the Career/Resource Center is
set up in advance. These major tasks should not be left until the day of the
conference. This will allow time to handle any last minute difficulties the morning
of the conference.

All signs should be made at least a week prior, including directional signs to be
placed on the street, identifying buildings, classrooms, workshop locations,
restrooms, registration tables, etc. Conference packets and programs should also
be ready a week in advance.

“Experience has shown…”
Preparing conference packets, decorations and signs are excellent ways to involve
students and student organizations in pre-conference activities and also serve to
help market the event.

Pre-Registration Check-In

Keep this process simple so that your conference gets off to a smooth start. All
participants should be pre-registered and pre-paid, if a fee is charged. As they

arrive, check off their names on a roster; provide each with a name tag and
conference packet (including paper, pencil, program, and evaluation form). Be
prepared for „walk-ins”, for individuals who thought they‟d signed up, and for
no-shows. Be prepared to write receipts for those who request them.

Check-in should be relatively quick. There are several ways to manage check-in:
For example, those with last names beginning with “A-G” could be at one table,
“H-M” at another, etcetera, or the school names can be at each table so students
can check in by school.

“Experience has shown…”
When these methods were used, it took less than 45 minutes to check in 700 pre-
registered/pre-paid participants.

You should have separate check in tables for presenters and Career/Resource
Center representatives. Use large, highly visible signs. Career/Resource Center
groups are held in the morning so reps should arrive well before the students.
Make sure you designate a specific time for arrival and be prepared to check them
in. (See Appendix).

Committee members and volunteers should be easily identifiable by the color of
their name tags or other distinguishing items like ribbons.

Career/Resource Center

Part of the conference packet should include a list of the agencies, businesses,
and organizations that make up the Career/Resource Center. This can be a
separate listing or be incorporated into the program. A map of where the
agencies are located at the conference may be part of the directory. This will
encourage participants to go directly to the ones in which they are interested
without wasting time.

Representatives should be instructed to invite students to look at the
information on the tables. They should be encouraged. One method is to have a
form that must be validated by asking questions to a minimum number of
representatives (to qualify for the raffle). Provide instructions. A sticker or stamp
can be used for validation and should be included in the Career/Resource Center
representative‟s conference packet.

Another method of encouraging participants to visit tables it to have volunteers
guide them. Any students seen standing around in groups, or parking themselves
at the refreshment table would be instructed to go visit the Career/Resource

“Experience has shown…”
It will be the first time that many of the students will have had the chance to meet
with reps of agencies, businesses, and other organizations. They will need to be

guided and encouraged on how to approach them. Use of volunteers has been
very successful and, at several conferences, it was difficult to get them to leave
when it was time to move to the next item on the Days Agenda.

Conference Opening

The opening presentation plays a particularly important role in creating the
climate for the conference. First, it is important that the morning program start
on time, stay on time, and end on time.

It is suggested that the morning program include a brief overview of the day‟s
activities. It is important that the conference packet be reviewed – the program,
Day‟s Agenda, procedure for workshop selection, map of the facilities, location of
restrooms, evaluation form and procedures, raffle requirements, and whom to
ask if there is a question. Introductions or acknowledgement of key organizers
and sponsors is important but should be very brief. There are other, more
effective methods to make acknowledgements.

“Experience has shown…”
A special page in the program is a good way to recognize distinguished guests and
acknowledge all those who assisted with the conference. Make reference to the
page and have everyone stand up at once to accomplish recognition, in a short
time. If there are a large number of people, a small reception a few weeks after
the conference is a great way of expressing appreciation, and provides
reinforcement for future efforts.

The conference opening should be short and inspirational. The keynote speaker
must clearly understand his/her role in „kicking off‟ the conference. If a panel
presentation is made in lieu of a keynote presentation, be sure it is well organized
and motivational. A panel presentation; may not be effective in large groups.


Volunteer escorts should help students find workshop locations. They can wear
special hats, visors, T-shirts, vests, or other identifying items to help them stand
out in the crowd. If a class is full, they can direct students to the second or third
choice. They should see that water is available for speakers and that the rooms
are kept neat after each session.

Coordination Center

It is important that the conference chairperson and two to five volunteers
(usually heads of sub-committees) staff a table to be used as the Coordination
Center throughout the entire conference. This is where problems and questions
can be directed. If anyone should ask who is in charge, all volunteers will know
where to refer them. This is critical for larger conferences. In a large conference,

walkie-talkies or cell phones can be used to communicate with the coordination


Confirmation of arrival times and check-in procedures for everyone involved
must be completed prior to the conference to avoid problems. It cannot be
stressed enough that the conference must start on time, stay on time, and end on

The following are comments from workshop presenters, business representatives,
and volunteers who assisted at conferences that did not follow these important

      “I was a workshop presenter and the only correspondence prior to the
       conference was a registration form. I was confused as to whether I had to
       pre-register and/or pay a fee.”

      “I was told on the phone that, as an exhibitor, I should arrive at 7AM. I
       guess other people were told to arrive at 8. I had an hour commute, and
       was donating my time, and I didn‟t appreciate waiting around alone all
       that time.”

      “I was not told what building to go to when I arrived on campus. There
       were no signs.”

      “Not only were there too many speakers in the morning program, but the
       keynote speaker went 20 minutes over his schedule. The whole conference
       schedule was off.”

      “The conference coordinators were confused; no one really appeared to be
       in charge. They ran out of food at lunch because the pre-registration
       requirement was lax.”

                           Section C – Wrap Up
Pay All Bills

All bills should be paid as soon as possible. It is important that everyone you
worked with is paid promptly because you may want to work with them again. Be
sure to keep copies of all paid invoices with the check number and date they were
paid written on them.

Review Conference Evaluation Forms

It is essential to go over the conference evaluation forms and analyze them so you
can use them as a guide for future conferences. They can provide a blueprint for
how you want to change and improve the next one.

Compile a List of Possible Mentors

Go over the names of all business, educators and others who participated in the
conference to create a list of people who might be willing to serve as mentors as
well as continuing to support career planning efforts of the school. With proper
follow-up, some might be willing not only to mentor students, but also to provide
additional opportunities like internships or fieldtrips to their workplaces, etc.

Send Out Thank You Notes

Thank-you letters should be sent to those who contributed services or money.
Special attention should be paid in writing the thank you notes to the possible
mentors on the list you have compiled.

Write and Send Out a Press Release about the Conference

Afterwards, you may want to send information to the press regarding the success
of the conference, focusing on some of the unique workshops, highlighting some
of the presenters or the keynote address.

Keep Copies of Everything

Copies of all the correspondence, expenses, printed material, evaluations, etc.
should be assembled in organized files so that they can be used by the committee
planning future events.

              Section D – Career/Technical Linkages


Highly rewarding technical and professional careers are available in the field of
industrial technology. Even during times of high unemployment, industry and
government agencies seek employees able to effectively implement and manage
new technology.

Industrial Technology position titles range from technician to draft-person to
product engineer. These positions require education beyond high school.
Technicians study in community college vocational programs where they acquire
hands-on training, work experience, academic knowledge and skills that
manufacturers and technical service firms need. Industrial technology programs
at four-year universities further develop managerial skills, allowing those with
bachelor degrees to obtain more highly paid positions.

These titles are distinct from the term „professional engineer‟, a title that is
usually earned by majoring in a college of engineering and by passing a
certification exam. Engineering students are required to study advanced calculus
and physics, and their training is more theoretical than the typical hands-on
approached used in industrial tech. Professional engineers are usually
responsible for design of components and structures while technicians,
technologists, and managers facilitate the manufacture, assembly, and operation
of components and systems.

Teamwork is essential in modern manufacturing, requiring the design engineers,
accountants, and production personnel to communicate. This is where the
management background of the industrial technologists produces a big payoff:
graduates understand manufacturing from product concept through production
and delivery logistics. Effective graduates can communicate with everyone in the
entire process.


Build a network:
If you are not familiar with the wide variety of career/technical/professional
occupations, let your fingers to the walking through the contacts provided. Just
call local manufacturers to speak with human resource staff responsible for
recruitment to get referrals to employees with specialized training. Your local
school district may have career/technical instructors who maintain contacts with
graduates and advisory board members who can serve as role models and/or can
recommend a graduate who represents the target group of the conference.

Community colleges and regional universities keep in contact with successful
alumni in all fields of work.

Broaden representation:
You are seeking role models representing your particular target group who will
become your most effective presenters. Your workshops and Career/Resource
Center might include different individuals of both genders representing several
professional areas:

      Scientists, engineers, and related specialists
      Managers, financial specialists
      Marketing, merchandising, sales
      Communication, education specialists
      Social Service professionals
      Technology specialists

Avoid stereotypes:
Many students may associate the words “occupational” and “industrial” with
stereotyped concepts. Using actual career titles can make work sound interesting.
Refer to the list of career titles at the end of this section.


In major metropolitan areas there are a large cross-section of national and
multinational corporations, such as IBM, Lockheed, General Motors, etc., as well
as local manufacturers who hire career/technology graduates. By simply phoning
or emailing the human resources or personnel office, the director can probably
match your request for a role model for your targeted audience. These are also
the places to find marketing and merchandising professionals.

Most individuals think of manufacturing firms as those which produce
machinery, autos, heavy equipment, and consumer goods. Also consider process
manufacturers, such as food and chemical companies. Don‟t overlook utilities
(gas, electric, water) which find industrial technology graduates to be well suited
for their technical and managerial positions.

Other resources for contacts include:

Start at the department chair‟s office, and ask for referrals to alumni,
representatives of advisory committees, and faculty within your targeted group.
Student panels, including those at various stages of their programs, can be very
effective (and enthusiastic!).

Career/Technical four-year programs in California:
      California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
      California State Univ. Fresno, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino
      Humboldt State University.
      Pacific Union College
      San Diego State University
      San Francisco State University
      San Jose State Universities

Community Colleges:
Comprehensive career/technology programs are offered at nearly every
California community college. Call the information number for the college
nearest you or look it up on the Internet. You can also call the Chancellors‟ office
in Sacramento for a referral to the most comprehensive programs near your
conference site.

Local School districts:
As above, local career/technical education faculty at the high schools and
Regional Career/Technical Programs are usually reservoirs of information and
contacts. They monitor career/technical placement of alumni and take pride in
the admission of successful graduates to higher education programs. Maintaining
industry feedback keeps their instruction up to date.

Government Agencies:
Government agencies employ industrial technologists in many positions
including safety, construction, inspection, waste management, and code
enforcement. Contact the local offices responsible for these functions for referrals
to individuals with industrial tech degrees.

Professional Societies:
Local chapters of organizations, such as the Society of Manufacturing Engineers
(SME), the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), and the American Society of
Quality Control (ASQC) will be happy to provide contact with members who can
serve as presenters. The college-level academic community may prove a good
source of referrals to these organizations.

Student Organizations:
Student chapters of these and other organizations, such as the National
Computer Graphics Association (NCGA) can help you with good leads on
resources that will attract youth to your conference sessions on industrial
technology. Often, they undertake social service projects that could include
organizing student panels or serving as enthusiastic volunteers to help you
deliver at your conference.

Others: Discussions with above professionals and the following list will lead you
to a plentiful supply of presenters. Choose those who present the broadest view
of opportunities available.

Career Titles and Occupations

Here is a partial list of occupations:

       Account Executive
       Account Manager
       Acquisitions Director
       Advertising Designer
       Advertising Manager
       Animal Scientist
       Art Coordinator
       CAD Technician
       Cell Biologist
       College/University Professor
       Commercial Artist
       Commodity Broker
       Computer Software Designer
       Computer Systems Analyst
       Conservation Officer
       Consumer Information Manager
       Cooperative Extension Agent
       Customs Agent
       Electrical Contractor
       Environmental Scientists
       Export Sales
       Facilities Director
       Food Broker
       Food Inspector
       Forest Products
       Inspection Coordinator
       Instructional Technology Designer
       Insurance Agent
       International Products Manager
       Labor Relations Specialist
       Landscape Architect

Landscape Contractor
Logistics Manager
Machining Technician
Manufacturer‟s Representative
Market Analyst
Marketing Manager
Material Control Coordinator
Media Specialist
Molecular Biologist
New Product Development Engineer
Operations Analyst
Operations Manager
Operations Planning Coordinator
Packaging Designer
Park Manager
Peace Corps Representatives
Plant Engineer
Plant Scientist
Pricing Analyst
Process Engineer
Product Assurance Engineer
Product Designer
Production Planner
Production Supervisor
Project Engineer
Project Manager
Purchasing Manager
Quality Assurance Specialist or Manager
Quality Control Engineer
Quality Control Supervisor
Real Estate Broker
Recycling Specialist
Regional or Urban Planning
Regulatory Agent
Reliability Engineer
Resource Economist
Roof Engineer
Safety/Health Coordinator
Sales Representative
Soil Scientists
Systems Analyst

Systems Test Engineer
Teacher, Trainer
Technical Service Representative
Transportation and Automotive Systems
Turbine Engine Technician
Waste Management Specialist
Water Quality Specialist


To top