How Do I Plan a Conference?

Suggested Schedule for the Day?

Click here for a sample Regional Conference Schedule.

How Do I Find Doctors to Speak?

Many local sports medicine physicians, fellows, physical therapists, and athletic trainers are more than willing to volunteer their time to teach others. start out by collecting a list of the contact information from doctors that spoke last year. add to the list any other sports medicine contacts from your own experiences (shadowing, mentors, preceptors) that you can ask for help. If you are still struggling to find people to speak, contact your school for any alumni and contact local sports medicine offices to see if there are any physicians willing to volunteer. Email or call each physician at least 2 months in advance to see their availability and to get an idea of what topics they would like to present on.

Where Should I Host It?

The vast majority of SAOASM Regional Student Conferences are held on the campus of the regional representative’s school. Reach out to your Student Affairs office to see what spaces may be available and what dates. This option is typically free! Your school will likely be very supportive of being a host for a Regional Conference!

If you are unable to find a time and space at your school, reach out to the presidents of the various clubs in your region. Of the many schools in your region, there should be at least one that would be able to work with you to provide a free space for the conference.

Things to keep in mind when choosing a space:

  • having space for lectures (projector, comfortable seating)
  • having a place for food (tables, a room that food is allowed to be in)
  • timing (conferences typically run 9AM – 4PM)
  • having space for workshops (OMM tables)

How Much Time Do I Need to Plan?

It is important to start planning early! Start reaching out to your school or other locations up to 6 months in advance so you can book the best rooms possible for the conference. After the room is booked, you can start contacting physicians to speak. They have busy schedules so the sooner you reach out, the better! Flyers and Registration can begin about a month in advance. Finally, food is the last component that you should finalize in the final week before the conference.

What About Food?

Call many local restaurants and food stores to find the best deals on meals. Also be sure to pick up utensils, coffee, and water. Here are some suggestions of places for food:

  • School Catering
  • Local Grocery Store
  • Panera
  • Local Pizza Place
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Chipotle
  • Local Sandwich Shop

Who Pays For All of This?

Costs to consider: food, speakers, location, advertising
Typically, the speakers and location are volunteered by schools and local physicians so the only true expense is food. Decide how many meals you wish to provide (ex: breakfast only, breakfast + lunch, mid-morning snack + lunch).

What happens if costs are more than I collected in registration? In advance, check what funds or grants your school has available for student events. Look into this at least a month in advance to know how much paperwork may be involved!

  • 4 weeks prior to the conference: Speak to the prior regional representative to get an estimate of how many attendees there were in the past. Reach out to local food vendors with this estimate to see the food cost. Determine an estimated food cost to share on flyers and signup sheets. Also, design and print flyers to be hung around your region’s schools.
  • 3 weeks prior: Send out a flyer with estimated cost and schedule + signup sheet to all local presidents in your region. Anyone can now register for the conference! Decide if you want to have students pay the estimated cost in advance or wait to pay the day of when an exact cost is known. Make sure to share this information on the flyer!
  • 2 weeks prior: Send out a reminder with a deadline of 1 week before the conference to signup.
  • 1 week prior: Close advanced registration
  • 5 days prior: Make food orders and finalize cost per person.
  • Conference Day: Collect any pre-conference and day-of-conference registration fees that have not been collected already

Conference Tips & Tricks

Click here to view the Guide to Planning an AOASM Regional Student Conference

Who Do I Reach Out to if I Have More Questions?

If there are any other questions, feel free to reach out to any current SAOASM Executive Board Members as well as our advisors. See contact page for information.