Annual Conference Planning

The Annual Conference is our big event to celebrate being a librarian by bringing education, information, entertainment, and most of all, networking to the New Mexico library community. This is a chance for librarians of all types from all over the State to gather and share information, reconnect and learn about new products/services. This conference also needs to make enough money to cover NMLA expenses (such as deposits for future conference locations). This is the event that keeps the Association going financially. So when you are planning, always watch the bottom line!

The Annual Conference takes place in the spring. This conference is to celebrate librarianship, educate on current issues and technologies and provide time for the SIGs to meet and for everyone to network. This is also the event that provides money to cover NMLA expenses for the next year.

Basic Timeline


  • Vice President/Conference Chair starts discussing ideas and projected costs for the conference.
  • Program Committee Chair(s) appointed
  • Appoint new committee members – Conference Chair sets theme and colors

June/July Board Meeting

  • Conference Chair and Treasurer present a budget and recommended vendor registration fees for approval.
  • Conference Chair gives a progress report at the Board meeting.

May through August

  • Develop time lines for the year and set-up meeting dates and times.
  • Walk-through of conference site; preliminary planning for number of rooms/capacity needed
  • Select and invite Keynote Speaker
  • Set program proposal deadline; send out call for program proposals (draft Program Proposal form) to NMLA web site, list-serve, newsletter, The Hitchhiker, and regional library associations (neighboring states, MPLA)
  • Local Arrangements Committee set-up and tasks assigned (example assignment chart)


  • Logo is sent to NMLA Administrator to prepare for first Exhibitor mailing


  • Last call for program proposals sent out
  • NMLA’s PR Committee sends notice of conference to national journals (LJ, SLJ, American Libraries)
  • Program Committee sets program schedule for conference (pre-conference times, daily start and end times, length of sessions)


  • Conference Chair gives a progress report on the conference planning, updates on the program schedule, and final budget is approved
  • Program proposals are received, evaluated and an “at-a-glance” session schedule is developed
  • Speaker agreement forms sent to approved presenters


  • Preliminary program for NMLA newsletter reviewed/approved by Program Committee
  • All speaker agreement forms should be received by this time. If they are not, contact proposed speaker to see if they are interested. If they are not or do not have a response, schedule another program for that time slot.


  • Program is finalized and sent to Newsletter Editor.
  • Registration fees are voted on and Administrator prepares registration form for website and for the Newsletter.


  • By January 1st, registration and program information will be sent to the NMLA newsletter editor for inclusion in the Jan/Feb newsletter.
  • Evaluation forms typed and printed by One Stop
  • Check with program printer (One Stop Business Shop) to see how much lead time will be needed for conference program printing
  • Completed conference program, pre-conference mailing and presentation before the Board Meeting
  • Menus and prices for the Awards Dinner and Youth Literature Lunch and any other meals are reviewed and approved.  The Awards Dinner menu and set-up to be reviewed by the Awards Committee Chair.
  • SIGs that give out awards need to coordinate with the Awards Committee Chair to make sure information is ready for awards program and ceremony.

One Month Before the Conference

  • Pre-conference speakers notified if their programs met minimum registration
  • Final conference program is prepared, proofed and sent to the printer

Two Weeks Before the Conference

  • Caterer(s) are given numbers (don’t forget vegetarian meals!).
  • Final programs need to be printed and stuffed into the conference folders/bags along with paper and pens/pencils, etc., and name badges prepared (this needs to be done prior to arriving at the conference location).