SciComm Job Descriptions: In-person Conference

13 Aug 2022 

Adapted from Conference Handbook:
and various tips and comments throughout Basecamp


  • Discounted or waived core conference fee, depending on contribution 
  • Early sign up for popular workshops and field trips for the annual conference 
  • Get first picks for housing 
  • Depending on position: additional compensation paid post-conference, Depending on Assigned tasks.

Note* Conference Committee member must have an official title (ex., website coordinator, housing coordinator, local expert, etc.) to receive perks.

Responsibilities and Expectations

You will have about 15-20 tasks to complete in a span of a year. Average time to complete a typical task is usually under 4 hours. Larger task may take longer. Each task will come with descriptions, guidelines, supporting documents, past examples, and deadlines, as well as plenty of support from the Conference Oversight Committee (COC), past Conference Volunteers, and the Board. 

You also will be a part of a monthly team conference call with the conference leadership. A typical meeting takes about 30-45 minutes with 5-7 people on the call. We take a break over the holiday season (Thanksgiving–New Year) with few exceptions. 

Each conference team member will give a brief update and have time for questions and additional discussions as needed. Conference leaders will share announcements and give reminders to upcoming due dates and milestones. 

The leadership will conduct a poll to determine best time/day for a monthly meeting. It is not required that you join every meeting, but please be prepared to be able to attend most of them.  

Job Descriptions


Conference Chair: Oversees the team, manages and reviews projects and deadlines of each team member. Approves task completion. Main liaison with campus conference services. It’s helpful if the Chair has attended at least one in-person conference, and/or volunteered for the conference planning team previously. Chair will help organize tasks and assign volunteers.

Past Conference Chair: Assists Conference chair oversee projects.

Vice President: Assists conference chair; sets up database for programs and assists registration. Librarian of past conference examples and guidelines. Liaison for the GNSI Board

Conference Oversite Committee: Advice and tasks as needed.

Each Conference committee member is part of one of four teams:


Finance Coordinator: Bookkeeper for the conference. Makes purchases, reimbursements, deposits, and pays instructors and team members. Tracks budget.

Housing Coordinator: Assigns campus housing rooms and reports updates to housing reservations.

Registration Coordinator: Assists with information for online registration set up. Tracks registrations and assists participants who are having problems. Monitor workshop, field trip, and reservations.

Merchandise: Product design; work with printers and gift companies to make custom merchandise. Post merchandise to website template and monitor. Help coordinate annual group photo. 


Program coordinator (2+): recruit plenaries/keynotes and concurrent speakers and panelists (~40 presenters total). Help facilitate programs during conference.

Field trip coordinator/transportation (1–2): Plans and organizes ~8-10 field trips. Arranges for transportation to other events and presentations (if necessary) during conference campus events. Recruit drivers if necessary.

Workshops coordinators (2+): Recruit workshop instructors, both traditional and digital (10-15) and technique showcase presenters (~10). Workshop coordinators usually divide recruitment—one person handling traditional; the other handling digital. Facilitate and coordinate instructors.

Special Programs: Organizes and oversees special programs such as mural, special exhibits, etc.


Logo Design: Create annual conference logo; sets up files for applications and use by Conference Committee members.

Graphic Design Coordinator: Design printed and digital materials (postcards, journal adverts, promotional ads, posters and wayfinding signs). Work with GNSI journal editors to manage printing/mailing.

Publicity/PR: Writes press releases and articles. Contacts local press and local nature/science/art groups.

Website/Conference booklet: Upload/update conference information on the website and the booklet (if using).

Social Media Coordinator (2), or (1) plus Assistant Social Media Coordinator: Work with GNSI outreach director to share the annual conference events using social media. Update Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Sponsorship Coordinator: Contact local art supply stores, schools, groups, etc. to work together for a sponsorship opportunities.

Conference Media Editor Editor*: Reviews print/web articles/graphics for clarity/consistency. Work with GNSI Journal Editor and GNSI Outreach Director to feed information to email newsletter, journal, website and other communications.  *  Should this be “Conference Media Editor” to distinguish it from the GNSI newsletter/journal editor?


Banquet and Catering coordinator: Work with catering services at college to plan the annual banquet and other event snacks/drinks (Board meeting, portfolio sharing, reception, between presentation sessions, field trips, etc.).

Exhibit coordinator I/II (2+): Manage submission of art, find judges, and send out instructions to judges and artists for annual juried show. Coordinate hanging of the show and shipment of work. Receive artworks, unpack, create condition report, store boxes, install, and deinstall exhibition.

Online exhibit coordinator: Assist as necessary in uploading exhibition to website (minor hours).

Location Expert I: Provides local information, such as travel information, interesting places to visit/sightsee, etc. Visits campus few times for logistics meetings and research.

Location Expert II: Coordinate packet stuffing, create/place wayfinding/signs, selects gifts for conference committee members.

Auction coordinator: Work with GNSI educational director to plan and execute annual fundraising auction.

Transportation coordinator: Works with field trip coordinator to reserve vans/transportation to field trips and any other events taking place off campus. 

On-site volunteer coordinator: Recruit and manage volunteers working on certain tasks during the conference (for example: help organize auction items, help with registration table, presentation troubleshooting, workshop assistance, techniques showcase assistance, etc.).

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