MLA pre- or post-conference workshops support the continuing education mission of the Association. The Education Committee sponsors or co-sponsors MLA workshops; these do not fall under the purview of the Program Committee. Instead, the MLA Board reviews and approves the program content directly. Workshops require coordination among the Education Committee, other sponsoring groups if applicable, the CM, the Administrative Officer, and the MLA Business Office. The workshops, which have no pre-determined length or place on the schedule, must be self-supporting.
Due to timing issues related to the convention budget approval, planning for workshops should commence shortly after the close of the previous MLA Annual Meeting. Proposals must be submitted to the MLA Board for consideration at the June Board Meeting in order to prepare the conference budget.
Iv.a Preparing a workshop proposal
Note: A sample proposal is included at the end of this chapter.
The sponsoring group(s) should identify a workshop coordinator who is responsible for writing the formal workshop proposal, which should contain the following information:
- Sponsoring organization(s)
- Location (hotel or off-site), proposed date and time
- Program/content (including list of confirmed and potential speakers)
- Outline of program
- Minimum/maximum number of registrants
- Recommended registration cost (MLA members and non-members)
- Contact hours
- Instructor profiles
- Proposed budget
- Marketing plan, if the group(s) intend to offer the program to those who are not MLA members
Co-sponsoring: The workshop coordinator should work with other groups that have a special interest in the workshop topic, including MLA committees and MOUG. The coordinator may form a small planning group to assist with preparation of the proposal, the workshop content, and the workshop itself.
Location: To decide on the best location, the workshop coordinator consults with the CM to determine options for meeting space at the hotel and the potential costs associated with the room size, setup, A/V equipment orders, catering, and internet access if needed. If the hotel is not the best option, the workshop coordinator contacts music librarians in the conference area to determine what meeting spaces might be available at their libraries, the associated costs of obtaining that space, transportation issues, room size, setup, catering, etc.
Outline of program: The outline of the program and potential speakers should contain sufficient information so that the MLA Board may make an informed decision about approving the proposal.
Proposed budget and number of registrants: The speaker honoraria, room setup, catering, workshop handouts, and supplies all contribute to the cost of the workshop. Keep in mind that hotel Internet and catering costs are quite high; carefully consider what the workshop requires. Any on-site assistance provided by the Business Office will be billed separately and must be incorporated into the registration fee.
Taking into consideration the available space and all of the associated costs, the workshop coordinator identifies the minimum and maximum number of registrants and the costs associated with a range of attendees. The coordinator develops a detailed budget that breaks down the known and estimated costs, including the cost per attendee for at least the minimum and maximum number of registrants. The recommended registration cost must meet the “break-even” requirement at each attendance level.
IV.B Submitting the Workshop proposal
Workshop proposals are subject to the same deadlines for budget input and hotel arrangements as the Program Committee and the LAC. The conditions surrounding the financial expectations of a workshop must be determined prior to the CM’s presentation of the Convention Budget at the spring meeting of the Board to avoid putting either the workshop or convention budgets in a position of too much risk.
IV.C After the Workshop is approved
The workshop coordinator confirms meeting space availability and setup, speakers, and other details.
If the workshop will be at the hotel, the CM facilitates the event by including it as part of the annual meeting’s requirements for room size and set up, A/V equipment orders, catering, and Internet access (if needed). The CM arranges for meeting space, equipment, and catering in accordance with the workshop’s specifications. After receiving the hotel invoice, the CM reports the cost of these services to the MLA Administrative Officer, who authorizes the Business Office to post the expenses under the appropriate budget categories.
If the workshop is not at the hotel, the workshop coordinator gathers all of the invoice information and works directly with the Administrative Officer to insure that payment and bookkeeping requirements are met.
Because the workshop registration materials and schedule are included in MLA’s online registration, it is vital for organizers to stay in touch with the Administrative Officer, CMs, and Business Office regarding deadlines and procedures during the planning process. Key dates are included in the Convention Calendar.
Based on the original proposal, the workshop coordinator develops a description of the workshop content, costs, and registration deadline for distribution on MLA-L, in the online conference registration information, and for inclusion on the conference website. If the workshop is to be advertised outside MLA, appropriate publicity must be prepared and distributed. Coordinate publicity with MLA’s Publicity and Outreach Officer.
iV.E Online registration
The workshop coordinator works with the Business Office to incorporate the workshop into the online registration form for the Annual Meeting. The Business Office will provide regular updates about number of registrants to the workshop coordinator, including when the workshop reaches capacity.
As needed, the workshop coordinator can work with the Business Office to develop a waiting list.
iV.F The workshop itself
The Education Committee and the workshop coordinator are responsible for preparing packets for the attendees, which may include handouts, a certificate of completion, and an evaluation form. The Annual Meeting nametags serve for the workshop; additional nametags only need to be generated for individuals who are not attending the Annual Meeting.
The organizers also handle the registration desk and process onsite workshop registrations if available. The workshop coordinator should also work with the CM to determine the location and hours of the workshop registration desk. They also provide local assistance during the hours of the event; it might be possible to enlist the assistance of the CVB, but that may vary by city.
Some of the arrangements may be contracted with the Business Office; the Education Committee Chair and the workshop coordinator(s) should work through the Administrative Officer if this is desirable. The cost of Business Office services must be built into the workshop budget.
iV.G after the workshop
The workshop coordinator prepares a report for the MLA Board that includes a summary of attendance, evaluation results and considerations for future workshops.