Each committee’s charge specifies the scope of its focus. In addition, committees should identify topics related to their charges and that are of value and interest to the membership. When a meeting or event would be valuable in conveying this material, the committee should consider planning an event. While committees are not required to plan and present one or more events a year, it is the responsibility of each group to routinely evaluate the need for events and programs in order to fulfill its charge.
Event Planning Protocols
The committee's CARLI staff liaisons are the key contacts for all event planning and logistics. The liaisons must be kept fully informed and up-to-date of any plans made by committee members.
CARLI provides financial support for the planning and presentation of events through its annual budgeting process and/or with the approval of the CARLI Program Planning Committee. No obligations or expenditures associated with an event may be made by members of a committee. The staff liaisons will coordinate all financial and contractual arrangements associated with all events with the CARLI Business Services staff.
Planning Lead Time
Different types of events require different amounts of time to plan and present successfully. See the CARLI Meeting and Event Planning Lead Times for the recommended event planning timelines CARLI has established. CARLI sponsors many events each year, so planning early is essential to cut down on scheduling problems. As the committee year runs from July to June, committee members whose terms continue into the next year will usually need to take the lead roles in planning for fall events that require several months’ planning lead time.
Refer to the CARLI Strategic Priorities, evaluations from previous similar events, and other planning sources such as announced coming changes in CARLI online systems to identify topics that are timely, relevant, and of greatest value to the likely attendees.
Select a type and format of event appropriate to the desired outcome and the needs of the intended audience for the event. Options include inperson informational and educational events, webcasts and conference calls. A common format is a “Forum,” a oneday meeting with speaker(s) or panel presentations to a large audience, sometimes supplemented with breakout sessions. Note: CARLI committees are not typically responsible for coordinating preimplementation or ongoing staff training in the use of one of CARLI’s online systems. This work is typically managed by CARLI staff. However, committees may wish to offer events that would involve classroom work that could be considered to be “training” when this type of event is appropriate to their charge.
Committee members should keep abreast of activities and plans of other groups within and beyond CARLI working in closely related areas, in order to avoid redundancy and to seek opportunities for collaboration. Contact may be initiated with other CARLI committees through the staff liaisons, and joint committee meetings may be held as needed to plan collaborative events. CARLI committees also may partner on planning events with external organizations (e.g., with IACRL, ILA etc.) with the approval of the CARLI Executive Director.
Setting a Date
Select target dates for the event as soon as possible. Having more than one acceptable target date will be helpful when contacting prospective meeting sites. All planning details need not be completed to set a tentative and/or final event date.
Selecting a Location
In consultation with the CARLI staff liaisons to the committee, identify one or more desirable location(s) for the event. Events are typically held at a CARLI member institution, but have also been held at other venues such as Illinois State Park meeting facilities, hotels, the Chicago Public Library and Illinois regional library systems’ facilities, when cost effective and appropriate to the event.
While it is not possible to find meeting locations that are equally close to all CARLI member institutions and various forms of public transportation, planners should take into account the travel requirements of attendees when selecting meeting sites. Planning for inperson events, such as forums, should take into account the location of previous inperson events sponsored by the committee, and if possible and appropriate, alternate between upstate (including the Chicago metropolitan area) and downstate locations.
The CARLI staff liaisons and CARLI Business and Financial Services staff reserve the right to reject any proposed location based on prior experiences or other considerations.
Vegetarian and nonvegetarian are the only choices available at CARLI events.
CARLI is unable to accommodate other requests for specific types of foods, or for meals that are vegan, kosher, gluten free, peanut free, etc. The private, academic, and hotel catering services that we use for CARLI events prepare food in commercial kitchens where a wide variety of other foods are being prepared, often using some frozen and/or processed products that may have unknown trace ingredients. As a result, they are unable to guarantee that the food is kosher, vegan, gluten free, and/or peanut free. Attendees with specific dietary restrictions should plan to provide their own lunches.
Publicize the event early, often, and widely. The staff liaisons should coordinate all event publicity with the CARLI Asst. Director of Communications.
Consider how best to evaluate the success of informational, educational, and training events. Completed evaluations will be collected by the CARLI staff liaisons and compiled by CARLI support staff for distribution to the planning group.
Canceling a Planned Event
Conditions that may necessitate canceling an event should be identified as part of the planning process. This may include setting a minimum registration count and/or setting a “snow date” for winter events.
In all cases, the CARLI staff liaisons and CARLI Executive Director have the authority to make a cancellation decision in consultation with the committee chair. The CARLI staff liaisons are responsible for notifying the host site and registrants for all cancelled events.