The Day Chairs are essential in making the day a success for participants.  You have the unique responsibility of making the day inviting and educational and ensuring that participants get the experience that they are looking for.  The primary responsibilities to focus on at this time are:

Location

You are responsible for choosing the meeting location.  This will require you to locate a meeting space that will be large enough to accommodate 30-35 people.  The location should provide ample room for movement for activities and small group work.  When looking at possible venues, please note what types of technology may be available.  Although this should not impact your decision to use the space it will need to be reported to the Program Coordinator so that appropriate plans can be made for presentations.

If you have chosen to include a tour in your session you are also responsible for arranging tour locations.  Before choosing to incorporate a tour into your day please speak with the Program Coordinator to ensure that there is enough time for the presentation of the chosen curriculum as well as a tour.

Content

University of Minnesota Extension Educators are responsible for the educational content of the day.  The Day Chairs should familiarize themselves with the topics that will be covered.  As you think about the topics, consider if you know someone that has dealt with something discussed in the curriculum.  Does the community that is hosting the day have something unique to offer in regards to the selected topics?  If you know of someone or something that would fit well into the day, make a contact to see if a speaker would be available.

Tours allow the participants to see and understand the community that they are visiting.  The tours can feature businesses, historic sites, natural resources in the area, or anything that you feel is interesting.  Make sure that locations you are visiting are aware of the goals of the program and the topic for the day so that they can include thoughts related to that in their discussion with the group.

Food

We all know that the key to a good program is making sure your participants are well fed and caffeinated.  The Day Chairs are responsible for making arrangements for morning refreshments, a midmorning break, noon lunch, and afternoon break.  You will be informed of the budget for these expenses.  You are strongly encouraged to seek out sponsors to cover the lunch and/or breaks.  The Day Chairs should also consider the restaurants and vendors in the local community that is hosting.  Use this day to showcase the businesses and services available in the community where the session is based.

All The Little Things

It is always the little things that add up to very big things.  Below are some ideas of things that you should keep in mind that will make the day flow well and be memorable for our participants and the community/business that is hosting us.

  • If tours are going to be a part of the day consider arranging transportation. Again this is an area where sponsorships are encouraged but there is a budget available as well.  Speak with the Program Coordinator to ensure the availability of funds when transportation is needed.
  • Day Chairs are encouraged to seek donations for gift items or “goodie bags,” for the participants. This is a great way for businesses in the area to advertise and share their message with our participants.
  • It is important to speak with local media. We want to ensure that the work you have done is recognized and that our host community/business is showcased.  This can be coordinated with the Program Coordinator.

Prior To The Day

Day Chairs are responsible for confirming all of the arrangements that they have made.  You will also provide a draft agenda to the speakers and review the main objectives you want them to discuss.  You will complete and submit the Session Guide and return it to the Program Coordinator at least one week prior to the session.

After The Day

A little thank you goes a long way.  Day Chairs will work with the Program Coordinator to follow up with thank you notes for presenters and sponsors.  This will help us maintain good relationships to fall back on in future program years.

Day Chairs are responsible for collecting invoices and receipts for the program.  These should be clearly marked “PROGRAM NAME” and given to the Program Coordinator who will submit them for payment.

Your experience as a Day Chair is important as well.  After the session please complete the “What Worked, What We Would Change” worksheet and submit it to the Program Coordinator.  This will become part of the packet that next year’s Day Chairs will receive.

Send the Program Coordinator pictures that were taken to document the day.

Lastly, take a deep breath – you did it!  Thank you for your commitment to your Leadership Program.

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